December 8, 2019

Full of Holiday Cheer, it’s ‘First Friday’ in Chester Tonight

Chester’s Main Street will be bustling this evening during ‘First Friday.’

CHESTER, Conn. – It’s the First Friday in December, and in Chester, that means the lighting of the Christmas tree, the Menorah and holiday carols sung outside the downtown shops and restaurants until 8 p.m. Festivities start in front of The French Hen at 6 p.m., and a very special guest (whose five-letter name begins with an “S”) is scheduled to arrive at 6:30 p.m.

This First Friday also marks The French Hen’s 16th and final Christmas season, and the elves will be busy serving up their famous holiday cocktail, the “White Christmas.”

One of the painted metrocards for sale at Lark in Chester this evening.

The Chester Gallery celebrates the holidays with its annual Postcard Show. The exhibition includes more than 60 artists from all over Connecticut working in a variety of styles and mediums in postcard size 4″ x 6″ or smaller.

At Lark, artist Rachel Carlson will unveil a new body of small works painted on New York City Metrocards. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

Kismet will showcase owner and jewelry designer Gillian Davis’ “Glitter & Gold” Collection along with a pop-up sale with select items 20 percent off storewide.

Sip sparkling wine and be dazzled by surprise sale items all weekend long at The EList Shop.

Kids can enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies with any of the kids’ meals at The Pattaconk 1850 Bar & Grille on First Friday, and they can also send a letter directly to Santa from one of the Santa mailboxes on site. There will be some spiked eggnog for adults, too.

Listen to the sweet sounds of Arrowhead and Friends with a glass of holiday cheer while enjoying the oldest and the newest paintings of artist Leif Nilsson’s home and travels at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery.

It’s your last chance to tap Caryn Paradis Interior Design for free design tips as part oftheir “Ask the Designer” workshop. E-mail vickerman@carynparadis.com a picture and question about how to lay out a room to best suit the space and your style, then stop by on “First Friday in Chester” for some design advice.

Elsewhere around Chester, shops will be open until 8 p.m., with most offering complimentary snacks or beverages.

In addition to on-street parking in Chester, there is free parking available in the town’s public lots on Main Street by the cemetery, on Water Street and on Maple Street.

More information about First Friday is available on Facebook.com/VisitChesterCT or by calling (860) 322-4047

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Celebrate 10th Annual Ivoryton Illuminations , Saturday


IVORYTON —
Looking for a different way to celebrate Christmas?

Head down to Ivoryton for the 10th Annual Ivoryton Illuminations on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 5 to 8 p.m. The entire village of Ivoryton will be participating in this Holiday Extravaganza with carol singing, Santa’s Grotto, a Holiday Bazaar, culminating with the arrival of Santa – who flies in to the festivities! – and the lighting of one of the states’ largest living Christmas Trees at 6 p.m.  Ivoryton will be lighting up the holiday with over 500,000 lights throughout the village.

Family activities from 5 p.m. include writing letters to Santa and cards to our soldiers; visits with Santa in the Ivoryton Playhouse (bring your camera if you want a picture!); a Holiday Bazaar featuring community and local church groups in the Fire House; an Elf Scavenger Hunt, cookie decorating, a Petting Zoo provided by Circle K Farm.

There will also be special events at The Ivoryton Tavern and Café and the Blue Hound Cookery and Taproom. Music will be provided by local musicians.  In addition, there will be Stuff a Cruiser to support Shoreline Soup Kitchens.

Free parking will be available with a shuttle bus service to the village.  Look for signs directing cars to designated parking lots. The Illuminations will shine brightly through Jan. 5 and visitors can tune their car radios to 101.5FM and watch as the lights dance to the music.

This event is organized entirely by volunteers.  Major sponsors are Christmas Décor, Essex Lions Club, Essex Rotary, Essex Saving Bank, Essex Steam Train, Hocon Gas, LC Doane, Riggio & Sons, Inc. and Saybrook Ford.

Other supporters include Essex Police Union, Gowrie Group, Robinson and Wright and Westbrook Elks.

If you want to experience some real Christmas cheer, then come and join the party in Ivoryton, the brightest village in Connecticut.

For more information, visit www.ivorytonalliance.org

Photos courtesy of Ivoryton Village Alliance

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Join Essex Land Trust on Inaugural Hike of Woodja Hill Preserve, Dec. 14

Hike Woodja Hill Preserve with Essex Land Trust on Saturday!

ESSEX — Join the Essex Land Trust in its inaugural hike of the Woodja Hill Preserve on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. The 18.5 acres of ridge property was purchased in 2018 with financial support from the Town of Essex and the State of Connecticut and connects with three other properties: Doanes’ Woods, James Glenn and Lyon’s Meadow (Deep River Land Trust) for a total of 50-acre green way.

Property Steward Dirk Samuelson will be leading the hike which will include not only Woodja Hill but also the abutting land trust preserves of Doanes’ Woods and James Glen. The hike will last approximately for one hour and be of moderate difficulty.

The property’s habitat includes open field, upland forest, forested wetland and a beaver pond. Woodja Hill has been used as pasture land and has many stonewalls and several large rock outcroppings. It is home to beavers, ducks, herons, owls and even flying squirrels. The trees are mostly hardwoods.

Entrances to the property is from the parking lot at the end of Oxbow Ln. in Essex, which is reached off of Meadow Woods.

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Shop & Stroll at 15th Biennial Holiday House Tour in Historic Essex, Saturday; Benefits Child & Family Agency

File photo of a beautifully decorated home from the 2015 tour.

ESSEX — The town of Essex opens their homes this December to support Child & Family Agency of Southeastern CT. On Saturday, Dec. 7, the Essex River Valley Auxiliary of the Child & Family Agency of Southeastern CT presents a self-guided walking tour through six distinctive houses, beautifully decorated for the holidays in downtown Essex.

Visitors can also get a jump start on their holiday shopping by visiting the Holiday Boutique, featuring hand-crafted clothing, bespoke jewelry, unique home décor, festive holiday floral arrangements and more. The Holiday Boutique opens at 9:30 a.m. and is located at Essex Town Hall at 29 West Avenue.   Santa’s Café located in the boutique will offer snacks and refreshments.

Child & Family Agency of Southeastern CT is the area’s oldest children’s non-profit organization in Southeastern CT, a cornerstone Agency helping children and families since 1809.  With over 10,535 children and families served each year, the Agency aims to provide high- quality and holistic mental health treatment to all members of the community. The Essex location offers a variety of programs, services, and therapeutic models with the goal of not only nurturing children and families but the entire community.

The Essex Auxiliary has proudly devoted itself to supporting the Agency for over 25 years, providing over half a million dollars in unrestricted funds.  Most recently, the Auxiliary raised funds to create an outdoor therapeutic area at the Essex Child Guidance office. All proceeds from the holiday house tour benefit the programs and services provided by the Agency.

This is the 15th-holiday house tour presented in Essex, and a wonderful opportunity to see some of Essex’s historic homes that showcase elegant, architectural features in their original settings. Tickets are available for purchase online at https://www.childandfamilyagency.org/for $30 in advance or $40 on the day of the event at the Essex Town Hall at 29 West Avenue, Essex, CT.

Editor’s Note: In 1944, a group of 12 women organized to aid the Agency and its work, creating the Child & Family Agency Auxiliaries.  Nearly 600 men and women from five auxiliaries give generously of their time and talent through caring for children, fundraising events, and educational services. Through multiple events each year, the dedicated volunteer members of the Essex River Valley Auxiliary take pride in funding programs that improve the lives of children and their families.

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It’s Small Business Saturday, so Shop Local Today!

Launched by American Express in 2010, when small businesses were suffering from an economy in a recession, Small Business Saturday was created to encourage people to Shop Small and take more holiday shopping to all the local businesses that make our communities strong.

Our friends at the-e-list have prepared a list of local businesses offering special deals for Small Business Saturday, which you can find at this link.

We “stole” the image at left from our friends at Dina Varano in Chester, who are offering a complimentary $20 gift card when you purchase a $100 gift certificate through tomorrow (Dec. 1) in celebration of Small Business Saturday.

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Safety Improvements in Deep River, Essex to Impact December Traffic

ESSEX/DEEP RIVER — State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) has announced that the Department of Transportation plans to conduct a safety improvement project on State Rte. 602, Warsaw St. and Main St., in Deep River and Essex in December. New guiderails will be installed on those streets beginning Monday, Dec. 2 running through Monday, Dec. 23.

Motorists can expect lane closures on Rte. 602 from Rte. 154 in Deep River to Rte. 80 in Essex during the planned work. Traffic control personnel and signing patterns will assist motorists through the work zone, which has a regular schedule of 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Motorists should be aware the work schedule could be modified or extended due to weather delays or other conditions. Drivers should maintain safe speeds while driving in the area.

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Death of VNN Contributor, Former NY State Senator Jerome ‘Jerry’ Wilson Announced

The late Jerome (Jerry) L. Wilson.

ESSEX — It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our beloved contributor, Jerome ‘Jerry’ L. Wilson. Mr. Wilson, 88, passed away Friday, Nov. 1, in Essex. We have not yet heard the details of services for Mr. Wilson but will publish them as soon as we receive them.

Mr. Wilson was a great supporter of our online news ventures and contributed more article and photos to ValleyNewsNow.com and LymeLine.com than we can count. Coincidentally, Mr. Wilson was room-mates at Colgate University with John ‘Jack’ Turner, who was the founder of LymeLine.com in 2003. Most of Mr. Wilson’s articles were published on ValleyNewsNow.com, which was founded by Lon Seidman in 2009. Both sites are now owned by Shoreline Web News LLC.

Mr. Wilson was passionate about the importance of local news and determined to keep it very much on the front burner.  He would pursue stories with the grit of a rookie journalist, never giving up until he had answers or comments from everyone he believed should be involved. A character in every way imaginable, Mr. Wilson had a heart of gold and we will miss him dearly.

He led a storied career as a Democratic State Senator from Manhattan, an on-air political correspondent and editor for WCBS-TV, and a lawyer. He was perhaps best known for his determined and ultimately successful efforts to change the New York state law, which required a spouse to prove adultery as the sole way to gain a divorce. New York was the only remaining state in the country with this provision when then Senator Wilson took up the issue. By the time the new law was passed in September 1967 with Sen. Wilson leading the state judicial committee that had proposed it, four additional grounds for divorce had been added.

This past Tuesday, Nov. 5, the New York Times published an article about Mr. Wilson at this link by NYT Obituaries Reporter Sam Roberts.

We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Ulla, his four daughters, two stepsons, six grandchildren, and four step-grandchildren.

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Needleman Easily Wins Another Term as Essex First Selectman, No Changes on Board of Selectmen

State Senator Norm Needleman (D-33rd) has been re-elected to the position of Essex First Selectman.

ESSEX — Incumbent First Selectman Norman Needleman (D) cruised to victory in Tuesday’s election with more than twice the number of votes of his opponent, Matthew Fleming (R).  Needleman also serves as the State Senator for the 33rd CT District. His running mate,  incumbent selectman Stacia Rice-Libby, also won easily to retain her seat on the board of selectmen.

The third seat on the board will be taken by Bruce Glowac (R), who like Rice-Libby is also an incumbent, thus keeping board members exactly the same as prior to the election.

The full results in Essex were:

First Selectman
Norman Needleman (D)
1667

Matthew R. Fleming (R)
621

Selectman
Stacia Rice-Libby (D)
1333

Bruce M. Glowac (R)
951

Board of Finance
W. Campbell Hudson (D)
1439

Carolyn E. Field (R)
820

Mary-Louise Polo (D)
1412

Philip J. Beckman (R)
847

Board of Education
Cassandra S. Sweet (D)
1689

Board of Assessment Appeals
George B. Wendell (D)
1354

Coral L. Rawn (R)
902

Regional Board of Education
D.G. Fitton (D)
1369

D.G. Fitton (R)
790

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Essex Elementary School Foundation Grants Over $40,000 to Essex Elementary School for the 2019-2020 School Year

Students designing 3D sculptures during the afterschool Makerspace program thanks to a grant by the foundation. The program is run by EES Media Specialist, Mrs. Renee Mitchill, Art teacher, Mr. Gary Stevens and Network Technician, Chris Hutchins.

ESSEX — The Essex Elementary School Foundation (EESF), supported by the residents and community of Essex, has  announced a commitment to funding over $40,000 slated for enrichment programs at Essex Elementary School (EES) for the 2019-2020 school year.  These programs offered at EES would otherwise not be available through traditional funding by the school system and budget.

The funding includes annual programs such as:  World Culture Days (Haiti, China and India) for the second grade, Scientist in Residence for Grades K-6 teachers and students, all transportation for High Hopes therapeutic riding classes, and The Makerspace program using 3D printers funded by EESF.  Over the last two years, the foundation was able to offer a Science and Technology Grant that was used by EES to help offset the costs to send two state Invention Convention winners to the national competition.

