March 30, 2020

The-e-fair Offers Deep Discounts on All Things Local, Plus Fun, Food, Music & More, Jan. 29

If you are looking for something to brighten up these cold winter days, mark your calendar now for Saturday, Jan. 29 when the-e-fair is being held.  This event is being organized by the dynamic Erica Tannen, who publishes the universally popular e-list, and will take place at Sonalyst Studios in Waterford. 

The-e-fair features Indie Fashion, local food and rising musical talent and offers the opportunity to enjoy deep discounts on designer clothes, accessories, jewelry, food and more.  It could aptly be described as an alternative mall open for one special day only!

For the last two years, the-e-list has presented the Insane Insidewalk Sale, a highly successful, extreme shopping event, which over 900 Shoreline shoppers attended.

This year, the-e-fair, a mid-winter festival and celebration of all things local, will be held in a 15,000 square foot sound stage at Sonalyst Studios, one minute off I 95 in Waterford (exit 81).

Thirty Shoreline shops and designers will be selling their wares at 30 – 75% off retail prices and a cadre of food trucks including The Cupcake Truck, The Grilled Cheese Truck and The Beach Street Sandwich Truck will also be on hand.

Plus some of the Shoreline’s best restaurants, including The River Tavern at Chester and Liv’s Oyster Bar in Old Saybrook, will be tempting your palate.  Local beer, wine, coffee and chocolate milk will also all be offered.

Two concerts round out the day, the popular Mystic band Barefoot Truth will perform at 1 p.m., and rising NYC star Rene Lopez will take the stage at 4 p.m.

The event runs from 11a.m. to 7 p.m. and includes activities to keep the entire family amused including a photo booth, henna tattoos, a craft booth staffed by the educators at the Florence Griswold Museum, and more.

In the event of snow, the-e-fair will be held Sunday, Jan. 30, at the same time.

Entry tickets are $15 or $10 for teens and free for kids

Editor’s Note: Sonalyst Studios is located off I 95 at exit 81, 215 Parkway North, Waterford, CT.  For more information and a list of participating retailers, visit www.the-e-list.com/the-e-fair

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Deep River Bookstore Creates Green, Book Buy-Back Web Business

Hanna Cook, Owner of MyBookCart.com

MediaBuster Books of Deep River have been selling used books since 2003, and they care passionately about the environmental impact of discarding used books, so much so that they have now created an online web business which encourages people to sell back their used books instead of throwing them into landfills.

“Many people have books they have finished reading, and they wonder what to do with them”, says Hanna Cook, owner of MediaBuster Books.  “Most people don’t want to throw them out, but sadly, many used books end up in landfills” Cook continues.

So in early 2009  Cook  formed MyBookCart.com, which gives people an easy option of selling back their used books instead of throwing them out when they are finished using them.

MyBookCart.com gives instant offers for used books by typing in the book’s ISBN number. Shipping is free to mail in books, and payment is made by check or PayPal.

MyBookCart.com also has a popular textbook buyback option for college students at the end of each semester.  Students have found that they can receive higher offer quotes for their textbooks compared to the college bookstore, and MyBookCart.com, in most instances, buys back textbooks that the college bookstore isn’t buying. 

“We also have a referral program” Cook says, “where every customer who makes an account with us receives their own referral code.  When a new customer uses their referral code and mails in their books, they get paid 10% of the buyback offer.  This also works well for college students, as we provide college students free flyers and bookmarks that contain their referral code upon request.  College students can request free flyers by e-mailing support@mybookcart.com.  They can hang the flyers around campus and receive the 10% commission payment when fellow students mail in their books/textbooks.”

“Throughout our years of selling used books, we understand what customers want: Fair price quotes, fast payment, good communication, excellent customer service, and an easy to use website. Each day we strive try to find new ways to exceed your expectations” says Cook.

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An Elephant for Deep River

Members of Deep River Rotary Club and representatives of Mt. St. John school looking on as the elephant statue is delivered

The news is that an elephant has come to Deep River. It has arrived from Thailand by way of Newport , Rhode Island , and it will be here to stay. And it’s all made possible by the Deep River Rotary Club.

But it is not a live elephant, which would have some difficulty in the winter weather of Connecticut . This one is bronze and will last at least a century, and probably much longer. It’s a statue–about one-sixth the actual size of the living African elephant it depicts. But it will be a reminder to visitors and residents of this river town of the important role played by elephants in the history of Deep River .

The Rotary Club believes that this bronze statue will help to educate young and old about the importance of the ivory trade to the development of industry, commerce, and culture in the Valley Shore area–and particularly Deep River . Here factories prospered, manufacturing piano keys and other ivory products, such as combs and buttons. Long before the development of plastics (of which these items are now made) these products depended on the importing of ivory tusks from Zanzibar and other ports in Africa .

Deep River resident, John LaPlante

The negative side of this story is that our industry depended on the hunting of elephants for their tusks and the use of slaves for the transportation of the tusks. As we remember with gratitude the role of this beautiful animal in the development of our community, we will also remember the price which was paid for our prosperity. The statue will continue to remind us of that story in all its dimensions.

John LaPlante, a resident of Deep River and a member of the Deep River Rotary Club, conceived the idea of bringing this statue to town when he stumbled upon it in the lot at Aardvark Antiques in Newport , R.I. He challenged the club to bring this iconic figure to a place of honor in our community, and he led the financial negotiations to acquire the elephant.

First Selectman Dick Smith and Doug DeCerbo, director of Mt. St. John admiring new elephant statue

First Selectman Dick Smith and members of the town crew traveled to Newport to bring her back, along with a granite block on which she will rest. A welcoming committee of Rotarians was on hand at the Town Hall, along with Marilyn Malcarne and a group of fifers and drummers to create a festive atmosphere.

Robert Johnson, who has been selling real estate in the area for more than 60 years, was on hand, too. He clapped his hands and announced that the would make the first contribution to what will be the Elephant Fund. “I love the statue!” he said. “What a great idea!”

The permanent location for the elephant has not yet been announced. Several locations are being considered, but a formal dedication and celebration will take place in the Spring. “It will be a lot of fund,” said John LaPlante, who recalled that the elephant is a reminder of the prosperous days when Deep River was known as the “Queen of the Valley.” “One thing is for sure. Deep River is becoming Queen of the Valley again. Everybody is noticing that. This is one more way to celebrate that!”

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Former Essex Library Director to be Chief Operating Office of Queens Library

Former Director of the Essex Library, Bridget Quinn-Carey

Bridget Quinn-Carey, former Director of the Essex Library from 1999 to 2007, will become the Chief Operating Officer of the Queens Library in New York City effective April 4.  The Queens Library consists of 62 local libraries in the Borough of Queens, and serves a population of 2.3 million.

Ms. Quinn-Carey will hold the number two position at the library. Her predecessor in this position was paid $210,000 a year.

Quinn-Carey is presently the Director of the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library System, a position that she took immediately after her service at the Essex Library. The Buffalo/Erie County library system has 37 branch libraries, and the director’s salary is $102,000 a year.  

On the director’s departure, the Chairperson of the board, Sharon A. Thomas, said,    “Bridget has been an amazingly strong leader. Her dedication, energy and expertise have all gone toward making this a better and stronger Library System for everyone.”

While serving as the Director of the Essex Library, Quinn-Carey oversaw a $2.5 million expansion of the town’s library. The building was enlarged from 4,000 square feet to 9,000 square feet, and the expansion included a new children’s area, a new young adult section, an expanded reading area with computers for adults, among other improvements. 