“The foundation is pleased to once again be able to make a contribution to several different enrichment programs at the school,” says Bill Jacaruso, President of EESF.  “We wouldn’t be able to carry on this work without the generous support of so many members of our community.  Thank you to everyone who contributes to the foundation each year.”

New this school year, EESF will be funding an Artist/Historian in Residence program for the fifth-grade team.  Teaching artist, Doug Day will work with the EES team to research, write, and perform a musical based and focused on the rich history of Essex, Ivoryton, and Centerbrook.  Doug will spend two weeks at EES working with our 5th graders on this experience culminating in a musical to be performed for the school community.

Another new program funded under this year’s grant cycle will be for the introduction of LumoPlay.  This software is designed to create interactive virtual reality experiences in order to practice math fluency and other key math skills. LumoPlay, under the guidance of Shannon Vandermale, EES Math Specialist, will allow for a multisensory approach to learning a variety of math concepts and skills.  Engaging in multisensory learning has been proven beneficial to students of all learning styles.   The annual appeal for EESF begins in mid-November.

“I am so very grateful to the foundation for all they do to enrich the lives of our students in the past and yet again this year,” says Jennifer Tousignant, Principal at Essex Elementary School.   “Their generosity makes high quality programming outside the traditional classroom setting possible.  The board members are truly a great pleasure to collaborate with and our students are very fortunate for the generosity of the EESF!”

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 engage all students in a rigorous and collaborative educational program.  Each year, at least five percent of the EESF endowment is allocated for supplemental enrichment programs and projects proposed by the Essex Elementary School administration that would otherwise not be available through traditional funding by the school system and budget.

Programs funded include the Justus W. Paul World Culture Program, literacy support materials, equipment for musical and physical education, playground improvements, logical thinking games, audio/visual equipment, 3D printer, an iPad lab, and an Engineering with Legos program.

For more information, visit www.essexesf.org.

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Connecticut’s Second Living Shoreline Restoration Project Underway in Old Saybrook

OLD SAYBROOK – The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) will complete by the early spring of 2020 a living shoreline project in Old Saybrook in partnership with the Lynde Point Land Trust and the Borough of Fenwick. This will be only the second living shoreline project in Connecticut.

CRC has received a grant of $150,000 from the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation to support the construction of this project, which is part of CRC’s four-state Connecticut River habitat restoration and climate adaptation initiatives.

“Living shorelines are an innovative solution to restoring damaged coasts and providing a green way to adapt to a changed climate,” notes Andrew Fisk, CRC’s executive director. “We are incredibly grateful for the generous support of the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation for this work that will restore this coastline and protect it into the future.”

The living shoreline project in Old Saybrook is located on property owned by the Lynde Point Land Trust. The project will restore a breached barrier spit with a reconstructed dune and a series of underwater rock sills. The project design will restore dune, cobble beach, and tidal marsh habitat in an area that fronts a previously restored freshwater marsh. The climate adaptation elements of the project include mitigation of wave energy and a larger dune.

Living shorelines are a priority restoration and climate adaptation strategy of state and federal agencies as they provide multiple benefits unlike sea walls, rock jetties, or groins. Benefits include reducing pollution, erosion and property loss while creating wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Living shorelines are resilient to storm damage and rising sea levels.

This living shoreline is being designed by the engineering firm GZA. Additional funding has come from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund and the Robert F. Schumann Foundation.

Connecticut River Conservancy has additional active habitat restoration and climate adaptation projects throughout the four-state Connecticut River watershed including dam removals, culvert upgrades, bioengineered riverbank stabilizations, flood plain restoration, and tree plantings.

Connecticut River Conservancy is the voice for the Connecticut River watershed, from source to sea. They collaborate with partners across four states to protect and advocate for the river, and to educate and engage communities. The CRC brings people together to prevent pollution, improve habitat, and promote enjoyment of the Connecticut River and its tributary streams. Healthy rivers support healthy economies.

To learn more about CRC, or to join the effort and help protect our rivers, visit www.ctriver.org.

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Ivoryton’s Eberle, Who Helped Save Man From Burning Car, Presented with Carnegie Medal in Essex Presentation

Stephen Anthony Eberle of Ivoryton, Conn., will be awarded the Carnegie Medal on Oct. 25 by Congressman Joe Courtney.

ESSEX — Carnegie Hero Stephen Anthony Eberle of Ivoryton, Conn., was presented with the Carnegie Medal at a ceremony held Oct. 25, at the Essex Town Hall conference room. U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, who represents Connecticut’s 2nd District, presented the award.

Eberle, with another man, saved a 38-year-old man from a burning vehicle July 16, 2017, after a nighttime accident in Middletown, Conn. Passing motorists Eberle and a 65-year-old teacher’s aide responded to the car, which had caught fire on the highway with the unconscious driver inside.

Using a tire iron, Eberle broke out the rear, driver’s-side window, opened the rear door, and entered the backseat, where he attempted to release the driver’s seat belt. Unsuccessful, he moved to the driver’s door and broke that window. The teacher’s aide then forced the door open, and held it open as Eberle twice attempted to enter the car there and release Smith’s seat belt.

Each attempt was thwarted by heat and fire.

The teacher’s aide then used a pocketknife to cut the seat belt, and together they grasped the driver and tugging hard, removed him from the vehicle and dragged him away. The car was shortly engulfed in flames. The driver was treated for minor crash injuries, but was not burned.

Eberle was the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund’s 10,094th hero. The Hero Fund, established by Andrew Carnegie in 1904, has awarded the Carnegie Medal to 10,117 individuals in recognition of their outstanding heroism, defined by the Commission as acts of lifesaving done at extraordinary risk to the rescuer. Grants totaling more than $41 million have been given to the awardees or their survivors and include scholarship aid, continuing assistance, and death benefits.

For more information about the Carnegie Hero Fund, contact Jewels Phraner, outreach coordinator for the fund, at 1-800-447-8900.

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Palm Holds Young Earner Prosperity Roundtable


CHESTER –
State Representative Christine Palm (D-36) is convening a Young Earner Prosperity Roundtable in Hartford on Oct. 10 to give members of the Millennial and Gen Z generations an opportunity to share with State officials their concerns and aspirations. Gov. Ned Lamont will help kick off the event and members of various Executive Branch agencies, including the Dept. of Economic and Community Development, will attend. The event is free and open to the public.

The Young Earner Prosperity Roundtable will feature a panel of young adult workers from throughout the state willing to help inform lawmakers, agency heads, members of the business community, civic organizations and representatives from academic institutions about such issues as entrepreneurship, college debt, access to credit, livable cities, creative partnerships, and opportunities to make Connecticut more affordable and attractive to members of the younger generations of workers.

Palm worked with three young constituents as interns on the project, whom she credits with helping to develop the idea and organize the event. Connor Riordan of Chester, now a freshman at Harvard, served as project director; Arjun Badami of Higganum, a senior at Haddam-Killingworth High School, is project coordinator; and Finn Riordan of Chester, a sophomore at Valley Regional High School, created the project’s website.

“I’m partnering with these remarkable young constituents, and several Millennial colleagues in the General Assembly, because my generation (Baby Boomers) came up in a very different world full of economic and cultural opportunity that has largely eroded,” Palm said. “It’s absolutely critical for lawmakers like me to acknowledge this generational divide, because many currently serving in government and in executive positions in business can’t fully understand the experiences of their younger successors when it comes to living and working in Connecticut.”

Palm says having four Millennial sons of her own gave her the impetus to try to make government more responsive to the needs of that generation (born 1981-1994 and also known as Gen Y), as well as young workers from Gen Z (born in/after 1995 and just now graduating and/or embarking on their careers).

“Providing a forum for young earners to offer their unique perspectives will generate new avenues of discussion and new ideas to explore, which could provide the basis for successful initiatives and possible legislation that will help us attract and retain young earners,” Palm said.

Palm is co-hosting the event with Rep. Caroline Simmons (Stamford), and will be joined at the roundtable by many Millennial legislative colleagues, including House Majority Leader Matt Ritter (Hartford); Rep. Jillian Gilchrest (West Hartford), Rep. Quentin Phipps (Middletown); Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan (Bethel); Sen. Matt Lesser (Middletown); and Sen. Will Haskell (Westport).

Palm says there are four main goals of the project:

(1)   Bring stakeholders together with the common desire to gain the understanding and perspective needed to change the State’s way of doing business in order to attract and retain young earners for Connecticut’s economic, demographic and cultural growth;

(2)   Help decision-makers consider a system where the needs of these workers are not “siloed” but instead are seen as a constellation of challenges with inter-connected solutions;

(3)   Hold subsequent, in-depth forums on specific topics in various districts throughout the state; and

(4)   Develop possible Legislative and Executive Branch initiatives for the 2020 Session.

To learn more about the project, visit: http://www.housedems.ct.gov/YEP

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See America’s Favorite Comedy Whodunnit, ‘Shear Madness,’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through Oct. 6

Patrick Noonan (left) and Jordan Ahnquist play the lead male characters in ‘Shear Madness’ opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse, Sept. 18. Photo courtesy of Shear Madness.

IVORYTON – Shear Madness, one of the most popular comedy productions in the world, is opening in Ivoryton on Sept. 18. This iconic production was first produced in Boston in 1980 and has been delighting audiences ever since with its unique blend of madcap improvisation and spine-tickling mystery.

This unique comedy-whodunit takes place today in the Shear Madness hairstyling salon and is chock full of up-to-the-minute spontaneous humor. During the course of the action, a murder is committed and the audience gets to spot the clues, question the suspects, and solve the funniest mystery in the annals of crime. The outcome is never the same, which is why many audience members return again and again to the scene of the mayhem.

Voted “Best Comedy of the Year” seven times by the Boston Globe and recipient of the title “Best Play of the Year” by both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Philadelphia Enquirer, Shear Madness has also received the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America and has been inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame, the first play ever to receive that accolade.

Shear Madness is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running play in the history of the USA. The flagship Boston company has given birth to 50 productions in the U.S. and Shear Madness has been translated into 23 foreign languages, playing worldwide in a host of cities including Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Paris, Rejkavik, Rome, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, Johannesburg and Seoul. Over 12.5 million people worldwide have joined in the fun.

The production features veteran performers Jordan Ahnquist*, Patrick Noonan*, and Lisa McMillan* who have performed these roles many times – most recently in the off-Broadway production. They will be joined by Ivoryton Playhouse alum Bill Mootus* and Siobhan Fitzgerald* and Lev Harvey will be making his Playhouse debut.

The production is directed by Robert Lohrmann with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Liz Saylor.

Shear Madness opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Sept. 18  and runs through Oct. 6. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org 

 (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. Discounted tickets after 6pm on Thursday evenings – get half price adult ticket (subject to availability). Six-Tix are only available at the Playhouse Box Office window and do not apply to special events.  Limit 4 Six Tix per person.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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‘Come Home to Chester’ Tonight for ‘First Friday’

Chester’s Main Street will be bustling during ‘First Friday’ on Oct. 4.

CHESTER – The theme of the First Friday in October is “Come Home to Chester,” and longtime artists-in-residents are introducing new collections of their works at Chester Gallery and Dina Varano Gallery, in addition to other First Friday activities going on around town on Friday, Oct. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m.

At Chester Gallery, “The Uncommon Goods” – Peter, Jan, Justin and Jesse – present a two-generational exhibition of collages, constructions, prints and videos. Formerly at the head of Main Street, Jan Cummings Good and Peter Good and their family made Chester home until they sold their iconic building to The E-List Shop and The E-List.com headquarters. This family exhibition opens at Chester Gallery on Oct. 4 and will be on view through Nov. 24.

At Dina Varano Gallery, the eponymous jewelry-designer and -maker and her longtime shopkeep Kate Hair will unveil a collaborative collection that reflects their shared inspiration by the forms and colors in nature and the beauty found within each New England season. Varano has created a new line of nature impressions jewelry, and Hair has botanically printed on a variety of fabrics to introduce a new line of scarves to the gallery.

The French Hen will once again partner with Camp Hazen to accept donations for the camp’s scholarship fund along with serving Camp Hazen’s famous chocolate-chip cookies and mulled apple cider.

Artist Aya will show her one-of-a-kind framed artwork using beautiful sea glass and pottery fragments that have washed up on beaches around the world at Lark.

Shops at the Mill House will have a showing of Thomas G. Mayer, a Connecticut painter and teacher whose works in acrylics, oils, pastels and collages have won numerous awards throughout New England.

At the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Gallery, the band Arrowhead is in residence from 5 to 8 p.m. on the porch, weather permitting, along with a collection of Leif’s artwork.

Elsewhere around Chester, shops will be open until 8 p.m. offering complimentary snacks or beverages and introducing new products or promotions. In addition to on-street parking in Chester, there is free parking available in the town’s public lots on Main Street by the cemetery, on Water Street and on Maple Street.

More information about First Friday is available on Facebook.com/VisitChesterCT or by calling (860) 322-4047.

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Town of Essex Hosts Community Day, Sunday; All Welcome

The photo shows Essex Fire Headquarters, where the second Annual Community Day will be held. Photo submitted.

ESSEX — The Town of Essex hosts its  2nd Annual Community Day in Essex on Sunday, Sept. 29, from 12 to 3 p.m. at the Essex Fire Headquarters, 11 Saybrook Road, Essex.

Community Day is an important day to come together and celebrate our First Responders and to promote volunteerism and positive activities.

Stop by for a free hotdog and chips, observe some fascinating smoke and fire demonstrations, get a face-painting, and buy a raffle ticket for a change to win a ride on an Essex Fire Engine with Santa in December. You can also look inside a rescue helicopter, a fire engine and ambulance while learning about life saving techniques used by our Fire and Ambulance crews.

“Our volunteer first responders are essential to the fabric of our community. We thank each and every one of them for their hard work and dedication, but they need our help. The current group of volunteers is thinning, and we are asking for your participation. We need your help. Please come, have fun and volunteer!” said Norman Needleman, Essex First Selectman.

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Eversource Manager Cataudella Raises “At-Risk” Monarch Caterpillars, Butterflies in Spare Time

Donna Cataudella at home with the monarch butterflies, which she is raising.

DEEP RIVER — Luann Cataudella spends her days as the Emergency Preparedness Training Manager at Eversource but in her free time, she’s raising monarch butterflies at her Deep River home.

It’s a hobby and passion she stumbled upon when she was clearing milkweed from her yard and discovered caterpillars on the leaves.

“I found little caterpillars on the milkweed and was fascinated.  When I went back to check on them a few days later, I watched six caterpillars get eaten by assassin bugs and it was terrible,” Luann explained. “I knew I had to do something to help, so I started doing some research.”

Luann learned that monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed, which is scarce these days because of urban development and residents removing the weed from their garden. That and their many predators is why the monarchs are disappearing – their survival rate is only five percent.

So, Luann got some butterfly enclosures to keep the caterpillars and eggs safe from their predators.

“I started with less than 10 caterpillars. Now I have more than 300 eggs and caterpillars in various stages of development and I’ve released 110 butterflies.”

Luann keeps the eggs and caterpillars in the enclosures until they become butterflies and are able to fly, so they can escape the predator insects.

It’s cool that I’m helping them survive, I just love caring for them.  It’s peaceful and relaxing and I really enjoy it.”

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service is currently assessing the monarch’s status to determine if the species’ declining population is severe enough to put the monarch on the Endangered Species list.  That decision is expected in December 2020.

In the meantime, Luann is anticipating the monarch caterpillars and butterflies returning next summer and she’ll be there, ready to help with their survival, once again.

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Centerbrook Business Launches New Product Line Bursting with Bubbles; Includes Jewelry Cleaner, Shower Aromatherapy, Calcium Supplement

The full range of FizzBenefitz products shown in this photo includes a jewelry cleaner and shower aromatherapy.

ESSEX — Centerbrook-based manufacturer Tower Laboratories Ltd., has launched a diverse line of effervescent health and personal care products. The line, called FizzBenefitz, includes

  • Shine Better Jewelry Cleaner
  • Shower Better Aromatherapy
  • Well Better Vitamin C and Calcium Supplements
  • Hydrate Better Kids Hydration

Tower Laboratories has been in the business of effervescent product manufacturing for almost 40 years. The company produces denture cleaners, antacids and other over-the-counter tablets under various store brands. With FizzBenefitz, Tower Laboratories is hoping to develop its own brand recognition.

“We are excited to launch our own unique line of effervescent products and we think consumers will find a lot to like about FizzBenefitz,” said Matt Needleman of Tower Laboratories. “Effervescence gives people a multi-sensory experience that you don’t find in other types of products. For our health supplements, it has the added benefit of eliminating the stress of taking pills. Our products are always made with convenience for the consumer in mind.”

The full FizzBenefitz line is available for purchase online at fizzbenefitz.shop

Editor’s Note: Tower Laboratories, Ltd. is a privately held company founded in 1979 and the country’s leading supplier of store brand effervescent products. Tower Laboratories, Ltd. also produces a number of effervescent products for contract customers consisting of prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs, dietary supplements, medical devices, personal care products and specialty applications. The company is headquartered in Centerbrook, CT, with manufacturing facilities in Clinton, CT and Montague, MI.

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Jake Kulak & the LowDown, Winners of $10,000 “Foxwoods Battle of the Bands,” to Perform at 5th Annual ‘Cruise Blues & Brews’ Festival, Sept. 21

Jake Kulak (center) and the Lowdown (Jason LaPierre at left and Jeremy Peck at right) will be performing at the ‘Cruise Blues & Brews’ Festival at Chester Fairgrounds, Sept. 21. The band recently won the $10,000 grand prize in Foxwood’s ‘Battle of the Bands.’

CHESTER — The blues-rock power trio, Jake Kulak and the LowDown just won the “Battle of the Bands” $10,000 grand prize, sponsored by the Foxwood Resort Casino. The band has been wowing audiences all over the state. They have also won the CT Blues Society Band Challenge, they were voted Best Blues Band in the CTNOW’s Best of Hartford Reader’s Poll and they were nominated as Best New Act of the Year at the New England Music Awards.

Jake Kulak and the LowDown will be one of the seven top CT Blues Bands performing at the 5th Annual Cruise Blues & Brews Festival, Sept. 21, at the Chester Fairgrounds. Other bands that will be appearing include: Ninety Nine Degrees, Clayton Allen Blues Band, Ramblin’ Dan and the Other Cats, Cobalt Rhythm Kings, Blues on the Rocks, and Vitamin B-3.

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens is another of the featured blues musicians at the ‘Cruise, Blues & Brews ‘Festival on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Chester Fairgrounds.

The Cruise Blues & Brews Festival will also feature hundreds of antique and unique cars on display, a food court with a variety of food trucks, locally brewed craft beer on tap, a marketplace of vendors, a kid’s play area full of activities, trophies, games and prizes.

All proceeds from Cruise Blues & Brews Festival support the At-Risk Boys Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. Established in 2013, The At-Risk Boys fund has awarded over $80,000 in grants to organizations throughout Middlesex County. These grants have helped hundreds of boys and young men achieve success and a better life.

The 5th Annual Cruise Blues & Brews Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (rain or shine), at the Chester Fair Grounds.  Admission is a $10 suggested donation, and kids are free. Tickets can be purchased at the gate during the Festival.

To learn more about this fun-filled festival, visit www.cruisebluesandbrews.com

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Back to School and Back to Chester for “First Friday,” Tonight

Chester’s Main Street will be bustling this evening during ‘First Friday.’

CHESTER – The kids may be back to school, but it’s still summer in Chester during the “First Friday” festivities this evening, Sept. 6. The downtown galleries and shops are open until 8 p.m., with special exhibits, new product introductions and refreshments served beginning at 5 p.m.

Chester Gallery continues its “In Our Nature,” an exhibition that brings together artists. who excel in their craft of painting, printmaking and sculpture. Each expresses the wealth of nature, both inherent and physical, in their work. Featured are the trompe l’oeil paintings of Michael Theise, master of detail and optical deception, and Chester artist Richard Ziemann, who achieves his own strain of detail in his depictions of the natural world, rather than the material, in his exquisite etchings and engravings. This show is on view through Sept. 29.

Local Chester artist Leif Nilsson is showing a collection of his oldest and newest paintings accompanied by the sounds of the band Arrowhead.

Dina Varano Gallery will feature a new collection of handwoven wool bags made by artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico.

At Lark, candlemaker Donna Wollum will be showing and selling her Pure Bliss candles. Made with all-natural soybean wax, premium fragrance oils and cotton wicks, Wollum uses fresh and dried flowers, fruits and herbs to make each candle unique.

In addition to on-street parking in Chester, there is free parking available in the town’s public lots on Main Street by the cemetery, on Water Street and on Maple Street.

More information about First Friday is available on Facebook.com/VisitChesterCT or by calling (860) 322-4047.

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Essex Land Trust Earns National Recognition for Strong Commitment to Public Trust, Conservation Excellence

Essex Land Trust owns 650 acres of open space within the borders of the town including this 49-acre jewel of fields and forest in Ivoryton at Johnson Farm.

ESSEX – One thing that unites the country as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1968 the Essex Land Trust has been doing just that for the people of Essex.

Now the Essex Land Trust has announced it has achieved national recognition – joining a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.

“Accreditation gives the Essex Land Trust the opportunity to commit itself to the highest standards of conservation excellence while it pursues its mission of protecting the environment and the small-town character of the Town’s three villages, Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton,” said Nancy Rambeau, the land trust’s President. “The rigorous accreditation process ensures that the land trust’s effort to preserve our community’s open space and natural resources will benefit both current and future generations.”

The Essex Land Trust provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that Essex Land Trust’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land – the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

Essex’s privileged location in the lower Connecticut River Valley gives it a responsibility in providing long-term stewardship for its portion of what The Nature Conservancy has identified as “One of the Last Great Places in the Western Hemisphere.” Owning a total of 650 acres, the land trust has pursued a strategy of acquiring open space that expands habitat corridors, thereby enhancing the potential for plant and wildlife diversity.

“It is exciting to recognize the Essex Land Trust with this national mark of distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

Essex Land Trust is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

The Essex Land Trust is an independent nonprofit organization supported by generous donations and managed by a dedicated group of volunteers. Its Vision is to preserve our community’s open space and natural resources for the benefit of future generations.

To this end, its Mission is to acquire open space by gift or purchase and to protect the environment and the small-town character of the three villages, Essex, Centerbrook and Ivoryton, which comprise the town of Essex and to provide the community with passive recreational and educational opportunities. To fulfill these objectives the Land Trust conserves wildlife habitats, forests, fields, rivers, wetlands and scenic views by maintaining properties in a natural state.

For more information, visit www.essexlandtrust.org.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts.

For more information, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000-member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide.

The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices. The Alliance’s leadership serves the entire land trust community—our work in the nation’s capital represents the policy priorities of land conservationists from every state; our education programs improve and empower land trusts from Maine to Alaska; and our comprehensive vision for the future of land conservation includes new partners, new programs and new priorities.

For more information, visit www.landtrustalliance.org.

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East Haddam Celebrates Venture Smith’s Life With a Day of Festivities, Sept. 7

Keynote speaker will be Maisa L. Tisdale, President and CEO of The Mary & Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community located in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She will present “Audacity! Bridgeport CT’s Little Liberia – A Free Black Settlement in This Slave State.”

EAST HADDAM, CT – The 23rd annual Venture Smith Day Festivities will be held on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the First Church Cemetery, 499 Town Street (RT. 151), East Haddam, Conn., where Venture Smith (1729-1805) is buried.

Son of an African king, Venture Smith became the first black man to document his capture from Africa and life as an American slave and successful black freeman in Connecticut. Well known and respected, Venture Smith spent the majority of his freedom years in East Haddam and Haddam Neck, Connecticut.  His grave is one of the original sites on the Connecticut Freedom Trail.

The keynote speaker will be Maisa L. Tisdale, President and CEO of The Mary & Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community located in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She will talk about “Audacity! Bridgeport CT’s Little Liberia – A Free Black Settlement in This Slave State.”

Other speakers will include Beth Moore, Museum Curator, Stonington Historical Society; State of Connecticut Representative Bobby Gibson; Weymouth Eustis, Connecticut Historical Wood Sculptor; and Dr. Karl P. Stofko, E. Haddam Town Historian/Venture Smith researcher.

Beth Moore, Museum Curator at the Stonington Historical Society located in Stonington, Connecticut, will talk about a recent grant awarded to the Stonington Historical Society to create a permanent “Life of Venture Smith Exhibit” at the Old Lighthouse Museum. Venture Smith, a slave of Oliver Smith of Stonington, was allowed to purchase his freedom in 1765. Venture took the name Smith as his last name and lived a freeman in Stonington until 1774 before moving to East Haddam.

Beth Moore, Museum Curator at the Stonington Historical Society will talk about “Venture’s Place in Stonington, Connecticut.”

The exhibit will also explore the history of slavery in New England while focusing on slavery in Southeastern Connecticut.Moore will also give an update about the status of a grant application to add the 26 – acreVenture Smith Home Site on Barn Island (Stonington, Connecticut) to the Connecticut Freedom Trail.

(photo caption) State of Connecticut Representative Bobby Gibson will present “From Kingdom to Kingdom, How Venture Smith’s Life Proves Why African American History Must Be Taught in Our Schools.”

In March 2019, State of Connecticut Representative Bobby Gibson submitted written testimony in support of HB 7082an Act Concerning the Inclusion of African American Studies in the Public School Curriculum to the Chairman Senator McCrory, Chairman Representative Sanchez, and esteemed members of the Education Committee.Representative Gibson will present “From Kingdom to Kingdom, How Venture Smith’s Life Proves Why African American History Must Be Taught in Our Schools.”