Ms Quinn-Carey received a salary of $70,000 a year while head of the Essex Library. During her service, both the director and the library received an award from the New York Times for the Essex Library being, one of the best small town libraries in the United States. 

Quinn-Carey is married to Attorney James W. Carey and the couple has two daughters. They live in upstate New York.

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Essex Books Hosts Local Author John Pfarr Thursday Jan. 6

Essex Books is hosting a presentation by John Pfarr about the book, The Inventor’s Fortune Up For Grabs: The Legacy of the Expansion Bracelet by Suzanne G. Beyer and John S. Pfarr, at Gather, 104 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT from noon — 1:00 p.m., Thursday, January 6, 2011. Gather is located across the street from The Ivoryton Playhouse.

In 1913, Great Uncle Art Hadley invented the expansion bracelet, a forerunner of the modern wristwatch band that made it easier for WWI soldiers to carry their timepieces during combat. As a result, he amassed considerable wealth. He passed it on to his children, but when they died, Art’s fortune was up for grabs.

The Inventor’s Fortune Up For Grabs is a true story told through a unique structure – from the perspective of John Pfarr, the attorney who initially felt the group had not a snowball’s chance in hell of winning their case, and that of Suzanne Beyer, an heir to her great uncle’s fortune.

The author will discuss the unique two-voice structure of the book, the historical aspects of Art Hadley and his invention, legal struggles in the case – and how a group of cousins, some of whom had never met, could unite in a life-changing six-year odyssey to claim their inheritance from Uncle Art. Pharr will also talk about his experience of becoming a first time author. The program will include a question and answer period, followed by a book signing.

Attorney John S. Pfarr is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Michigan Law School. Pfarr lives with his wife, Ellen, in Essex, CT. Call Susan McCann, Essex Books, at 860-767-1707 for more details or to RSVP. For more information about the book, visit http://www.theinventorsfortune.com.

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Atlantic Seafood Market, Old Saybrook’s new landmark fish store

Atlantic Seafood, 4100 Boston Road, Old Saybrook

Whoever heard of a seafood store having a fulltime chef on staff? Well Atlantic Seafood Market, located at 1400 Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook, has one. His name is Jerry Doran, and he is not only a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, he was once the head chef of the Four Seasons restaurant in Boston.

Owner Lisa Feinman with Chef Jerry Doran

Atlantic Seafood Owner Lisa Feinman says, “Having a trained chef on staff is a huge benefit. He has a critical eye on everything we sell in the store.”

Another unique thing about the Atlantic Seafood is that Feinman does not think it pays to advertise. “I do not believe in advertising,” she says. “What’s important is when someone says that we have a good product, and then this word of mouth will slowly and effectively grow the business.”Feinman, who presently lives in Westbrook, purchased the Atlantic Seafood store as an existing business back in March 2005. Since then she has not only expanded the square footage of the store, but brought the store’s reputation to the point where for the last three years in a row, it has been recognized as the best seafood store along the shoreline by the weekly Shoreline Times newspaper. The store was also voted this year, “Business of the Year” by the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce.Currently, the staff of Atlantic Seafood consists of nine to ten persons, a number of them part time. One of the part timers serving seafood customers is Bob Chase, a licensed Connecticut attorney. Chase says that he “loves working with the product, the fish.” He says he “grew up in Newport and learned about fish from his father.” Chase praises the store as having “a very pleasant working environment.” Also, he maintains a legal practice, while not behind the fish counter.

A seafood delight!

Owner Feinman claims two principal distinctions of her store, “We have a really fresh product, and we are nuts about having no preservatives with our fish.” Another attribute that she touts, “All of our dressings are made from scratch.”

When asked what kind of fish customers prefer throughout the year, Feinman (everyone calls her “Lisa”) ticks off a four-season review. In winter she says the store’s freshly made, hot soups are popular, as is salmon, which is always a favorite. In summer she says that boiled lobsters, steamed clams, swordfish and scallops, as well as other seafood that can be cooked on the grill, are favorites. 

Spring she says “is a big seafood time of year.” In fact, in this season Atlantic Seafood hosts a six week course on cooking seafood, conducted by a number of expert chefs. Customers are welcome to take the course, and the tuition fee is nominal. Then in the fall Feinman says, “Since there is no more grilling outdoors, people are more into comfort food. The favorites are baked fish, like cod and haddock. 

As for her own experience in running a business, Feinman says that she has always been in retail. Also, she says, self confidently, “I always knew I could run a business.” 

To substantiate this, she calls attention to an article about the store, published in a July 2007 issue of the New York Times. The Times wrote about the store, “To have fish any fresher, you would have to catch it yourself.”
Speaking of the freshness of the fish sold at Atlantic Seafood, the Lisa says, “We buy off the boats, and we know the boats we buy from. We also have drivers that pick up our fish in Rhode Island and New Bedford, Massachusetts, and everything is shipped overnight.” 

Then, she repeats what could well be the store’s mantra, “We do not ever put our fish in preservatives.”

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Local Business Imports Olive Oil from Italy

Lisa Tiezzi, founder of Tiezzi Imports LLC

In 2008 local Chester resident Lisa Tiezzi decided she would try and bring a bit of Italy back home.  While on vacation in Tuscany, over a glass of vino, a friend casually asked if she would be interested in importing their olive oil into the USA.

Two years later, as well as being a wife, a mother and a realtor, Tiezzi now also runs her own import company, Tiezzi Imports LLC, which specializes in importing Tutti Amici, a cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany for distribution in Connecticut. “What an amazing transformation my life has taken” Tiezzi says,”but I am enjoying this ride!”

Tutti Amici is produced in a small Tuscan hill town. The manufacturer prides himself on keeping with tradition and using the “cold” press method to remove the skins from the olives. By washing with cold water instead of hot, the olives keep their wonderful taste and nutrients intact. Another benefit of  Tutti Amici is that the oil is only “slightly” filtered, leaving all of the valuable properties for your enjoyment…so if it is cloudy after settling, just give it a good shake and enjoy the flavor!  Tutti Amici’s oil is extracted in Italy from Italian olives, using a large stone wheel.

Since deciding to import Tutti Amici, Tiezzi has been researching the benefits of consuming cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. “It has been an extremely interesting learning experience for me,” Tiezzi says, “recent studies and findings related to the possible risk reduction of colon cancer, breast cancer, heart disease and dementia are astounding. Studies have also been recorded that cold pressed extra virgin olive oil may also reduce cholesterol”.

Tiezzi now imports around 400 cases/year which she sells on her website (www.tiezziimports.com) and in 18 small boutique shops around Connecticut. They also have small bottles for wedding favors and leather, wood and metal boxes for unique olive oil gifts both personal and corporate. “Our goal is to become a national brand in the USA! You must taste Tutti Amici to appreciate great Italian olive oil” says Tiezzi.

Among the gifts you will find on their website are “Pinzimonio”. These fabulous white ceramic dipping dishes are hand made in Italy.  Designed with the terraced hills of Tuscany in mind, these dishes accept the olive oil a bit deeper in the center making the color of the oil go from darker to lighter as it rises up the grooves.  They are simply wonderful…a great design that goes well with Tutti Amici cold pressed extra virgin olive oil!

Tutti Amici olive oil and gifts can be purchased from their website or from several local stores, including Adams Supermarket and El & Ela in Deep River, Ceramica, The Local Beet, The Wheatmarket and The Herbery in Chester, and  The Weekend Kitchen, The French Hen  and Gather in Essex/Ivoryton.