Connecticut Sculptor Weymouth Eustis of Chester, Connecticut will unveil his historically correct life-like carving of Venture Smith.

Weymouth Eustis, a Connecticut Wood Sculptor, who enjoys carving famous life-like figures from history, will unveil his historically correct life-like wooden statue of Venture Smith. Venture, who was often referred to as the “The Black Paul Bunyan” when he was alive, stood over six and one-half feet tall, weighed over 300 pounds, and was often seen carrying a 9-pound axe for cutting down trees.

Dr. Karl P. Stofko, East Haddam’s Municipal Historian and Venture Smith family genealogist since the 1970s, will talk about “New Information about Tamar Loomis, Solomon Smith’s (son of Venture) first wife.

Venture Smith’s family genealogy and artifacts and crafts from Ghana and other regions of Africa will be on display. A town proclamation will be presented and wreath-laying ceremony by the descendants of Venture Smith and the annual Venture family reunion photograph will take place in the cemetery by Venture’s grave.

In addition, the ladies of “Sisters In Stitches Joined by the Cloth” of eastern Massachusetts will return this year with their magnificent African American quilts and copies of Elizabeth J. Normen’s new book “Venture Smith’s Colonial Connecticut” will be on sale.

The ladies of “Sisters In Stitches” joined by the Cloth” of eastern Massachusetts will return this year with their magnificent African American quilts on display.

Adults and children, who are interested in learning more about Connecticut history in the 1700 and 1800s, are encouraged to attend. Please bring lawn chairs or a blanket. In case of inclement weather the celebration will move into the First Church sanctuary. There will be plenty of time to renew old friendships, talk with the speakers and Venture’s descendants, as well as enjoy light refreshments in the Parish Hall next to the cemetery.

Dr. Karl P. Stofko, E. Haddam Town Historian/Venture Smith researcher will be a speaker at the event.

For questions, call (860) 873-9375.

To review the original Venture Smith autobiography, visit  www.docsouth.unc.edu/neh/venture2/menu.html

Brief Biography of Venture Smith

Born around 1729, Venture Smith’s African birth name was Broteer; and he was the eldest son of King Saungm Furro of the tribe of Dukandarra in Guinea, West Africa. He was captured about 1736 when he was seven years old and was sold for “4 gallons of rum and some calico” at Anamabo on Africa’s Gold Coast to Robinson Mumford, the steward of a Rhode Island slave ship. Broteer was renamed Venture because he was purchased by Mumford’s own private venture. Venture grew up as a slave on Fishers Island, New York, which was being leased by the Mumford family at that time.

Around 1750 he married Meg, another Mumford slave, and they had four children. After a failed escape attempt in 1754, Venture was sold to Thomas Stanton of Stonington Point, Connecticut. In 1760, he was purchased for the last time by Oliver Smith, of Stonington. Smith allowed Venture to purchase his freedom in 1765 and in return Venture took the name Smith as his surname.

Venture then lived and worked on Long Island to raise money to purchase the freedom of his wife and children. During these years he cut wood, farmed, fished, and spent seven months on a whaling voyage. In 1774, Venture sold all his land on Long Island and in Stonington and moved his family to East Haddam. He then began purchasing land on Haddam Neck along the Salmon River Cove from Abel Bingham and others. His farm grew 134 acres with three houses; twenty boats, canoes and sailing vessels; two fishing businesses and a commercial orchard. His entrepreneurial ventures included river trafficking, lumberjacking, carpentry  and farming. All this he accomplished without the ability to either read or write.

In 1798, Venture dictated his autobiography to teacher Elisha Niles; it was then published in pamphlet form by Charles Holt, editor of the New London Bee. It has been reprinted many times. It is the only slave narrative of the 18th century that recounts life in Africa. His life story has been an inspiration to many over the years. Venture died on September 19, 1805, a highly respected man by all in the Haddams. His wife, two sons, Cuff and Solomon, and several grandchildren survived him. Several of his descendants still live in

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Tickets on Sale for Gillette Castle State Park’s 100th Anniversary ‘Speakeasy Gala,’ Sept. 7

Visit with William Gillette as portrayed by Harold Niver at the ‘Speakeasy Gala,’ Sept. 7.

HADLYME — The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park are hosting a 100th Anniversary Roaring 20’s-themed ‘Speakeasy Gala’ at Gillette Castle, Saturday Sept. 7, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the completion of Gillette Castle’s construction.

Gillette Castle, where the Speakeasy Gala will be held Sept. 7.

The event will be held at the castle and its grounds located at 67 River Rd., East Haddam and run from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Guests can stop by a “Speakeasy” for a wine tasting, courtesy of Staehly Farm & Winery. Afterwards, they can head up to the castle, which will be open for self-guided tours. Castle staff will be available to answer questions and give demonstrations.

While up at the castle, guests will be able to enjoy the musical stylings of flutist, Erin Vivero.

Back at the gala tent, they will toast the castle in celebration of its 100th year and enjoy high-end appetizers and hors d’oeuvres along with special Roaring 20’s themed cocktails.

Guests can then dance the night away to the music of the Screamin’ Eagles Jazz Band. During the evening, a silent auction will take place with many great items.

Participants will also have the opportunity to meet William and Helen Gillette portrayed by Harold and Theodora Niver. Photography services for the event will be provided by Cherish the Moment Photography.

The details of the program are subject to change in the event of inclement weather. Wear your best Roaring 20’s costume, but plan to walk uneven ground between the parking lot and castle.

Tickets are $100 each and can be purchased at https://www.gillettecastlefriends.org/event-registration-speakeasy-gala. Space is limited.

This milestone event is made possible with help from sponsors: Cherish the Moment Photography, Dutch Oil Co. Inc., Eastern Rental, Erin Vivero-Flute, Hadlyme Country Market, Northeast Printing Network LLC, Quicksilver Communication, Screamin’ Eagles Jazz Band, and Staehly Farm and Winery.

Sponsorships are still available. Contact the Friends for details.

All proceeds from this event benefit The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park.

The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization founded in 1998 that is dedicated to preserving the castle’s heritage. Membership information for the Friends of Gillette State Park will be available at the event.

For more information on the Friends of Gillette Castle, visit their website. Call Paul or Wendy at 860-222-7850 or email info@gillettecastlefriends.org with questions.

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Ivoryton Lighting Manufacturer L.C. Doane Powers Facility with Sunlight

Longtime U.S. Military supplier in Ivoryton sees environmental, financial benefits of going solar

IVORYTON — The Connecticut Green Bank and the L.C. Doane Company have announced the closing of a financing agreement that will help the company expand existing solar systems on their roof. Verogy, a Hartford-based solar developer, will complete the installation.

For over 70 years the L.C. Doane company, located at 110 Pond Meadow Road in Ivoryton, Conn., has served the United States Navy and Coast Guard supplying commissioned fleets with tough, reliable MIL-Spec Shipboard lighting. Since October 2008, L.C. Doane has used solar photovoltaics on their roof to supply electricity to their 150,000 square foot factory.

Now, thanks in part to the recent closing of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing through the Connecticut Green Bank, L.C. Doane is expanding their solar system to generate more energy to power their machinery. When completed, the new solar systems will add more than 200 kW of capacity.

“As a government subcontractor in the defense industry, it is essential to keep our own lights on,” said Bill Psillos, Vice President. “While manufacturing occurs under our roof, the power source is created from above. Our solar panels provide us with clean energy right on-site. Another level of U.S.-made, environmentally conscience manufacturing. As we continue to expand so does our roof!”

In addition to adding to the existing solar array and installing a larger one, L.C. Doane is also replacing roofing beneath the original panels. The total project costs are $1.46 million with the C-PACE financing covering over $1.06 million. Through C-PACE financing, the project is paid off over 10 years through a voluntary benefit assessment lien to be repaid along with their property taxes.

L.C. Doane worked with Verogy and the Connecticut Green Bank to arrange the multi-faceted project. “C-PACE allows companies the flexibility they need to solve their unique energy needs,” said William Herchel, CEO of Verogy. “We’re glad we were able to help L.C. Doane navigate the options, and find the best possible outcome.”

Project costs are being offset by a $40,000 Energy on the Line Grant, a program funded through the Department of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) Manufacturing Innovation Fund to help manufacturers lower their energy costs.

“It’s great to see a long-time Connecticut manufacturer like the L.C. Doane Company expanding their commitment to generating clean energy,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Institutional Programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “C-PACE financing is designed to make projects like this feasible, so companies can benefit from their upgrades immediately and continue to focus on their core business.”

In addition to their subcontracting work with the U.S. military, L.C. Doane’s trusted quality is designed to meet commercial lighting applications including healthcare, industrial, correctional, and institutional industries. All L.C. Doane products are designed and manufactured in the U.S.

“L.C. Doane is setting a great example for other businesses in the region, demonstrating how a commitment to sustainability can also allow building owners to reduce energy costs and remain competitive” said Jeff Pugliese, Vice President, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber has been an advocate for making energy efficiency and renewable energy programs more accessible to businesses in the region, and we are excited to see member businesses taking advantage of solar energy and the Green Bank’s C-PACE program.”

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change.

For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, visit www.ctgreenbank.com. For information on C-PACE, please visit www.cpace.com.

Lighting by the L.C. Doane Company has withstood the worst environments and toughest abuse onboard U.S. naval vessels since 1947. Utilizing our experience with shipboard lighting we have been building tough, reliable lights for other demanding environments including industrial, correctional, institutional, and commercial marine – setting new records in durability and performance.

For more information about the L.C. Doane company, visit www.lcdoane.com or contact Joe Thomas (joet@lcdoane.com).

Verogy originates and develops renewable energy projects across the United States to provide savings and long-term value for its clients. Verogy manages all aspects of each project to ensure optimal production and financial performance.

For more information on Verogy, visit www.verogy.com.

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Kidz Konnection Presents its ‘Outdoor Summer Theater on the Lawn’ Season Finale in Clinton This Weekend

AREAWIDE — Join a cast of 43 aspiring advanced musical theater actors as they get groovy with the beloved tracks of ABBA in this fun full length musical production on the lawn at Kidz Konnection Shoreline Theater Academy, Clinton.

Don’t miss this entirely free event to be held Friday, Aug. 23, at 6 p.m., Aug. 24, at noon and 6 p.m. and Aug. 25, at 4 p.m.  Bring your picnics, lawn chairs/blankets and get ready for some summer close-out fun!

For more information, contact kidzkonnectionct@gmail.com/860-227-2363 or go to kidzkonnectionct.org.

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Kinship & Respite Fund Grants Available to Help Guardians With School Expenses

Saybrook Probate Judge Jeannine Lewis

AREAWIDE — With adults already thinking back-to-school, District of Saybrook Probate Judge Jeannine Lewis reminds court-appointed guardians to apply for grants for school supplies. The State of Connecticut Saybrook District Court includes the Towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Old Saybrook along with Clinton, Haddam, Killingworth, Lyme, and Westbrook.  

Probate Courts have been awarding grants from the state Kinship Fund and Respite Fund to court-appointed guardians for more than a decade.  As of last October, eligibility for the grants was expanded beyond relatives serving as guardians to all those appointed by the Probate Courts who meet low-income guidelines.

A guardianship case typically arises in the Saybrook District Probate Court when parents are unable to care for their children due to mental illness, substance abuse or incarceration. In most cases, Probate Courts appoint a grandparent or other relative to care for the children. In some cases, courts appoint a close family friend, who has a long-standing relationship with the child. While foster parents receive funds from the state, court-appointed guardians do not; guardians who meet eligibility requirements can receive some assistance through the Kinship and Respite Fund grants.

“Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and neighbors, who keep children in their familiar environments instead of going to foster care, offer an enhanced quality of life to the children in their care and simultaneously save the state tens of millions of dollars. In many cases, the guardians don’t really have extra money to spend on a child’s basic needs,” said Judge Lewis. “Kinship and Respite Grants are there to help bridge the gap and make a huge difference to the households who apply for, and receive them.” 

The Kinship Fund assists guardians in paying for necessities such as school supplies, clothing, eyeglasses, school trips and sports fees. Often such expenses are paid directly to the providers. Kinship grants are capped at $500 per child or $2000 per family per year.

The Respite Fund helps guardians with the cost of child care, housing, transportation and food. These grants are capped at $2000 per year.

Guardians who meet income requirements can apply to both funds. Previous recipients must reapply to receive funds each year. Applications are posted at ctprobate.gov under the Children’s Matters tab.

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Essex Republican Town Committee Announces Candidates for Town Office; Fleming, Glowac to Run For BOS

The Essex Republican Town Committee has endorsed Matt Fleming (right) and Bruce Glowac to run for the board of selectmen on the November ballot.

ESSEX — The Essex Republican Town Committee has fielded a slate of candidates who bring a variety of experience to the offices they seek. Their candidates pledge to listen to the residents of all three villages and provide services to them equally.

Matt Fleming will bring his life experience to the office of First Selectman. He attended Roger Williams College and left to serve his country in the Navy. He worked in the Mechanical Engineering field, then started Fleming Construction, LLC. Presently he works in design engineering for Electric Boat. He served his community as a volunteer fireman. Presently he lives in Ivoryton with his wife, Yvette and their bulldog, Charlotte.

Bruce Glowac, our candidate for Selectman has more than 30 years of dedicated service to our town. He served as Essex First Selectman from 1991- 1995. During his term, Essex was named “Best Small Town in America”. Bruce Glowac served on the Firehouse Building Committee, School Building Committee, and Regional Board of Education and many more. He was Facilities Director for Region #4 Schools. He has been a dedicated Selectman in 1989-1991 and present. P

Bruce is a lifelong area resident. He and his wife, Taffy raised four boys in Essex.

Carolyn Field is our candidate for Board of Finance. She and her family have lived in Essex a total of 21 years, and her daughter Elly Field is a graduate of Valley Regional High School. She is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University. She worked for 14 years at the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency. She brings a wealth of information on budgeting and municipal issues. She has eight years of management experience.

Phil Beckman is a 24-year veteran of the US Navy and a graduate of the US Naval Academy. He holds a BS in Math, MS in Operations Research and Masters in Engineering Management. He is a Principal Engineer at EB. He and his wife Susie have lived in Ivoryton for 22 years and have two children.                                                

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Kenny Peterson is Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13’s Newest Eagle Scout

Chester/Deep River Boy Scout Troop 13 newest Eagle Scout Kenneth Peterson. Photo by Michael Rutty

CHESTER/DEEP RIVER — Troop 13 – Scouts BSA congratulates Kenneth Andrew Peterson for earning the rank of Eagle Scout.  An Eagle Scout Court of Honor was held for Kenny on June 9, 2019 at the Deep Valley Regional High School Cafeteria.

To become an Eagle Scout, Peterson earned 43 merit badges and advanced through the seven scout ranks by learning Scout and Life skills while simultaneously providing leadership to his Troop and service to his community.  One of the final requirements for the Eagle Rank is to show leadership in and complete a service project that benefits the scouts’s community, school, or religious institution.  

While a Boy Scout in Troop 13, Peterson attended the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree, National Youth Leadership Training, and is a Brotherhood member in the Order of the Arrow.

Peterson showed leadership over others by developing and implementing a plan to clear away over grown brush, assemble three metal benches, and then install them in a concrete base near the Valley Regional High School Tennis Courts.  The benches provide an aesthetically pleasing seating option alongside the tennis courts.  The completed project enhances the community and benefits guests who utilize the tennis courts at the high school.

Troop 13 Boy Scouts serves the boys ages 11-18 of Chester and Deep River. The purpose of the Boy Scouts of America is to help young men develop their character and life skills all while having fun. There is much emphasis placed on assisting these young men to develop into strong healthy citizens, who will lead our communities and country in the years ahead.

The Boy Scout methods help to promote these ideals through the challenge of putting them into practice with the Troop Program. This is done in a way that is both challenging and fun. 

To learn more about joining Troop 13, contact Scoutmaster, Steven Merola at 860-526-9262

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Last Day to Enjoy Hamburg Fair Today with Traditional Favorites, Top Local Musicians, Food & Fun

All the fun of the Hamburg Fair starts Friday, Aug. 16.

LYME, CT — Milestone Midway Carnival rides, kids games, food concessions, oxen-pull, arts and crafts, and top local musicians are among the favorite attractions for visitors attending the annual Hamburg Fair, now celebrating its 118th year.  Hosted by The Lyme Grange, the fair takes place rain or shine Friday, Aug. 16, from 5 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 17, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 18, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1 Sterling City Road, Lyme, Conn. (located at the intersection of Rte. 156 and across from Reynolds’ Subaru).

General admission to the fair is $7 per person, children up to age 12 are free.   Senior Citizens and Active Service men and women receive a reduced rate of $5 per person (ID required).  Tickets are available for purchase at the entrance and $5 parking is offered on and nearby the site.

The three-day family friendly fair showcases many agricultural fair traditions including entries and exhibits for flowers, photography, crafts, quilts, fruits, vegetables and more.  The intimate size of the fair makes for easy navigation, parking and crowd control.

Llamas are to love … at the Hamburg Fair!

Young fairgoers will enjoy children’s games offered on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., which will include a watermelon eating contest, face-painting, a three-legged race and prize-winning contests.  Visitors are invited to watch the traditional horse pull on Saturday at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and a new three-horse pull at 8 p.m.  The oxen pulls will take place throughout the day on Sunday, beginning at 9 a.m.

Free on-stage music talent and entertainment has become part of the Hamburg Fair tradition.  From country to rock, fiddlers to funk, there is something for everyone who enjoys live music.

The fair kicks off Friday evening music with performances in the amphitheater from country music favorites Charlie Marie and Nashville Drive.

See many local young artists hosted by Music Now and Nightingale’s Showcase on Saturday afternoon followed by A Completely Different Note – an a capella singing group from UConn featuring Braiden Sunshine, who will warm the stage up for Chris MacKay and the Toneshifters Saturday evening.

Sunday afternoon opens with something new – The Pickin’ Party, an all-inclusive musical experience where participants play and sing together as a group led by Ramblin’ Dan Stevens concluding with the traditional Bristol Old Time Fiddlers.

Rides are always a major attraction at the Fair.

The full musical entertainment line-up is as follows:

Friday 

  • 6:00-8:00pm: Charlie Marie – Country Music Duo
  • 8:30-10:30pm: Nashville Drive – Rockin’ Modern Country Band

The ferris wheel at Hamburg Fair is always a popular attraction.

Saturday

  • 1:00pm -5:45pm: Music Now/Nightingale’s Showcase – Up and coming local talent
    • 1:00-1:20           Michael DeGaetano
    • 1:25-1:45           Emily May
    • 1:50-2:20          Jess Kegley
    • 2:25-2:55          Chris Gregor
    • 3:00-3:30         Drew Cathcart
    • 3:40-4:15          Shook
    • 4:20-4:55         Sophia and Addie
    • 5:05-5:45         Whiskey and Aspirin
  • 6:00-7:00pm: A Completely Different Note – Acapella singing group from UConn featuring Braiden Sunshine
  • 7:30- 9:30pm: Chris MacKay and the Toneshifters – upbeat eclectic mix of rockabilly, swing and blues

Sunday

  • 1:00-3:00pm: The Pickin’ Party – an all-inclusive musical experience where participants play and sing together as a group led by Ramblin’ Dan Stevens
  • 3:00-6:00pm: Bristol Old Time Fiddlers

Highlighted Sponsors of the Hamburg Fair include Reynolds’ Subaru, Hamilton Point Investments, GeoMatrix, Maddy Mattson Coldwell Banker Bank, Benedetto Heating & AC LLC, Bogaert Construction, Guilford Savings Bank, Middlesex Health, LymeLine.com, Lyme Public Hall Association, Block Design Build, Sapia Builders, Allyson Cotton William Pitt/Sotheby’s, and New England Power Equipment.

Visit www.hamburgfair.org for fair schedule, exhibit entry, and more information.

The 118th Hamburg Fair is hosted by Lyme Grange #147 and organized by many local volunteers to build community relationships and create lasting family memories.  Money raised from the event proceeds are used to fund the Grange Association, Lyme Fire Association and Lyme Ambulance Association.

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New Book Club Slated to Start at Ivoryton Library, Sept. 17

IVORYTON — The Facts & Fibs Book Club will meet on the third Tuesday of every month beginning at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Ivoryton Library at 106 Main St. in Ivoryton.

The discussions will last an hour and continue monthly through December. Each member will be responsible for obtaining the group books, and a different volunteer facilitator will lead the discussion each month.

For more information, call the library at 860-767-1252, or contact Mary Ann at contezsa@gmail.com.

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Deep River Congregational Church Hosts 59th Annual Rummage Sale, Flea Market Today

The popular Flea Market at Deep River Congregational Church is being held this year, Saturday, Aug. 17.

DEEP RIVER — The 59th Annual Flea Market will be held at the Deep River Congregational Church on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Market will be held on the church lawn and on Marvin Field, located on Rte. 154, just as you enter Deep River from the South.

Spaces are 20 x 20 ft. and are available for $30, and you can reserve yours by contacting Kris, in the church office as soon as possible, as the 80 spaces go quickly.  Call 860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net.  Registration forms and a map of the spaces can also be found on our web site, www.deeprivercc.org.

The 59th Annual Rummage Sale will be held inside at the Deep River Congregational Church on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a Preview sale on Friday, Aug. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Donations for the event are currently being collected.  Note that the following items cannot be accepted:  large furniture, TVs and large appliances, car seats, cribs, books, clothing, shoes, VHS tapes or items that are in disrepair.

Contact the Rummage Sale Co-Chairs:  Margaret Paulsen, margaretpaulsen@comcast.net, 912-655-3621 (cell); Celeste Dionne Denne, celeste.dionne@gmail.com, 203-671-4174 (cell); or the Church Office @ 860-526-5045 or office.drcc@snet.net with questions.

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Death of Milton Allen of Essex Announced; Memorial Service Held in Old Lyme, Aug. 24

Milton Nicholas Allen
4-15-1927 – 5-29-2019
 

Milton Nicholas Allen

Milton Nicholas Allen, born in New York City on April 15, 1927, died in Essex, Connecticut on May 29, 2019. He and his wife, to whom he was married for 35 years, had moved to Essex in 2016. They had previously lived in Old Lyme, Connecticut from 1988.

Milton attended Princeton University at the age of 17 where he was elected President of the Class of ‘48. He took a wartime leave of absence from Princeton the next year when he became old enough to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1949 with Distinction. Upon graduation he was selected to represent the United States Navy and became a Rhodes Scholar Finalist. Milton then served in active duty for the Navy as a Lieutenant and Submarine Commander until 1954 when he retired to pursue a career in business.

His civilian life began as Assistant to the President of Connecticut General Life Insurance Company in Hartford, prior to the same role for The Sherwin-Williams Company in Cleveland. He was also a Partner at Robert Heller & Associates (Management Consultants). In 1969 he started his own computer service, software and consulting business, which he led as CEO and Chairman until its sale in 1990. Manufacturing Decision Support Systems (MDSS Inc.) was the first online management information systems and services company. It served manufacturing, distribution, insurance and transportation companies across the US.

Milton was a Director of Progressive Corporation for over 20 years, as well as a Director of Day- Glo Color Corp., DeSantis Coatings Inc., Premier Electric Company, Lighting International Corp., AGA Burdox Gas Inc., Daro Industries, Actron Corp., Mueller Electric Company, and the Women’s Federal Savings Bank.

Contributing to the communities in which he lived was very important to him. In addition to his quiet philanthropy and mentoring of leaders, in Cleveland he was a Director of Laurel School, The Cleveland Playhouse, The Cleveland Institute of Music, the Center for Venture Development and Case Western Reserve University School of Management. He was also Chairman of the Goodrich-Gannett Neighborhood Center, Chairman of the Cleveland Council for Independent Schools and Chairman of the Switzer Foundation.

After moving back east, Milton was a Director and then Chairman of The Ivoryton Playhouse in Connecticut, The Putney School and Yellow Barn music school in Vermont, and Chairman of Hubbard Brook Environmental Research. He also served as a Director of the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library in Old Lyme.

In addition to his business, and various commercial and not for profit roles, for which he was known for his integrity, insight and calm leadership, Milton was committed to his family, his friends and his lifetime love of music and the water.

Milton is predeceased by his wife, Liesa Bing Allen, his older brother, Homer Nicholas Allen and his twin brother, Winston Nicholas Allen. He is survived by his younger brother Gordon Nicholas Allen of Madison, Florida, his three children from a previous marriage, Peter Milton Allen of Palo Alto, California, Thomas Hughes Allen of New York City and Jane Scarlett Allen of Sydney, Australia, as well as five grandchildren, Alexandra Elizabeth Scarlett Allen, Jonathan Thomas Allen, Olivia Sophie Allen, George Dexter Allen and Eloise Scarlett Allen-Bowton.

A Memorial Service to honor his life will be held August 24, 2019 at 2pm at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT. All are welcome.

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Death of Suzanne Brown of Essex Announced; Memorial Service Held in Old Lyme, Aug. 25

Suzanne Brown

ESSEX — Suzanne “Suzie” Brown, our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend, passed away Aug. 5, 2019, from complications after a fall in her home. She joins her beloved husband, Templeton “Temp” Brown of 58 years. We will celebrate them both by living their example of truth, love, and commitment.

Suzie celebrated beauty in life by picnicking in the countryside, arranging flowers from her garden, traveling the world, and savoring languages, cuisine, literature, colors, and the natural world. She cherished her family. We all have cultivated deep artistic roots because she showed us how to appreciate beauty in everything around us, every day of her life.