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Shoppers pleased with new Adams Market in Deep River

The new Adams Homemarket in Deep River

Bigger, better, with many new items to choose from, the new Adams supermarket in Deep River is off to a good start. Jeffrey Prindle, Store Manager of the new Adams Hometown Market, exudes confidence. “Business is going up,” is the way he puts it.

Located smack in the middle of the Town of Deep River, just across from the Town Hall and the new Walgreen’s pharmacy, the new Adams market added 3,500 square feet to the store’s original 20,000 square foot print. To do so it swallowed up some small shops that were its neighbors.

Indicating the importance of the new Deep River market to the Adams brand, Store Manager Prindle previously served as a District Manager, overseeing no less than nine Adams stores. Now he is concentrating solely on the Adams store in Deep River, and nothing else.

Store Manager Prindle (left) with Bakery Manager Hill (right)

Intense and hardworking, with a broad smile to go with it, Prindle is the epitome of someone who never stops working.  In addition to the 14 hours a day that he typically puts in at the store, he endures a very long commute to his home in Woodstock, Connecticut.

Prindle’s commitment to his job appears all consuming. “I get paid very well,” he says, which may have something to do with his work ethic.

Prindle reels off with pride the new departments at the store. Among them is a new gourmet cake section, which he calls his “decadent space.” The cakes are part of a Bakery Department run by Bakery Manager Jeffrey Hill, which features 20 different kinds of baked goods.

The “decadent space” of gourmet cakes

There is rye bread, which the store bakes from scratch, as well as other baked goods, which arrive at the store half cooked, and whose baking is finished in house.

These “baked-off” goods include bagels, muffins, rolls, artesian bread and six varieties of Ciabatta bread. The only down side for Hill is that he has to get to the store at 3:00 a.m. in the morning, so that he can bake the daily bread.

Other new wrinkles at the store include a dressed-up olive bar, and a “cheese island” that rivals that of Zabar’s in New York City. Also, there is a newly upgraded deli, which sells only top brand, Boars Head Meats.

Seafood is always popular in our Connecticut River valley communities, and Deep River is no exception. To meet this need the new store features fish, “fresh from the docks,” in Prindle’s words.

“Fish, fresh from the dock”

At 7:00 a.m. each morning, the store calls Connecticut Shell in Branford and puts in the day’s order for fish. This order is then delivered to the store between noon and two p.m., and is immediately put out for sale.

Although Prindle maintains, “We have a very good turnover,” usually there are some leftovers. These are sold a second day as well. Then, on the third day that the fish are in the store, it is wrapped and put in a self service section. If the fish does not sell there for one more day, it is discarded.

Reportedly, fresh salmon is far and away the most popular fish. As for live lobsters, the store will cook them for you, a new service.

Floral Department Manager Belinda Prindle

Also, the new Adams store has a spiffed-up Floral Department, headed by Belinda Prindle. She has introduced three new kinds of long lasting, premium roses and makes custom floral arrangements a specialty.

There is also a larger Meat Department, headed by Bob Shove, who is stocking in some very special, prime meats for the holidays. .

Other new innovations include a new “organic produce selection,” and a new, prepared food section featuring, “meal replacements.” Also, there is a new sushi bar.

All told Prindle says the new Adams store has over 3,000 new grocery items and 30 to 40 different kinds of fruits and vegetables.

30 different kinds of fruits and vegtables every day

Deep River’s First Selectman Dick Smith must be very pleased with the positive economic development impact of the new Adams store. According to Prindle, the store has added six new full-time, and 25 to 30 new part-time, positions to the staff at the new store in Deep River.

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Teen Safe Driving Awareness Week: Let’s Save Our Teen Drivers

As Connecticut marks Teen Safe Driving Awareness week, Essex Books will welcome retired commercial driver, Alphonza Mazyck, as he talks about his book, “Let’s Save Our Teen Drivers” on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 3 – 4 p.m. Call 860-767-1707 for details.

Mazyck achieved over 2.5 million miles of accident-free driving in 37 years of driving a commercial vehicle. He offers important safety messages as he faced the tragedy of losing his own nephew in a driving accident. A good source of information right before the holidays and New Year’s Eve!

Meanwhile the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles today announced encouraging new statistics showing a drop in fatal crashes involving 16 and 17 year old drivers

Teen drivers 16 and 17 years-old in Connecticut had the fewest number of fatal crashes last year in more than a decade, also, less teens are needing a Duluth Injury Attorney after getting in an accident. A recent analysis of federal reporting figures show as Connecticut marks Teen Safe Driving Awareness week Dec. 5-11.

The state in 2009 saw a 62-percent reduction in fatal crashes involving this age group of drivers when examining a 12-year average since 1997. In the 2009 calendar year the number dropped to 6 for all of that year. Crashes happen all over the world though unfortunately. That’s why it’s so important to get good driving lessons and be made aware of all the risks that come with driving. There are so many ways you can get driving lessons though. For example, if you live in the UK you can easily check out something like these Driving Lessons in Droitwich to give you a better idea of what you should expect to do in a driving lesson.

These crash statistics and other indicators show a positive effect from state’s toughened and comprehensive teen driving laws proposed by Governor M. Jodi Rell’s Task Force two years ago and later adopted by the state Legislature.

“We set out with one clear goal in mind – to save lives. Young drivers are full of enthusiasm, but lack the experience behind the wheel. Our new and stronger laws give them more training time, while brining their parents and the community into the process,” Governor Rell said. “A driver’s license has been a rite of passage for generations and it is critical that teen drivers on Connecticut roads are as well prepared as possible.” Most teens want a drivers license as soon as they can, doesn’t matter where they live in the States they can easily get one. So if you lived in Ohio or something you can easily get yourself an Ohio drivers license. But just because it’s easy to get doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any responsibilities.

Commissioner Robert M. Ward of the state Department of Motor Vehicles said there are growing indicators that safety messages and tougher laws, sanctions for violations and training are spreading awareness and beginning to change behavior of teen drivers.

“These statistics are a strong testament to efforts by everyone involved – teens, parents, public officials and safety partners — and the work of reminding young drivers about diligence toward safety,” he added.

In addition, Connecticut is also exceeding a recent national trend in the direction of fewer fatal accidents for drivers in this age group. The Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention reported in October that nationally the number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes decreased by 36 percent from 2004 to 2008.

Connecticut had a 54 percent reduction in these fatal crashes from 2005 to 2009. In addition, the state saw a 16.5 percent reduction for all accidents in which a 16 or 17-year-old Connecticut driver was at fault for 2008 when the new laws were first adopted and currently the most recent set of complete numbers. (5,640 accidents in 2007 and 4,704 in 2008)

The CDC also reported that graduated driver licensing programs can be partially credited with this recent decline in fatal crashes involving these young drivers. It pointed out that the more comprehensive teen driving programs, known as graduated driver licensing, are associated with the higher reductions in crashes.

Connecticut’s comprehensive program, which includes restrictions, fines, license-suspension penalties, increased driver training and parent-teen training, has brought about other important changes:

  • An overwhelming number of parents find mandatory parent-teen education beneficial (85 percent).
  • Licensing statistics show that the number of 16 year-olds hit an historic 12-year low in 2009. (31 percent of 16 year-olds and 48 percent of 17 year olds in the second year of the tougher laws.)
  • Delayed licensure is better because it gives teens more time to mature.

However, it’s more than just the laws that are improving the safety of Connecticut’s teen drivers.