Suzie lived in Winnetka, Ill. for over three decades, and then returned to her childhood state of Connecticut to begin a new adventure with our dad, Temp, in Lyme. She had a wonderful group of friends, old and new, first from her many years in Illinois, and then more recently centered in Lyme and at the Essex Meadows Senior Retirement Community, in Essex. Suzie loved and appreciated the connections she made in Essex Meadows with her neighbors, staff, care-team, and her dear friend, Len Lonnegren.

Suzie will be remembered forever by her family, daughter Lisa Brown and her husband Mark Lellman; grandson Matt Lellman; and granddaughters, Leah Lellman (husband Josh Hisley) and Heidi Lellman (husband Jake Bonnerup); and great-grandson, Theo Bonnerup; daughter Suzanne Butz and her husband Ted Butz; grandsons Teddy Butz and Robert Butz (wife Jen Butz); and great-granddaughter, Hayden Butz; and daughter Maren Brown and her wife Patricia Morrison.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Lyme Land Trust, which was dear to both mom and dad’s deep appreciation of preserving nature for future generations to enjoy.

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Summer Sing “Rutter’s ‘Magnificat’ in Old Saybrook, Monday; All Welcome

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash.

OLD SAYBROOK — Summer Sing “Rutter’s “Magnificat”on Monday, Aug. 12. Registration is at 7 p.m. and the sing begins at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Road, Old Saybrook.

This session will be conducted by Russ Hammond of The Shoreline Chorale.

All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work. Professional soloists often participate.

The event is co-sponsored by Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio.

A $10 fee covers the costs of the event. Scores will be available, and the church is air-conditioned.

For more information call (860) 767-9409 or (203)530-0002 or visit www.cappellacantorum.org or www.conbrio.org

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‘Cabaret’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Runs Through Sept. 1

Katie mack stars in ‘cabaret’ at the Ivoryton Playhouse as Sally Bowles.

IVORYTON – “There was a cabaret and there was a master of ceremonies and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany. It was the end of the world … and I was dancing with Sally Bowles and we were both fast asleep.” So begins the international classic musical and winner of eight Tony awards –  Cabaretwhich opened last night in Ivoryton to rave reviews. The show runs through Sept. 1.

Join other members of the audience at the Kit Kat Club as the Emcee takes us back to those tumultuous times with unforgettable musical numbers including,  “Wilkommen,” “Cabaret,” and “Maybe This Time.”

This Broadway classic is set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power. Cabaret focuses on the nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub, and revolves around American writer Cliff Bradshaw and his relationship with English cabaret performer, Sally Bowles, as the world spins out of control.

The original 1966 Broadway production became an instant hit, winning eight Tony Awards in 1967 and four in 1998.  The show has inspired numerous subsequent productions in London and New York, as well as the 1972 film of the same name.

Cabaret is an unusual musical that has changed many times over the past 50 years to reflect the changes in the world, but the musical’s implicit warning about the temptations of fascism, nationalism and prejudice — the way they can sneak up on you when you’re having fun — has never seemed dated or irrelevant.

“It’s such an important piece of theatre, in what it says about the world and how quickly things can change,” says Playhouse Artistic Director, Jacqui Hubbard. “I think it is even more relevant today than when it was first performed over 50 years ago. Underneath the humor, the sex and the fabulous music is a constant alarm sounding, telling us to pay attention.”

Sam Given takes the lead male role in ‘Cabaret.’

The production stars Sam Given* as the Master of Ceremonies. Sam has appeared in Ivoryton in Godspell, A Chorus Line, I Hate Musicals: The Musical and in his own one-person show with his alter ego, Millie Grams. He has recently been seen as Ziggy Stardust inRebel Rebel: The Many Lives of David Bowie. 

Katie Mack* as Sally Bowles and Andy Tighe* as Cliff will be making their Ivoryton debuts. The cast also includes Will Clark, Carlyn Connolly*, Corrie Farbstein, Taavon Gamble*, Jade Genga, Aliah James, John Little*, Amanda Luppachino, Amani Pope, Carolyn Popp*, Renee Sutherland, Emerson Valentina, Max Weinstein and Jayke Workman. 

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood and musical directed by Michael Morris with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Katie Bunce.

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.

Additional matinee performances are on Saturday, Aug. 17, and Aug. 31, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org 

(Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Pictures courtesy of Ivoryton Playhouse

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Estuary Offers Chair Massages, Wednesdays

OLD SAYBROOK — The Estuary Council of Seniors 220 Main St Old Saybrook is offering Chair Massage by appointment every Wednesday. Relieve stress, sore muscles, and improve circulation not to mention relax. Call Susan Graham L.T.M. at 860-510-1376 for a private appointment.

Walk-ins are welcome as time permits. Isn’t it time to treat yourself to a relaxing chair massage?           

  • 20 minute chair massage: $20.
  • Organic facial massage for face, neck, shoulders 30 minutes: $30.

For more information and to schedule an appointment, call Susan at 860-510-1376 

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High Hopes Needs You! Organization Has Urgent Need for Volunteers; Next Training Session, Aug. 13

High Hopes depends on volunteers for all its programs and events.

AREAWIDE — High Hopes is an oasis in Old Lyme, where people of all ages come together with a very special herd of therapeutic horses to improve the lives of people with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. The organization currently has an urgent need for more volunteers with a wide range of opportunities available. Everyone is invited to get involved, regardless of gender or age (14 or older).

“Although we hold programs all year round,” says Executive Director, Kitty Stalsburg, “summer is one of our busiest times when we open High Hopes to the wider community through five weeks of all-inclusive horse camp as well as providing our regular programs. We are looking for volunteers of all ages but would particularly encourage middle and high school students, seasonal residents, and active retirees in particular. Just one hour a week, or one week during summer camp can make all the difference to one of our campers.”

One of the many tasks that volunteers undertake at High Hopes is to side-walk horses while program participants ride.

“No experience with horses is needed,” says Lesson Manager, Marie Manero, “we provide general orientation and side-walker training for all of our volunteers, and those that want to do more work with the horses can do additional training in horse-handling and barn activities.”

Manero continues, “

Over the course of a year High Hopes, an internationally recognized therapeutic riding and horsemanship center, relies on the help of over 650 volunteers to supplement its small staff and provide programs for a wide range of individuals and groups as well as support it’s fundraising activities.”

Participants at High Hopes include children and adults with physical disabilities, veterans living with PTSD, children grieving the loss of a parent, families recovering from domestic violence and individuals and their families supporting a loved one with a life-long cognitive disability.

All volunteers must attend a General Orientation prior to volunteering.  The General Orientation begins in the classroom with an overview of High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, who we serve, our horses, and our policies and procedures.  It also includes a tour of the facility.

At the General Orientation, volunteers will choose a role(s) they are interested in and will be scheduled for additional training specific to that role. Roles may include sidewalker, horse leader (experience required), feeder, office volunteer, etc.

Sidewalker training includes more in-depth information about providing service to the High Hopes participants and an opportunity to practice hands-on sidewalking techniques that will prepare new volunteers to begin working with riders.

Two Volunteer General Orientation and Sidewalker Training sessions will be held on the following dates and times:

Tuesday, July 23,  4 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 13, 4 to 7 p.m.

For those with horse experience interested in becoming horse leaders, additional training opportunities will be available to learn and practice our leading techniques.

For more information, to meet a few of our volunteers, and to express your interest in this event, register at https://highhopestr.org/volunteers/prospective-volunteers/

If your organization supports community volunteering and you would like to bring a group of volunteers to High Hopes for the day, the High Hopes team would also like to talk to you.

For further information about volunteering or to discuss any questions, e-mail Rachel Butler, Volunteer Coordinator, at rbutler@highhopestr.org

High Hopes is located at 36 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme CT 06371. For further information, visit their website or call 860-434-1974.

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It’s ‘First Friday’ in Chester Tonight!

Chester’s Main Street will be bustling this evening during ‘First Friday.’

CHESTER – It’s August, and the Chester downtown merchants are fired up to beat the heat and kick off the last month of summer during First Friday festivities on Aug. 2. All shops will be open until 8 p.m. serving samples of delicious libations and snacks.

Blackkat Leather will unveil a new collection from Crystal-Anne Chijinduis, a New York-based photographer specializing in narrative portraiture and still-life photography. Her work reflects her passion for people, culture and visual storytelling, which she explores through fine-art work. She recently earned her master’s degree in Digital Photography from New York City’s School of Visual Arts.

The “Pop & Beyond” exhibition at Chester Gallery has been extended due to popular demand. The gallery features the serigraphs, lithographs, etchings and gouaches of Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Jim Dine, Sam Francis, Adolph Gottlieb, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg and Chester’s own Sol LeWitt.

Elsewhere around town:

Dina Varano will be hosting a ‘Crystal Extravaganza’ tonight during ‘First Friday.’

  • Dina Varano Gallery is showcasing a collection of raw crystal and gemstones. From Amazonite to Labradorite to Zeolite, the gallery is explaining the myths and legends that surround the stones.

The C & G building in Chester is home to The-e-List shop, which will be open tonight to celebrate ‘First Friday’ in Chester.

  • The E-List Shop is having its End of Summer Sale and previewing fall fashions.

The ‘Arrowhead String Band’ will be playing during First Friday at the Silver Spring Gallery tonight.

  • The band Arrowhead will play from 5 to 8 p.m. outside Leif Nilsson’s eponymous gallery on Spring Street, which is also showing the artist’s travel-inspired paintings.

In addition to on-street parking in Chester, there is free parking available in the town’s public lots on Main Street by the cemetery, on Water Street and on Maple Street.

More information about First Friday is available on Facebook.com/VisitChesterCT or by calling (860) 322-4047.

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Common Good Gardeners Need Your Help

Linda Clough (foreground), who is Common Good Gardens President, is Suzanne Thompson’s guest on this week’s edition of CT Outdoors.

OLD SAYBROOK — Do you have some time to spare in August to help the Common Good Gardens (CGG) volunteers harvest vegetables for Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantry (SSKP)? Join them in the garden behind Grace Episcopal Church, 336 Main Street, Old Saybrook, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings, 9 to 10:30 a.m. (or come earlier on hotter days!)

Learn more on CT Outdoors with Suzanne Thompson by playing back her show on your PC or Mac anytime from http://www.wliswmrd.net, click the On Demand icon, look for pop-up screen from radiosecurenetsystems.net, and scroll to CT-Outdoors-73019—Common-Good-Gardens.

Planting Manager Karen Selines harvesting broccoli that will be delivered to soup kitchen pantries in Old Saybrook, Niantic and Old Lyme.

Thompson’s guest this week, Linda Clough, explains how CGG volunteers grow and harvest 8,000 pounds of produce on their half-acre lot, plus collect 10,000 pounds of produce donated by local farmstands, to help SSKP provide nutritious food and fellowship for people in need along the Shoreline.

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‘CT Blues Society All Stars’ to Play Next ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Tomorrow

The CT Blues Society All-Stars will play tomorrow at the next ‘Concert in the Garden.’

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery presents CT Blues Society All Stars at the next Concert in the Garden on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. The concert will be a benefit for The At-Risk Boys Fund.

CT Blues Society (CTBS) All Stars was established when drummer, bandleader, Blues radio host and CT Blues Society director River City Slim began running the monthly CT Blues Society Blues Jam in Berlin CT in 2014, and he needed a house band.  He tapped keyboard whiz Joey Primo and rock solid bassist Phil Caron, and the CTBS All-Stars were born.

Now, five years later, the All-Stars have been the backing group for a who’s-who of Southern New England Blues guitar greats: Willie J. Laws, Chris Vitarello, Danny Draher, Paul Gabriel, Larry Willey, Mark Nomad and more.  As the house band at the jam, the All-Stars are called on to play a wide variety of Blues-based styles without benefit of rehearsal, and have become a ‘loose but tight’ backing unit par excellence.

For the benefit concert on Aug. 3, the All-Stars will be joined by New London County vocalist/guitarist Phil DiIorio.

Established in 2013 The At-Risk Boys Fund has helped boys and young men reach their full potential by funding programs that focus on family stability, mentoring, education, self-respect and self-confidence, positive life experiences, and so much more.
Visit: http://www.AtRiskBoysFund.org

A $20 donation at the door is requested. Feel free to BYOB and picnic and enjoy the outdoor bistro style seating in the amphitheater (inside the gallery if inclement weather).Gates open a half hour before the show. First come, first seated, but no pets allowed.

The studio is at 1 Spring St., in the heart of Chester Center.

For more information, call (860) 526-2077 or visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com.About the At-Risk Boys Fund

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Needleman, Libby Endorsed for Reelection by Essex DTC; Full Slate of Candidates Announced for November Election

Essex DTC has nominated incumbents First Selectman Norman Needleman and Selectwoman Stacia Libby for reelection in November.  (Photo by Jerome Wilson)

ESSEX — The Essex Democratic Town Committee met on Wednesday, July 17, to nominate candidates for the November 2019 municipal election. Norm Needleman was unanimously nominated as the candidate for First Selectman. Needleman is currently serving his fourth term as Essex First Selectman. The Democratic Town Committee also unanimously nominated Stacia Libby as their candidate for Selectman. Libby is currently serving her fourth term on the Board Of Selectman.

In accepting the nomination, Needleman said: “I am deeply grateful to the Democratic Town Committee for giving me the opportunity to continue to help make our beautiful town an even better place to live. We are fortunate that all three members of our Board of Selectmen share a commitment to a key objective: find ways to improve services while bringing professional management skills to town finances. Our track record speaks for itself. Essex is a financially stable town, services have improved, and we’ve lowered the mil rate in two consecutive years. But there’s more work to do, and I’m looking forward to discussing our ideas in the course of the coming campaign.”

Brian Cournoyer, Chairman of The Essex Democratic Town Committee, said: “The reasons we unanimously nominated Norm and Stacia are clear. During their time in office, Essex finances and service delivery have become models among towns in our state. Our mil rate remains among the lowest in the state, and other towns acknowledge our leadership in delivering vital services. Re-electing Norm and Stacia will keep our town moving forward.”

Cournoyer continued: ”As importantly, we are fortunate to be able to nominate experienced candidates for every elected office on the ballot in November. Our nominees have all played key roles in managing and delivering town services. Each of them has the skills, experience, and commitment to continue building on the success we have achieved in Essex town government.”

Democratic Nominees for Municipal Offices in Essex are:

First Selectman: Norm Needleman
Selectwoman: Stacia Libby
Essex Board of Education: Cassandra Sweet
Region 4 Board of Education: D. G. Fitton
Board of Finance: Campbell Hudson and Mary Louise Polo
Board of Assessment Appeals: George Wendell

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I-Park Hosts Open Studios ‘Where Art Meets Nature’, Tomorrow

July’s Artists-in-Residence at I-Park for July are First Column: Matthew Celmer. Second Column, top to bottom: Beth Krebs, Judy Robertson, Zach Frank. Third Column, top to bottom: Kristin Street, Nathan Nokes, Jenn Grossman

AREAWIDE — The public is invited to come to I-Park for Open Studios Sunday, July 28, at 2 p.m. and experience a multi-disciplinary group of artists from around the country.  I-Park has been supporting artists from around the country and the globe since its first residency in 2001 and continues to offer fully-funded residencies to writers, composers, visual artists, film-makers, architects, etc.  Visitors will be able to meet these seven talented artists at I-Park, 428 Hopyard Road in East Haddam.

Once a month, at the conclusion of each residency, I-Park holds Open Studios when visitors are invited to meet the artists in their studios, attend a presentation featuring some of their work, enjoy complimentary refreshments, and stroll the trails winding through I-Park’s scenic, art-filled campus.  Generally closed to visitors, I-Park gives resident artists undisturbed time to work on their creative endeavors.

Studios will only be open from 2 to 3:30 p.m., guests are encouraged to arrive early so they have enough time to visit all the studios before the 3:30 p.m. presentation. A reception with refreshments will follow.

Resident artists are:

Matthew Celmer is an architect based in Syracuse and Brooklyn. His recent creative exploration has focused on the relationship of narrative to the architecture design process.       

Zack Frank is a recent graduate of the MFA for Poets & Writers at UMass Amherst. He is working on a novel while at I-Park. His first published story will appear in The Massachusetts Review this fall.  

Jenn Grossman is a sound/experiential media artist based in New York. Wavering between the worlds of art, experimental music, and academic inquiry, her work has taken the form of sound sculpture, audiovisual installation/performance, public interventions, sound design, and spatial audio compositions.

Beth Krebs is an Oakland-based visual artist whose work has been exhibited in New York, San Francisco and abroad.She recently completed a four-month fellowship at Recology (aka the dump) in San Francisco.

Nathan Nokes is Austin-based composer, musician, and sound artists whose works contrast heavily calculated precompositional processes with intuitive, freeform lyricism.

Judy Robertson is a Miami-based artist whose mixed media work and short videos have been shown nationally and internationally in museums, galleries, and numerous years during Art Basel / Miami Beach.

Kristin Street is a visual artist based in Foster, RI. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries locally, nationally and internationally. She is working on a series of drawings and sculptures.   

Although admission to Open Studios is free, advance reservations are requested. To reserve your space, visit i-park.org. For additional information, write events@i-park.org or call 860-873-2468.

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CIRMA issues Members’ Equity Distribution Check to Town of Essex, Essex Board of Education

Norman Needleman, Essex First Selectman receives a check for $11,731 payable to the Town of Essex and Essex Board of Education from State Senator Myles Rey, who is an Underwriter at CIRMA.

ESSEX The Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (CIRMA) presented Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman with a check for $11,731, their prorated share of CIRMA’s $5 million Members’ Equity Distribution for 2019. The Town of Essex and Essex Board of Education has received $73,025 in distributed Members’ Equity since the program began in 2011.

This is CIRMA’s eighth distribution of Members’ Equity made in the past nine years, for a grand total of nearly $30 million across its entire membership.

“The partnership and risk management efforts of our members are a sustaining force behind CIRMA’s outstanding financial strength, growth in service programs, and our ability to deliver a Members’ Equity Distribution Program. Working together, we are making our communities better and safer places to live, learn, and work in,” said David Demchak, CIRMA President and Chief Executive Officer.

With 371 members, CIRMA is the leading provider of Workers’ Compensation and Liability and Property coverage to local public entities in Connecticut.

CIRMA’s Chairman of the Board, Jayme Stevenson, First Selectman of Darien, said “CIRMA continues to achieve its mission by providing Connecticut municipalities with rate stability, outstanding risk management programs and tremendous value to our members.”

As a member-owned and governed organization, CIRMA stands as one of the most successful state-wide collaborative efforts between Connecticut municipalities, school districts, and local public agencies. During a time of continued fiscal stress for many municipalities, CIRMA’s Members’ Equity Distribution program is one of the most visible and impactful outcomes of its mission-based focus.

Editor’s Note: CIRMA, owned and governed by its members, operates two risk-sharing pools: the Workers’ Compensation Pool and the Liability-Automobile-Property Pool. It also provides risk management services to self-insured municipalities and local public agencies. For more information about CIRMA’s Members’ Equity Distribution Program, visit www.CIRMA.org and click on “About CIRMA”.

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Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival Takes Place Saturday; Free Concert Friday Kicks Off Perennially Popular Event

The Old Lyme Midsummer Festival takes place, Saturday, June 27. There will be a free concert the preceding evening at the Florence Griswold Museum.


OLD LYME
— It might be a dog’s winning costume, the perfect art find, or the chance to dance to live R&B music, there is sure to be something for everyone at the 33
rd annual Old Lyme Midsummer Festival. The annual “Celebration of Art, Food, Music, and Family Fun” takes place this year on Friday evening, July 26, and all day Saturday, July 27. The Festival is produced by the Old Lyme Arts District, a partnership of businesses and nonprofits on Lyme Street, Old Lyme. All events and activities are free unless otherwise noted. A printable pdf with full descriptions of all the event’s activities can be found at this link.

Friday Night Free Concert

Nekita Waller 17th Connecticut State Troubadour

AREAWIDE — The Midsummer Festival kicks off Friday evening, July 26, on the lawn of the Florence Griswold Museum at 7pm when Nekita Waller performs. Connecticut’s State Troubadour Nekita Waller brings fan favorite music from several decades including pop, Motown, Classic Rock, R&B, and originals. Young and old will once again fill the lawn of the FloGris for this annual free concert sponsored by All Pro Automotive and Benchmark Wealth Management, LLC.  Before the concert on Friday, the Museum holds an open house with free admission to its exhibitions from 5-7pm, while the Museum’s Shop begins its Midsummer Super Sale.

New for this year’s Friday night concert, shuttle bus service will be available for those parking at the Old Lyme Marketplace. Shuttle bus pickup and drop off will be by the Bowerbird gift store on the east end of the Marketplace parking lot.

Saturday Morning 5K

Ready to run! Photo by Missy Colburn Garvin.

Saturday’s festivities begin with a morning 5K Run/Walk and Kids K supporting the programming of the Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau (LYSB). The 5K Run & Walk begins at 8am at 59 Lyme Street and features a fast and flat road bringing participants through the historic Old Lyme village. The Kids K takes place on the high school track at 9am. Registration fees for the 5K (run and walk) are $30 for adults, $15 for youth (18 and under). Registration for the “Kids K” fun run is $10. Chip timing will be provided by Timing Plus New England for 5K runners only. Commemorative T-Shirts will be available for the first 200 registered participants. Registration is online at lysb.org or onsite beginning at 6:45am behind LYSB.

Classic Car Show

The Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club will host their Classic Car Show on the lawn of the Bee & Thistle Inn from 9am to 2pm on Saturday.

Saturday at 9am, the annual Classic Car Show begins on the lawn of the Bee & Thistle Inn. Produced by the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club, the show supports scholarships and the good works of the Lions. Car Show attendees pay $5 at the gate and submit their ballots for show favorites among the antique, classic and exotic vehicles. To register a participating automobile for $15, go to lymeoldlymelions.org.

Dog Show

Everyone — regardless of how many legs you have — loves a parade?

The annual Parading Paws Dog Show will be held at the Florence Griswold Museum and will judge participating canines on a number of qualities including best costume, best trick and best smile. Presented by Vista Life Innovations, dog registration will be held from 10am-10:30am, and judging will begin at 10:45am.

Art Sales

Art is for sale at four locations during the festival. The annual Fence Show Artist Sale on the front lawn of the Old Lyme Inn features paintings, photography, and more by local artists and will be hung Parisian style on a winding fence for customers to peruse and talk to artists on site. Students, alumni, and faculty of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts will present their works for sale on the front lawn of the Academy. Paintings of all sizes and price points can also be found at the Lyme Art Association, and Studio 80 is hosting several photographers and other artists selling their works. All four art sales run from 9am to 4pm. For a list of participating artists, go to OldLymeArtsDistrict.com.

Artisanal Merchants

A Bohemian Street Fair will be held on the front lawn of the Florence Griswold Museum Saturday from 9am-3pm. Over 50 vendors will be on hand with a selection of artisanal home goods, specialty food items, jewelry, and more. The street fair is named for the bohemian spirit of the artists who once stayed in Miss Florence Griswold’s boardinghouse at the turn of the 20th century. A list of vendors can be found at OldLymeArtsDistrict.com.

Other outdoor shopping includes a variety of merchant tents on the lawn of the Lyme Art Association, and the annual “Midsummer Book Sale” at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library where “gently loved” books will be available from 9am-3pm. This year, a special bag sale will take place in the Library’s Community Room: Buy a library bag for $5 and fill it with books on display. The Library is located at 2 Library Lane with parking available, or arrive by shuttle bus.

Patricia Spratt for the Home opens its workshop at 60 Lyme Street for its annual Midsummer Warehouse Sale Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27 from 9am-4pm. The annual three-day sale offers up to 80% off of Spratt’s high-end table linens, pillows, and more.

Musical Performances

Sophia Griswold and friends will be performing at Lymestock 2019.

In addition to the Friday night concert there are ample chances to listen to live music throughout Saturday afternoon. Beginning at noon, MusicNow Foundation presents Lymestock 2019, featuring emerging Connecticut artists (under 25 years old) performing singer/ songwriter, jazz, blues, folk, classical guitar and indie rock. This year features a bohemian vibe with musicians performing in a relaxed setting where listeners can sit on the shady lawn to enjoy. A full lineup of performers can be found at OldLymeArtsDistrict.com.

Other musical performances include the funk music of festival favorite Mass-Conn-Fusion, beginning at 11am under the food tent at the Old Lyme Inn. At Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds, festival attendees will enjoy a dynamic modern dance performance by GUSTO Dance at 1pm, followed by the engaging vocals of local acoustic duo Jekyll & Hyde from 4-5pm.

Family Fun and Learning

The Hands-On_Minds-On Station at the FloGris has something for everyone regardless of age or ability!

The Hands-On/Minds-On Station will once again be at the Florence Griswold Museum’s Hartman Education Center. With over a dozen participating nonprofit organizations, including Arts District partners Lyme’s Youth Services Bureau and the Old Lyme Historical Society, children are sure to find a creative or thought-provoking activity to enjoy.

In addition, young and old will enjoy stopping by the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center and Horizon Wings tents at the Lyme Art Association. A community sculpture will be on display at the entrance of Studio 80, and participants can use available markers to draw on the sculpture.

Last year’s costumed model at Lyme Academy drew many budding artists to try their hand at painting her.

The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts will have a costumed model on its front lawn with easels set up for anyone who would like to try their hand at sketching the posed model.

Exhibitions

The historic Lyme Art Association currently hosts American Waters: A Marine Show and the Hudson Valley Art Association, both of which will be on view during the Festival.

As a celebration of Old Lyme’s artistic heritage, attendees are encouraged to visit art exhibitions during the Festival. Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds presents its Summer Sculpture Showcase 2019 on its outdoor sculpture grounds. The Lyme Art Association features American Waters: A Marine Show and the Hudson Valley Art Association. The Florence Griswold Museum features Fragile Earth: The Naturalist Impulse in Contemporary Art and the historic home of the Lyme Art Colony (Special Museum Admission $5).