“It also due to the hard work of so many people – safety advocates, community groups, the business community, driving schools, high schools, law enforcement and medical professionals, but most of all parents and their teen drivers,” Commissioner Ward said.

Sherry Chapman, president of the teen safe-driving advocacy group Mourning Parents Act, said, “Connecticut has one of the most robust teen driving safety programs in the country. I am heartened to see preliminary data shows the more stringent graduated licensing laws adopted in 2008, along with policy changes and awareness campaigns seem to be making a difference. Losing a child due to a car crash is so unnecessary. It is such a sudden, horrific and tragic loss.”

Governor’s Highway Safety Representative Robbin Cabelus said, “As the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative I am pleased to see that recent statistics show a reduction in roadway deaths of 16 and 17 year old drivers. The actions taken by the Governor’s Task force as well as other state and local safety partners look to be having the positive impact we’d hoped they would. While these numbers are encouraging, teen drivers, parents and the highway safety community must remain vigilant about instilling safe driving behavior in our 16-and 17-year-old drivers. We must do this especially in the area of distracted driving, where our younger drivers are over-represented in these crashes.”

Dr. Brendan T. Campbell, Director of Pediatric Trauma and trauma surgeon at Connecticut Children’s, added, “Teen driving safety week is a time to remind parents about the importance of making their teenage drivers as safe as possible. Close parental supervision of novice teen drivers can make all the difference. The most important thing parents can do is provide their teenagers with as much supervised driving experience as possible.”

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Local Author Book Event at the Essex Library

Join local author, John S. Pfarr at the Essex Library Association, 33 West Avenue, on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. for a discussion of The Inventor’s Fortune Up for Grabs: The Legacy of the Expansion Bracelet by Suzanne G. Beyer and John S. Pfarr.

In 1913, Great Uncle Art Hadley invented the expansion bracelet, a forerunner of the modern wristwatch band that made it easier for WWI soldiers to carry their timepieces during combat. As a result, he amassed considerable wealth. He passed it on to his children, but when they died, Art’s fortune was up for grabs.

The Inventor’s Fortune Up For Grabs is a true story told through a unique structure – from the perspective of John Pfarr, the attorney who initially felt the group had not a snowball’s chance in hell of winning their case, and that of Suzanne Beyer, an heir to her great uncle’s fortune.

The author will discuss the unique two-voice structure of the book, the historical aspects of Art Hadley and his invention, legal struggles in the case – and how a group of cousins, some of whom had never met, could unite in a life-changing six-year odyssey to claim their inheritance from Uncle Art.

John will also talk about his experience of becoming a first time author. The program will include a question and answer period, followed by a book signing.

For more information about the book, visit http://www.theinventorsfortune.com.

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Until We Meet Again Author at Essex Books

Susan Jones, author of  Until We Meet Again will be at Essex Books on Sunday, Dec. 12, from 12:30-3:00 p.m. for a book signing. Until We Meet Again was the runner-up in the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Awards competition, in the Children’s Picture Book category.

Treasured memories come from ordinary moments. Between one winsome grandfather and one lucky little boy are keepsakes of the heart…memories made by the two of them for all time.

Most are simple. Checkers and hot chocolate. Hugs and silly songs. A special wink that means we’re in this together.

But their time together is coming to an end. With insight and tenderness, Jones tells the story of what comes next for a little boy who discovers memory-making is a language of love that can be whispered across the years.

“This poignant children’s book handles the subject of loss in an elegant manner. Gently, the coming and going of generations and the naturalness of life’s cycle are put into clear focus. I recommend this book as a wonderful tool to begin understanding, dialogue, and healing” says Robert J. Ancona, Chief, Department of Pediatrics
St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, Maryland.

Susan Jones suggests that people may want to consider donating a copy of the book to their local hospice to help “encourage others who are celebrating life in the midst of loss.”

Susan Jones grew up in Lockport, New York. She currently resides and teaches in Connecticut. Susan’s favorite getaway for inspiration is the Adirondacks, where there is time to reflect upon the many people—young and old, innocent and wise—who have touched her heart. This book is a celebration of their generosity and tenderness.

Please call Sue McCann at Essex Books at 860-767-1707 for more information.

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Governor Rell Takes New M-8 Rail Cars for Test Run

Metro North's New M-8 Rail Cars to be Used on the New Haven Line

Delivering on a promise she made to Connecticut commuters shortly after taking office, Governor M. Jodi Rell today boarded the first set of new M-8 rail cars for a test run. Accompanied by officials from the Department of Transportation, the Governor traveled from New Haven’s Union Station to Fairfield for some first-hand testing of the M-8 rail cars, which are to begin entering regular service next month. 

The Governor highlighted the testing with the announcement that the state would be increasing its order for M-8s from 300 units to 342 units, with the additional cars to be paid for with funds already set aside for such purpose.

“Five years ago I laid out a vision for remaking Connecticut’s commuter rail system,” Governor Rell said at a trackside ceremony before the on-board testing began. “The centerpiece of that proposal was a new fleet of rail cars for Metro-North’s New Haven Line – one of the busiest commuter lines in the world. Since the first M-8s arrived last Christmas, much has been done to ready these cars for New Haven Line service. For commuters, the wait is nearly over.

“For many years, our commuters have traveled in cars dating to the mid-70s,” the Governor said. “These older cars have traveled many miles supporting millions of commuters – but it is clearly time for a new fleet. Soon more than 300 of these M-8s, bright in their red and steel colors, will cruise the New Haven Line.”

Interior of New M-8 Rail Cars

To date, the state has received 22 M-8s. The cars are undergoing extensive testing in the New Haven Rail Yard as well as on runs between New Haven and New York. Testing began in late December 2009, when the first M-8 cars arrived, and has been on-going with engineers from the car builder, Kawasaki Rail Car Inc. of Japan, and the entire project team working virtually around the clock.

“The Department and Metro-North Railroad are aggressively working to place a set of M-8 rail cars in regularly scheduled train service in December,” said DOT Commissioner Jeffrey A. Parker. “The M-8 rail car is the most complex rail car in the United States, utilizing both DC-third rail and AC-overhead catenary propulsion systems. Getting the M-8s ready has been challenging, but has placed Connecticut’s rail fleet in the forefront of the commuter rail industry.”

The new M-8s feature more open and brighter interior space, high-back seating for all seats and a distinctive vestibule area. There are four, 110-volt outlets for every row and an American with Disabilities Act- (ADA-) compliant lavatory as well as other passenger-oriented improvements such as larger windows, brighter lighting, arm and headrests and an automated announcement and signage system.

The M-8 fleet also incorporates many safety, environmentally friendly and energy saving features. Regenerative braking systems use the braking effort of the electric traction motors to return electricity to the power grid system. Thermally insulated car bodies and window sealants/gaskets are more efficient, while the stainless steel car body is compliant with the latest federally mandated crashworthiness guidelines.

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One Hundred & Eleven Questions & Answers Concerning the Pilgrims

Author William P. Muttart will be at Essex Books on Saturday, Nov. 13, 1-2 p.m., to talk about his book, “One Hundred & Eleven Questions & Answers Concerning the Pilgrims: Passengers on the Mayflower, 1620.”

How much do you really know about the Pilgrims?  Are you aware that the Mayflower passengers were not known as Pilgrims until 1793, didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, and didn’t hold a First Thanksgiving celebration?  You also may not know that one Pilgrim lived in this country before 1620 and a legendary Native American they met in Plymouth had previously lived in England and Spain for ten years.  This book provides the answers to these questions and many more.