Outdoor Dining

The Old Lyme Inn will be serving both inside in their restaurant and on the patio during the Festival.

In addition to food trucks serving both sweet and savory refreshments at the Florence Griswold Museum, three restaurants will be open for lunch during the Saturday Festival. Café Flo, at the rear of the Museum, offers seated lunch on the veranda overlooking the Lieutenant River. The Old Lyme Inn will serve on the patio and indoors 11am-9pm. The Lyme Art Association will have Del’s Frozen Lemonade on site. Dinner options include the Bee & Thistle Inn will a summer menu in its Chestnut Grille and dining rooms.

Directions, Parking and Shuttle Buses

The Festival takes place on historic Lyme Street, Exit 70 on I-95 South, or left off of Exit 70 on I-95 North, right onto Halls Road to Lyme Street. Although the festival length is considered a walkable distance, a shuttle bus will be available to all locations. Parking is available at the Florence Griswold Museum, Middle School complex, Old Lyme Marketplace (at Bowerbird location), and at the Lyme Academy field. Most activities take place between 80 Lyme Street and 100 Lyme Street.

The 33rd annual Festival is a production of the Old Lyme Arts District, a partnership of more than a dozen arts and cultural organizations and businesses on Lyme Street. For a complete list of participants, sponsors, as well as a printable guide to the Festival, go to OldLymeArtsDistrict.com.

Platinum Sponsors of the Arts District include Pasta Vita, Essex Financial Services/Essex Savings Bank, and LymeLine.com.

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‘Arrowhead’ to Play Next ‘Concert in the Garden,’ Saturday

Arrowhead will play at the Spring Street Gallery & Studio in the next ‘Concert in the Garden.’

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery presents Arrowhead at the next Concert in the Garden on Saturday, July 27, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Arrowhead will play a set of original compositions and then open the stage to make music with friends. Matt will play on Guitar, Patricia on Bass Fiddle and Leif on Banjo — and they all sing!

A $20 donation at the door is requested. Feel free to BYOB and picnic and enjoy the outdoor bistro style seating in the amphitheater (inside the gallery if inclement weather).Gates open a half hour before the show. First come, first seated, but no pets allowed.
The studio is at 1 Spring St., in the heart of Chester Center.
For more information, call (860) 526-2077 or visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com.
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Summer Sing Faure’s ”Requiem,” in Old Saybrook, Aug. 5; All Singers Welcome

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash.

AREAWIDE — Summer Sing Faure’s ”Requiem,”on Monday, Aug. 5, with 7 p.m. registration, and at 7:30 p.m. the Sing begins at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Rd., Old Saybrook. This session will be conducted by Wendy Moy of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus.

All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work. Professional soloists often participate.

The event is co-sponsored by Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio.

A $10 fee covers the costs of the event. Scores will be available, and the church is air-conditioned.

The next Summer Sing on Monday, Aug. 12, Rutter’s “Magnificat,” will be conducted by Russ Hamond of The Shoreline Chorale.

For more information, call (860) 767-9409 or (203)530-0002 or visit www.cappellacantorum.org or www.conbrio.org

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Famed Deep River Ancient Muster Takes Place Today

The Moodus Fife and Drum Corps proudly marched in the Muster in a prior year. (File photo)

DEEP RIVER — The largest gathering of Fife and Drum Corps is almost upon us.

The annual Deep River Ancient Muster (DRAM) is the third weekend of July at Devitt’s field in Deep River Center. This year the DRAM has been designated as the United States National Muster! The event consists of a “tattoo” on Friday evening at 7 p.m., which showcases selected corps. The tattoo will feature the Deep River Juniors Fife and Drum Corps, The Company of Fifers and Drummers Junior Camp –featuring the Music of Roy Watrous. Other notable corps will also be showcased that evening.

Beginning on Saturday morning at 11 a.m., the 50+ corps will parade through downtown Deep River. The parade will start at Kurtland Street and proceed down Main Street commencing at Devitt’s Field. At the conclusion of the parade each corps will march onto the muster field and perform a selection of their choice. The corps performances will take the remainder of the day.

All are welcome to come down to the muster field, check out the vendors, listen to music, enjoy some great food. The event is open to the public.

Find more information at: deepriverancientmuster.com

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Leif Nilsson Presents a ‘Concert in Garden’ Tonight with ‘Empire of Light’

CHESTER — Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery presents Empire of Light at the next Concert in the Garden on Saturday, July 20, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Drawing inspiration from the first wave of alternative country (early Wilco, Alejandro Escovedo, The Waco Brothers and Whiskeytown), as well as traditional country and rock (Neil Young, The Band, The Faces & The Stones), Brooklyn-based Empire of Light brings together members of seminal Upstate roots-rockers Subduing Mara – frontman Peter Hutchison and guitarist Brian Wilkens – with rhythm section and veteran sidemen Keith Robinson (Marcia Ball, Charlie Robison, Charlie Sexton) and Dan Green (Mike Viola, Sam Bisbee, The Honey Brothers, The Silos).

Produced by Andris Balins and band member Keith Robinson, “Let There Be Light” evokes equal parts rural Upstate New York and urban old-school Brooklyn – between which the recording was split. The end result is a distillation of timeless, original New Traditionalist Americana Rock.

Over the past two decades, Hutchison has released a string of critically-acclaimed albums.

A constant presence on college radio and the CMJ charts in the 90’s, Subduing Mara built a name for themselves through their electrifying live shows – earning them critical praise as “The best band you never heard of”, and “enough to justify belief in Rock’n’Roll”. Music critics have credited the band as an influential voice in the Alt Country/Roots Rock revival – echoing the work of contemporaries Uncle Tupelo and Ryan Adam’s Whiskeytown.

A $20 donation at the door is requested. Feel free to BYOB and picnic and enjoy the outdoor bistro style seating in the amphitheater (inside the gallery if inclement weather).Gates open a half hour before the show. First come, first seated, but no pets allowed.
For more information, call (860) 526-2077 or visit http://www.nilssonstudio.com. The studio is at 1 Spring St., in the heart of Chester Center.

“Let There Be Light”

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State Rep. Devin Carney Stars in Saybrook Stage’s ‘Romantic Comedy’ Through Sunday at the Kate

Jason Carmichael (Devin Carney) contemplates the situation while Phoebe (Shannon Keagan) sleeps on his lap in this scene from ‘Romantic Comedy’ which runs at the Kate from July 18-21.

AREAWIDE — What better way to spend a summer night than watching a funny, heartwarming romantic comedy?

Step back into the world of the 60s and 70s and laugh at the way things used to be. Witty writing and clever comedic timing makes a production of Romantic Comedy the perfect summer night out. This fast-paced, hilarious play by Bernard Slade (author of Same Time, Next Year) will be brought to life by the Saybrook Stage Company at the Kate from July 18 through July 21, and is sure to provide a night of laughter and love.

This light-hearted, period piece first opened on Broadway in 1979 and tells the story of arrogant, self-centered and sharp-tongued Jason Carmichael, successful co-author of Broadway romantic comedies. But real-life romance doesn’t come easy for Jason and comedy ensues when he finds himself confronted with two momentous events — he is about to marry a society belle and his longtime collaborator is retiring.

Enter Phoebe Craddock, naïve Vermont schoolteacher and budding playwright – and Jason’s world is turned upside down. The two embark on a fresh, new journey of collaboration and take the theater world by storm. Fame and success are theirs for over a decade and then real-life suddenly changes for both of them – but for better or worse?

Can two writers of romantic comedies make real-life just as exciting? Can everyday life measure up to the perfection of on-stage romances and fairy-tale happy endings?

This is a special summer as the Kate celebrates its 10-year-anniversary and Saybrook Stage is delighted to celebrate along with the entire community.

This production will feature our own State Representative and the Kate Board Member Devin Carney. Carney will bring the leading role of Jason Carmichael to life — he is excited to be portraying such a dynamic, funny character while supporting both local theatre and the Kate. He has been in other Saybrook Stage productions over the years including The Farnsworth Invention and Twelve Angry Men.

The Saybrook Stage Company is delighted to be returning to the Kate for their 18th production, having performed Other Desert Cities this past January.

Visit www.thekate.org or call 860.510.0453 and reserve your tickets now. Also, visit www.SaybrookStage.org for more information about the Saybrook Stage Company.

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Mamma Mia! Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse, Runs Through July 28

Mamma Mia! cast members (from left to right) Cooper Grodin, Dane Agostinis, Stephanie Gomerez and Billy Clark Taylor rehearse a scene from the show now playing at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

IVORYTON – The Ivoryton Playhouse has been transformed from an historic New England theatre to a Mediterranean island, filled with the music universally loved for over 40 years!

Over 60 million people worldwide have fallen in love with the characters, the story and the music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good show.  Set on a Greek island paradise, the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show.

On the eve of her wedding, Sophie reads her mom’s diary, only to discover that the father she has never met, could be one of three men. The wedding invitation brings Sophie’s three dads to the Greek Isles in search of the life that could have been with Sophie’s mother, Donna.

The show is filled with laughter, heart and 22 hit songs including “Super Trouper”, “Lay All Your Love on Me”, “Dancing Queen”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, “Take a Chance on Me”, “Thank You for the Music”, “Money, Money, Money”, “The Winner Takes It All”, “Voulez-Vous”, “SOS” and the title track.

The three leading ladies of Mamma Mia!, from left to right, Carly Callahan, Laiona Michelle and Jessie Alagna sing a number in the show now playing at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

As of 2018, the show has productions in London’s West End, where it is the seventh longest-running show in West End history, as well as various international productions. Its Broadway incarnation closed in September 2015 after a 14-year run, making it the ninth longest-running show in Broadway history.

Get swept away by the infectious music, uplifting story, and dazzling dance numbers that have made Mamma Mia! a worldwide phenomenon.

The production stars Laiona Michelle* as Donna. Laiona was seen on Broadway as Nanna in Amazing Grace and in The First National Tour of The Book of Mormon.  Most recently she starred as the legendary jazz icon in the world premiere of Little Girl Blue – The Nina Simone Musical.  Joining her as her best buddies and the other two members of the band are Jessie Alagna* as Rosie and Carly Callahan as Tanya.

Callahan was last seen here in The Fantasticks and The Ivoryton Playhouse ChristmasHour. This is Alagna’s debut in Ivoryton.

Cooper Grodin*, Dane Agostinis* and Billy Clark Taylor* take on the roles of the dads and Stephanie Gomerez and Jack Kay play the young lovers, Sophie and Sky.

Evan Benjamin, Kelley Davies, Nico DiPrimio, Mark Gilchrist, Nicholas Gonzalez, Nigel Hall, Aliah James, Amanda Lupacchino, Melissa McLean, Ana Yi Puig, Carolina Santos Read*, Nathan Russo, Cameron Khalil Stokes, and Audrey Wilson complete this talented and energetic cast.

The production is directed and choreographed by J.R. Bruno and musical directed by David Madore with set design by Glenn Bassett, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Saylor.

Mamma Mia runs through July 28. 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.

Additional matinee performances are on Saturday, July 6, and July 20, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at 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

Photographer: Jonathan Steele

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Ply the Waters of the Connecticut River Aboard the ‘Onrust’ Through October

‘Onrust’ under sail on the Connecticut River.  Photo Credit: CRM

ESSEX – The Connecticut River Museum (CRM) is currently hosting the Onrust, a re-creation of the vessel Adriaen Block built in 1614, through October. Now in its third year at the CRM dock, Onrust is available for public cruises as well as private charters.

The Onrust, which is Dutch for “unrest” or “restless”, was a Dutch ship built by captain and explorer Adriaen Block and his crew to replace the Tyger, which was destroyed by fire during the winter of 1613 in New York Bay. Onrust‘s construction took place near Manhattan during the winter of 1614. The ship was America’s first yacht.

Block’s voyage was used as the basis for the Dutch claim to the territory of New Netherland, an area that included parts of what are now the states of New York, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and to pursue developing trade partnerships with Native Americans.

In 1614, Block became the first known European to travel up the Connecticut River to just north of Hartford (a distance of approximately 60 miles from Long Island Sound). Block was immortalized as namesake of the small island in Long Island Sound that is perennially popular with modern visitors to these waters.

The re-created Onrust was launched in 2009 by The Onrust Project, an all-volunteer non-profit out of New York, which built the vessel after painstakingly researching traditional Dutch shipbuilding techniques.  The Museum and the Project have again partnered to host this vessel in Connecticut.

The Onrust is a floating exhibit at the Museum through early October.  She is open for dockside tours, school and Scout programs, along with public cruises and charters. For more information on the Connecticut River Museum and the Onrust, visit the Museum’s website.

The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main St. in Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River.

For a full listing of Museum programs or to buy tickets for the Onrust or any of the numerous other events hosted by the Museum, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.

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