Co-author Muttart is descended from seven passengers who sailed on the Mayflower in 1620 and is a member of the Mayflower Society in Connecticut.  He is also the Secretary of the (Pilgrim) Thomas Rogers Society and has written a number of articles about the Pilgrims for various publications.

Please call Essex Books at 860-767-1707 or write to essexriver@comcast.net to reserve your space for this wonderful talk right before Thanksgiving!

Essex Books
2 Essex Square
Historic Essex Village
Essex, CT  06426
860-767-1707

Hours:
Sunday – 12:30pm-6:00pm
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – 8:00am-6:00pm
closed on Tuesday
Saturday – 10:30am-6:00pm

“The little bookstore that could!!!”

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“America’s Money Answers Man” to Speak at Chester Guest House Retreat

Jordan Goodman, "America's Money Answers Man".

 CHESTER– Jordan Goodman, the nationally-recognized expert on personal finance known as “America’s Money Answers Man,” will give a free talk at Guest House Retreat & Conference Center in Chester, CT, on Tuesday, Nov. 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. The presentation, titled “Thriving Financially in Challenging Economic Times,” is part of Guest House’s ongoing public outreach series of free educational events that serve the local community. The seminar will include a Q&A session and will be followed by a free reception where guests can meet the author and media personality. There is a suggested donation of $10. 

Goodman recently appeared on The View with Barbara Walters and is a frequent commentator for NBC’s The Today Show, as well as programs on Fox, CNN, CBS and radio call-in shows across the country. He is the author of 13 bestselling books on personal finance, including the recently released Master Your Debt (John Wiley, January 2010). For many years Goodman reported on up-to-the-minute developments in personal finance for MONEY magazine. “Money dominates most people’s lives. Our financial health is one of the most important aspects of our sense of well-being,” says Goodman. “At a time when Americans are stressed about a lackluster economy and their money seems stretched to the limit, it’s hard to maintain perspective and peace of mind. Yet they may already have the answers to navigating their financial waters successfully. I want to show them how.” 

Goodman will take personal questions from the audience and cover a diverse range of topics, including: the Financial Reform Bill, college loans, creating passive income streams, the real estate market, mortgages, foreclosures, strategic defaults, and the effects of midterm elections on job creation, tax policy and estate planning. 

“Most people pay little attention to the way they interact with money, and this causes a lot of unnecessary suffering,” says Guest House executive director Adam Fuller. “Inquiring into the issues we have around money helps us feel supported in the world. We thought Jordan, who has attended many retreats here, could help us do that.” 

Guest House Retreat & Conference Center, a charming former country inn, opened its doors in May 2008. Today it houses a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational facility that hosts a variety of groups working in the areas of psychology, spiritual work, health and wellness, leadership and teamwork, scientific exploration, and ecological, social and environmental responsibility. 

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The Hidden History of Connecticut at Essex Books

Essex Books is delighted to welcome author Wilson Faude for a book chat and signing on his new book, “Hidden History of Connecticut” on the day of the Essex Holiday Stroll, Saturday, Dec. 4, 3-4pm.

Connecticut’s history is full of engaging and fascinating stories—rocks that are national monuments, the “people’s sculptor,” football players on chapel finials, moons on the Travelers calendars, artists Frederic Church and Eric Sloane and even a Thanksgiving Day touch football game with a future president. These are tales from Greenwich to Enfield, from Sharon to Old Lyme and so much in between. Follow along with historian Wilson Faude in this “must-have” Connecticut book as he traverses the state in search of hidden history.  A perfect gift for the holidays!

Lifelong “nutmegger,” Wilson H. Faude has been the curator of the Mark Twain House and executive director of the Old State House and currently serves as the archivist for the City of Hartford. For twelve years, he was the chairman of the Connecticut Historical Commission. He has written numerous articles and books on Hartford and Connecticut. He has a BA from Hobart College and an MA from Trinity College. He has been honored as the Civitan Man of the Year, as a Distinguished Advocate for the Arts in the state of Connecticut and as a Cow Parade artist; he has also been honored with the Thomas Hooker award for community service. He is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Please call 860-767-1707 to reserve your space!  Thank you for supporting your little neighborhood bookstore!

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Estuary Transit District Director Receives National Recognition

Estuary Transit District Executive Director Joseph Comerford

Mass Transit, the only magazine exclusively dedicated to public transportation, has named Estuary Transit District (ETD) Executive Director Joseph Comerford to its second annual Mass Transit Top 40 Under 40 list.

The list honors professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada under the age of forty who have made significant contributions to the public transit industry.  Honorees were nominated by their peers and judged on criteria that included job commitment, industry involvement and contribution, achievement in his or her position and innovation in his or her field.

“We received so many qualified nominations we could easily have extended the list,” says Mass Transit Editor Fred Jandt.  “It was challenging to narrow it down, but we are confident that this exclusive Mass Transit Top 40 Under 40 list is made up of professionals who are not only extremely deserving of this honor, we expect they will continue to play a significant role in public transport for decades to come.”

Comerford was recognized for his many accomplishments in his 13 years in the transit industry.  He began his transit career at UConn Transportation, while he earned a bachelors degree from the University of Connecticut. Shortly after graduation he was hired by First Transit and served five years as the General Manager of the Monroe Transit System in Monroe, LA, where the system received FTA’s Annual Award for Enhancing Ridership for increasing ridership by 75 percent under his leadership, amongst many other achievements that made the system a statewide model by the time of his departure. 

In 2008, Comerford returned to Connecticut with First Transit as executive director for the Estuary Transit District. Since that time, ETD has developed a comprehensive operations policy, launched new services to Middletown and New London, expanded service hours on Dial-A-Ride services, been awarded almost $900,000 of economic stimulus funds, ordered the states first hybrid electric-gasoline buses, and grown ridership 18 percent over the previous year.

“I have been extremely fortunate to work for outstanding leaders, both at First Transit and at the transit systems for which I have served, who have provided me the tools to be successful,” Comerford says.  “But I also must thank my current and former employees, because they are the ones that take my initiatives and make them successes.”

The cover feature will appear in the September/October issue of Mass Transit magazine and online at www.masstransitmag.com.

The Estuary Transit District provides public transit service via the fleet of 13 buses to Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook through its 9 Town Transit service.  Connections are provided to New Haven, Middletown, Hartford and New London/Norwich bus services as well as Shoreline East Commuter Rail.  All services are open to the general public with no age or disability restrictions.

Additional information, route maps and schedules are available online at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.

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The Wheels on the Bus Go Text, Text, Text…

Gone are the days of sitting outside waiting for the bus to arrive.  With the recent addition of text messaging by 9 Town Transit, passengers will receive a text message on their cellular phone telling them when the bus will arrive.

Passengers can sign up for the service when making a reservation.  9 Town Transit’s scheduling software will automatically send a text message shortly before the scheduled pick up time with the actual expected arrival time, reducing wait time for passengers.  The arrival times are based on real-time GPS data at the time of the text message to provide an accurate estimate.  While there is no charge by 9 Town Transit for this service, cellular service providers standard text message rates do apply.

The Estuary Transit District provides public transit service via the fleet of 13 buses to Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook through its 9 Town Transit service.  Connections are provided to New Haven, Middletown, Hartford and New London/Norwich bus services as well as Shoreline East Commuter Rail.  All services are open to the general public with no age or disability restrictions.

Additional information, route maps and schedules are available online at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.

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Essex Savings Bank Recycles Income to Non-profits

Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO of Essex Savings Bank has announced that non-profit community organizations will receive $99,298 from the Directors’ portion of the Bank’s Community Investment Program.  The Bank annually commits 10% of its after tax net income to qualifying organizations.  In April 2010, the Bank donated $74,700 to 89 non-profits who participated in the customer preference balloting at the Bank.  By year end 2010, $248,700 will have been allocated to over 200 organizations bringing the total distribution since the inception of the program in 1996 to $2,917,000.

The Directors’ portion of the fund will be donated to the following:

Camp Hazen YMCA (Chester)           $5,000
    2011 Healthy Kids Day Sponsor   

Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Inc. (Essex)      $5,000
   To fund the Agency newsletter and Annual Report.   
      
Child & Family Agency Of Southeastern Connecticut, Inc. (Essex)    $1,000
   To Co-Sponsor Interior Aspirations 2010 Seminar Sponsor
  (Co-Sponsor with Essex Financial Services, Inc. for $2,000) 

Connecticut Audubon Society          $1,000
   Eagle Watch 2010 (Boat Cruises)

Connecticut River Museum (Essex)        $1,000
   Eagle Watch 2010 (Boat Cruises)
  
Town Of Essex (Essex)          $1,500
   Eagle Watch 2010 (Banner and 2,500 additional copies of the
   four page activities calendar for February and March 2010)
         
Connecticut River At Steamboat Dock (Essex)        $5,000
   Co-Sponsor of the “Harvest” Fundraiser
   (Co-Sponsor with Essex Financial Services, Inc. for $10,000)           
         
The Deep River Historical Society (Deep River)        $1,000
   For printing of newsletter and mailings for special events   

Essex Land Trust, Inc. (Essex)         $2,500
   To fund three newsletters for 2011        
    
Essex Library Association         $2,000
   To fund two issues of Ex Libris newsletter         
       
Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. (Old Saybrook)        $2,500
   To help underwrite a portion of their newsletter, “The Estuary Gazette”   

Florence Griswold Museum (Old Lyme)        $5,000
   To Co-Sponsor “The Magic of Christmas” 
   (Co-Sponsor with Essex Financial Services Inc. for $10,000) 

Goodspeed Musicals (Chester/East Haddam)       $5,000
   For the 2010 Show Sponsorship of “Band Geeks” at The Norma Terris Theatre, Chester, CT      

Henry Carter Hull Library (Clinton)        $1,000
   Toward “Barbecue, Blues, & Books” 100 Year Old Celebration
          
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. (Old Lyme)         $5,000
   2010 Symphony in the Meadows Event Co-Sponsor
   (Co-Sponsor with Essex Financial Services, Inc. for $10,000)  
   
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. (Old Lyme)      $3,000
   To help underwrite the cost of producing the newsletter,
   “The High Hopes Rider” for the 2010-2011 fiscal year    
       
Hope Partnership (Old Saybrook)         $1,000
    Toward funding for Affordable Housing needs      
     
Ivoryton Playhouse Foundation, Inc. (Ivoryton)       $1,250
   Centennial Sponsor
   (Co-Sponsor with Essex Financial Services, Inc. for $2,500)
 
Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center & Theatre (Old Saybrook)    $5,000
   Midsummer Gala/Producing Sponsor
 
Literacy Volunteers – Valley Shore, CT, Inc.       $2,000
   For publishing and mailing the quarterly newsletter, “Tutor”    
 
Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (Old Lyme)      $3,000
   Moroccan Delights Sponsor, The 2010 Scholarship Party
   (Co-Sponsor with Essex Financial Services, Inc. for $6,000)
        
Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB)  (Old Lyme)       $5,000
   Toward the cost of printing and mailing “Youth Connections” (Bureau newsletter)
 
MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation, Inc. (Old Lyme)     $2,000
    To fund their newsletter, “Evelyn’s Wishes”     

Madison Branch Grand Opening (Madison)       $5,000
   (Five $1,000 Drawings) – Designated Madison 501(c)(3) organizations by winners
– Robert Brigockas –  The Madison Foundation
– Thomas Deal – Christ Chapel, Madison
– Frank DeLucia – Madison Community Services, Inc.
– Cathy McMahon – Madison Community Services, Inc.
– Margo Sweeney – Madison Community Services, Inc.

Middlesex County Community Foundation, Inc. (MCCF) (Middletown)     $5,000
   – $1,000 for the John A. Barr, Jr. Fund
   – $1,000 for Foundation unrestricted administration support 
   – $3,000 to sponsor MCCF’s two printed newsletters and multiple e-newsletters scheduled in 2010
   
Middlesex County Community Foundation, Inc. (MCCF) (Middletown)    $5,000
   To Co-Sponsor premier event on September 15, 2010  (Becker Thatcher riverboat cruise
   followed by the musical, “Carnival” at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam)
   (Co-Sponsor with Essex Financial Services, Inc. for $10,000)
 
The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Association, Inc. (Old Lyme)   $2,500                                                                                                                                                          
   Toward printing and mailing two issues of the Library’s newsletter   
     
Sound Music, Inc. (New London)        $1,250
   Stage Sponsor
   (Co-Sponsor with Essex Financial Services, Inc. for $2,500)

Tri-Town Youth Service Bureau, Inc. (Deep River)            $5,000
   Toward printing and distribution of three issues of the Agency newsletter

Valley-Shore YMCA (Westbrook)        $1,250
   Small Business Forum Sponsor
   (Co-Sponsor with Essex Financial Services, Inc. for $2,500)

Valley-Shore YMCA (Westbrook)        $5,000
   For exclusive naming rights for “Healthy Kids Day” 2011     
         
Valley-Shore YMCA (Westbrook)        $2,500
   Lead Funder of “Y Fit Kids” for the 2010-2011 school year  
     
Essex Savings Bank Community Reinvestment Fund      $1,048
   Allocated for Community Reinvestment Act needs to promote affordable housing

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851.  The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and Shoreline with five offices in Essex (2), Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook.   Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc, Member FINRA, SIPC. Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

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Giuliano Hosts Forum for Home-Based Businesses

State Representative Marilyn Giuliano

State Representative Marilyn Giuliano and the Connecticut Dept. of Economic and Community Development )DECD) are hosting a Home-Based Business Networking Forum on Wednesday, Aug. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Old Saybrook High School.

The keynote speaker will be Commissioner Joan McDonald of the DECD.

Meet other home-based business owners and learn how government can work for you.

To register or for further information, contact Marilyn Giuliano at Marilyn.Giuliano@cga.ct.gov

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Personal Finance: Long Term Care Insurance Can Help Protect Your Assets

By: Marc Sack, Northstar Wealth Partners

How will you pay for long term care? The sad fact is that most people don’t know the answer to that question. But a solution is available.

As baby boomers leave their careers behind, long term care insurance will become very important in their financial strategies. The reasons to get an LTC policy after age 50 are very compelling.

Your premium payments buy you access to a large pool of money which can be used to pay for long term care costs. By paying for LTC out of that pool of money, you can preserve your retirement savings and income.

The cost of assisted living or nursing home care alone could motivate you to pay the premiums. Genworth Financial conducts a respected annual Cost of Care Survey to gauge the price of long term care in the U.S. The 2010 report found that in 2010, the median annual cost of a private room in a nursing home is $75,190 or $206 per day – $14,965 more than it was in 2005.

A private one-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility has a median cost of $3,185 a month – which is 12% higher than it was in 2009.

The median payment to a non-Medicare certified, state-licensed home health aide is $19 in 2010, up 2.7% from 2009.[1]

Can you imagine spending an extra $30-80K out of your retirement savings in a year? What if you had to do it for more than one year?

AARP notes that approximately 60% of people over age 65 will require some kind of long term care during their lifetimes.[2]

Why procrastinate? The earlier you opt for LTC coverage, the cheaper the premiums. This is why many people purchase it before they retire. Those in poor health or over the age of 80 are frequently ineligible for coverage.

What it pays for. Some people think LTC coverage just pays for nursing home care. That’s inaccurate. It can pay for a wide variety of nursing, social, and rehabilitative services at home and away from home, for people with a chronic illness or disability or people who just need assistance bathing, eating or dressing.[3]

Choosing a DBA. That stands for Daily Benefit Amount – the maximum amount that your LTC plan will pay per day for care in a nursing home facility. You can choose a Daily Benefit Amount when you pay for your LTC coverage, and you can also choose the length of time that you may receive the full DBA on a daily basis. The DBA typically ranges from a few dozen dollars to hundreds of dollars. Some of these plans offer you “inflation protection” at enrollment, meaning that every few years, you will have the chance to buy additional coverage and get compounding – so your pool of money can grow.

The Medicare misconception. Too many people think Medicare will pick up the cost of long term care. Medicare is not long term care insurance. Medicare will only pay for the first 100 days of nursing home care, and only if 1) you are getting skilled care and 2) you go into the nursing home right after a hospital stay of at least 3 days. Medicare also covers limited home visits for skilled care, and some hospice services for the terminally ill. That’s all.[2]

Now, Medicaid can actually pay for long term care – if you are destitute. Are you willing to wait until you are broke for a way to fund long term care? Of course not. LTC insurance provides a way to do it.

Why not look into this? You may have heard that LTC insurance is expensive compared with some other forms of policies. But the annual premiums (about as much as you’d spend on a used car from the late 1990s) are nothing compared to real-world LTC costs.[4]

Ask your insurance advisor or financial advisor about some of the LTC choices you can explore – while many Americans have life, health and disability insurance, that’s not the same thing as long term care coverage.

genworth.com/content/etc/medialib/genworth_v2/pdf/ltc_cost_of_care.Par.85518.File.dat/Executive%20Summary_gnw.pdf [4/10]

2 – aarp.org/families/caregiving/caring_help/what_does_long_term_care_cost.html [11/11/08]

3 – pbs.org/nbr/site/features/special/article/long-term-care-insurance_SP/ [11/11/08]

4 – longtermcare.gov/LTC/Main_Site/Paying_LTC/Private_Programs/LTC_Insurance/index.aspx [6/25/09]

Marc Sack is a Representative with NorthStar Wealth Partners/LPL Financial and may be reached at www.NSTARWP.com, 860-665-7737 or msack@nstarwp.com.

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Chester Planning and Zoning to Hold Public Hearing on Two Special Permit Applications

CHESTER–The planning and zoning commission has scheduled an August 5 public hearing on special permit applications for two projects that could boost economic development in town. The hearings convene at 7:30 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House on Liberty St.

An application from Airport Industrial Park LLC (owner), and Hull Management LLC (applicant) calls for a 50-foot by 50-foot steel building on a one-acre parcel at the Airport Industrial Park off Route 145. The company provides engineering development and prototype manufacturing for machine products that are sold to other companies. The site plan includes parking four to five employees and two to three visitors, and predicts “light to moderate” truck traffic for delivery and shipping of products and materials.

A second special permit application seeks approval for a Bliss Supermarket in a vacant building at 56 Middlesex Avenue (Route 154) near the intersection of Route 154 and Main Street. The commercial parcel is owned by 56 Middlesex Avenue LLC, the applicant is John DeFrino.

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Essex Savings Bank Promotes Ed Hazuka to Vice President

Ed Hazuka Promoted to Essex Savings Bank Vice President

Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO of Essex Savings Bank, is pleased to announce that Ed Hazuka of Old Saybrook has been promoted to Vice President.  Ed joined Essex Savings Bank in May 2004 as the Bank’s AVP/Information Systems Officer and has twenty-five years of industry experience, computer programming skills, and overall information systems knowledge.

Ed has managed the new information technology challenges and opportunities brought on by the ever-growing size and complexity of the Bank while directing the on-going bank information systems.  In addition, he serves as the Bank Privacy Officer, Information Technology Officer, and is responsible for a number of policies that protect systems, customer information, and their potential effect on the Bank’s overall reputation risks.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851.  The Bank serves the Lower Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with offices in Essex (2), Old Saybrook, Old Lyme and in the fall Madison.
Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and subsidiary Essex Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA, SIPC.  Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value, are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

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‘Southeast Shuttle’ Bus Service Launched from Old Saybrook

9 Town Transit now provides direct service to between Old Saybrook and New London with its new Southeast Shuttle.  This service replaces the current Niantic route that terminates in Niantic.  The Southeast Shuttle operates Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. between the Old Saybrook Train Station and the New London Transportation Center in downtown New London, via Old Lyme.

Old Lyme stops include the A & P, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Old Lyme center, Shore Rd., Ryewood and Lymewood senior housing, and the Lymes’ Senior Center.  The cost of the service is $1.25 town per one way trip.

The new service provides a fast and convenient link between Old Saybrook and New London in a 45 minute trip.  Users from the Estuary region will also be able to connect for free to the Southeast Area Transit (SEAT) system at the New London Transportation Center for service throughout New London, Norwich, and other southeast Connecticut towns.

Easy connections can be made to such points as the Crystal Mall in Waterford, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, Connecticut College, Mystic, Foxwoods, and Mohegan Sun.

The service also allows New London/Norwich area residents to travel throughout the Estuary region.  Users will be able to connect for free to any 9 Town Transit service, with service to all nine Estuary region towns including such points Westbrook Tanger Outlets and Clinton Crossing Outlets.  Transfers can also be made to Middletown, New Haven, and Hartford.

The Estuary Transit District provides public transit service via the fleet of 13 buses to Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook through its 9 Town Transit service.  Connections are provided to New Haven, Middletown, Hartford and New London/Norwich bus services as well as Shoreline East Commuter Rail.

All services are open to the general public with no age or disability restrictions.

Additional information, route maps and schedules are available online at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.

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Essex Savings Bank Announces Directors, Trustees, Strong Results

Kenneth Gibble, Chairman of Essex Savings Bank announced the election of Directors and Trustees at the Bank’s 159th annual meeting held July 19, at the Bank corporate headquarters in Essex. 

Incumbents John W. Rafal, Gary H. Reynolds and Richard C. Swan were re-elected to the Board of Directors for a three year term.  Incumbents Mary Boone, Jeffrey Dunn, Constance O’Brien, Rebekah Renshaw, Mark Richards, Mary Seidner and George Whelen were re-elected as Trustees for a five year term.

Gregory R. Shook, Bank President and CEO, reported on the financial condition for the first nine months of the fiscal year and said, “It is my pleasure to update everyone on the Bank’s excellent performance.  Our earnings remain strong and ahead of last year which was one of our most profitable.  Assets increased by $13 million and deposits increased by $15 million while our capital increased by $1 million due to a strong core banking performance.”

He continued, “The Bank’s capital remains more than double the regulatory requirements for well-capitalized banks.  We continue to report that our credit quality remains superb.  The Bank outperforms our peer group and I believe we are in the best possible position for the challenges and opportunities of the current economic environment.”

John W. Rafal, President of Essex Financial Services, said, “Despite a challenging market, assets under management increased by $600 million to $2.7 billion from last year.”  Rafal also reported an increase in revenue of 17.4% compared to the previous period.  He noted investments in the Madison office, namely its refurbishment and the hiring of five new advisors and two corresponding sales assistants. 

Chairman Gibble reported that Rafal was ranked the number one Financial Advisor in Connecticut by Barron’s Magazine in their February 22, 2010 issue which ranked the top 30 financial advisors in the state.  This was in addition to his previous national ranking of America’s Top Independent Financial Advisers for two years in a row.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851.  The Bank has offices in Essex (2), Madison, Old Saybrook and Old Lyme.  Essex Financial Services, Inc. is a member of FINRA, SIPC and is a subsidiary of Essex Savings Bank.

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9 Town Transit Offers Online Booking

From a press release:

Customers can now access 9TT’s self-service site at www.9towntransit.com. Each customer is provided a login ID and password. Trip bookings are immediately confirmed, with no need to speak to a reservation agent. Customers will also have the ability to view future trips and make cancellations. In addition, they can see estimated pick up times for the current days trips based on real-time performance data.

The new self-service site will provide a new option for customers to book trips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also allows customers to easily confirm trips and view estimated pick-up times without having to call a reservationist, eliminating phone wait times.

The Estuary Transit District provides public transit service via the fleet of 13 buses to Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook through its 9 Town Transit service. Connections are provided to New Haven, Middletown, Hartford and New London/Norwich bus services as well as Shoreline East Commuter Rail. All services are open to the general public with no age or disability restrictions.

Additional information, route maps and schedules are available online at www.9towntransit.com or by calling 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.

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A Brand New Day: The Valley-Shore YMCA Unveils New Brand Strategy to Further Community Impact

For the first time in 43 years, YMCA of the USA has unveiled a new brand strategy to increase understanding of the impact that YMCAs make in communities across the country.  The YMCA has the unique capacity to address many of the challenges facing the nation today.  Through its new brand strategy and framework, the nonprofit will extend its reach into communities to nurture the potential of youth and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to support neighbors. 

The new brand strategy – the result of more than two years of analysis and research – was introduced today at a National Press Club event that included leaders from the philanthropic and nonprofit communities.  As part of the event, the YMCA unveiled a new, more forward-looking logo that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of the organization, and a framework that focuses resources on three core areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.  In another major change, the nonprofit will be called “the Y” to align with how people most commonly refer to the organization. 

“The Valley-Shore YMCA is truly excited about the new brand strategy and the opportunity to engage more people in the areas of healthy living, social responsibility and youth development,” said Paul Mohabir CEO, Valley-Shore YMCA. “There are many exciting changes taking place at the Y’ where we are building momentum, and this strategy is getting everyone from our volunteers to our members and donors very excited.”

The community can expect from the VSY’ a newly renovated gymnasium coming this August in perfect timing to compliment their new branding and newly renovated facility.  Ys across the country will fully transition to the new brand within five years.

“This is a very important, exciting time for the Y,” said Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA.  “For 160 years, we’ve focused on changing lives for the better.  Our commitment to building greater awareness for the important work we do will enable us to expand our efforts and further strengthen communities across the country.”

Today, across the United States, Ys are making a difference in three key areas of focus: 

  • Youth Development: Nurturing the potential of every child and teen
  • Healthy Living: Improving the nation’s health and well-being
  • Social Responsibility: Giving back and providing support to our neighbors

The Y’s former logo had been in place since 1967 and was the organization’s sixth since its inception. The refreshed logo, with its multiple color options and new, contemporary look, better reflects the vibrancy of the Y and the diversity of the communities it serves.  The new logo’s bold, active and welcoming shape symbolizes the Y’s commitment to personal and social progress. 

 
The Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,687 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. For more information contact the Y at 860-399-9622 or visit us on the web at www.vsymca.org.

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Ivoryton Mazda Dealership Closes

ESSEX— The Crest Mazda car dealership at 7 Main St. in the Ivoryton section closed Wednesday, leaving vacant a parcel that had housed one of the first automobile dealerships in lower Middlesex County.

Peter Loscoe, service manager at the dealership, said Thursday the Mazda franchise had been purchased by Landon Sock, owner of the Kia dealership at the Old Saybrook Auto Mall.

Loscoe said most of the vehicle inventory was relocated to Old Saybrook Wednesday.
The 1.5-acre parcel located on the Mill Pond of Falls River has contained car dealerships since the early 1900s, beginninng as the Behrens & Bushnell Buick dealership that sold some of the first automobiles to be owned and driven in the Valley Shore towns. It has operated under the Crest Mazda name since 2005 after many years as a branch of the Town and Country auto dealership of Middletown.

The parcel is currently owned by Grand Pacific Holding Corp. of Flushing N.Y. It was assessed at $777,400 on the October 2009 grand list. First Selectman Phil Miller said Thursday he had heard rumors in recent days the dealership was on the way out. Miller noted the property has a key location on one of the widest vistas of the Mill Pond.

“We certainly are interested in the future of that property,” Miller said, while adding the parcel may have some environmental contamination issues because of the decades of use as a car dealership with a service department.

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There’s a New Cafe in Old Lyme

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme has recently opened Café Flo, a new addition to its cultural offerings.  The seasonal summer café serves locally sourced fare from River Tavern in Chester Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 to 3 p.m. through Sept. 19.

Jonathan Rapp, chef and owner of River Tavern provides the culinary expertise for the café.  “River Tavern is the perfect partner for this project, “states Jeff Andersen, director of the Museum.  “Jonathan uses only the freshest ingredients available from local farmers and purveyors for his delicious and inventive dishes.”  Since the meals are prepared based on what is in season, the menu changes daily.
 
Items such as spinach salad with croutons and Caesar dressing; Arugula, strawberries, feta, walnuts and coriander vinaigrette; spiced chickpea with marinated chicken, cucumber, golden raisin, yogurt and mint; lobster salad roll with homemade potato chips are all featured on the menu regularly. 

Prices range from $6 to $16 and include family-friendly items like PB&J made with homemade jam and fresh peanut butter.
Café Flo is located at the Museum in the John and Dyanne Rafal Landscape Center (pictured above) with seating available in and around the center, including the historic garden.  Diners may also choose to use one of the available picnic blankets and baskets and enjoy their meal near the Lieutenant River.  

“I can’t think of a lovelier setting for lunch, this is one of the most beautiful spots in Connecticut, said Jonathan Rapp.  Adding, “The café will add to the many charms of this exciting museum and help make the Florence Griswold Museum the place to be this summer.”

The addition of Café Flo is just one way the Florence Griswold Museum promotes local farmers and food purveyors.  For the past 13 years the Museum has organized Market En Plein Air for the annual Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, held the last Saturday in July.  Fashioned after French outdoor markets, local vendors are invited to sell their products from the lawn of the Museum. It has become one of the highly anticipated events of the summer.

Café Flo is also an example of how the Museum continually looks for creative ways to work with local artisans and businesses.  For example the café tables were designed by housewright Erik Block of Hadlyme using reclaimed wood salvaged from a Connecticut mill.  The 2010 season of Café Flo is sponsored by The Cooley Gallery of Old Lyme.

Located on an 11-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism.  In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, a landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, at exit 70 off I-95 and is open year round Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1 to 5pm.  Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 students, and free to children 12 and under.
For more information, visit the Museum’s web site at www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.

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