August 16, 2022

Letter to the Editor: Siegrist is Voice of Change we Need in Hartford

To the Editor:

Connecticut experienced the two largest state tax increases in history in the last few years. The rainy day fund was practically drained to close the past year’s deficit. As claimed by Democratic legislators, “The budget is balanced” but it is unclear if this is true. There is another major financial storm on the horizon for 2017.

I don’t want a person representing me in Hartford who is a rubber stamp for the Malloy Administration. A person who doesn’t care about the funding of Essex’s schools. A person who doesn’t care about the well-being of the people he represents. I want someone who opposes tax increases, someone who will work to stop careless government spending, someone who will promote economic growth, someone who will look after the well-being of the residents of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam. I want someone who will help make Connecticut “Better Than Ever.”

It is time for a change in Hartford this November. It is time to elect a representative for the 36th district who the hard-working taxpayers of Connecticut deserve! We need a fresh face, integrity, and real common-sense solutions to the state’s problems. Bob Siegrist is the person we need in Hartford to represent the 36th State House District. Bob will be the voice of change we need.

I will be voting for Bob on November 8th.  I ask the residents of the 36th district to join me in voting for Bob Siegrest for State Representative.


Bruce S. MacMillian,

Letter to the Editor: We Need Phil Miller as our State Representative

To the Editor:

I am voting for our State Representative Phil Miller and urge my fellow voters to vote for Phil too. As a former Chester Selectman, I worked with Phil, both while he was First Selectman of Essex, and as our State Representative. Phil is a man of integrity and strength. He is honest and well respected. He works tirelessly on our behalf and for our benefit.

Phil’s knowledge and experience is extensive, which is why he serves as the Chair of the Planning and Development Committee, and is a member on both the Environmental Committee and the Office of Program Review and Investigations. He has an in-depth understanding regarding all matters relating to our local governments, including issues involving housing, planning and zoning, regional planning and development activities, Plan of Conservation and Development, and our
areas economic development needs.

Phil Miller is an effective leader. He is a man that hits tough issues head on. He explains in detail the issues, the budget challenges, and their impacts on us. He keeps us informed on what goes on in Hartford. He fully informs us and makes no excuses.

Phil’s proven experience is reflected by all the laws he sponsors or co-sponsors, and that get passed. Phil fights for us in the tough budget sessions, always keeping our best interests at the forefront. We need Phil Miller, especially during these challenging times, so we continue to have an experienced champion represent us in the Connecticut General Assembly.


Larry Sypher,

Letter to the Editor: Many Reasons to Reelect Phil Miller, the Best Choice for State Representative

To the Editor:

It didn’t take me long to figure out who to support this election for state representative for the 36th District. If you missed the debate between Phil Miller and Bob Siegrist then you missed out on hearing how polished and professional our incumbent State Rep Phil Miller sounded. Phil is the right choice to continue to represent us in Hartford. He has been an influential voice for us as the chair of the Planning & Development Committee, and he has our small CT River Valley well represented.

Phil has worked to secure funding, meeting with the Office of Policy and Management, and supporting Valley Shore Emergency Communications (VSECI) grant application. The group seeks creation of a multi-site UHF simulcast system to provide better communications for volunteer firefighters and medical technicians among the towns.

Rep. Philip Miller introduced a bill in the House of Representatives backed by local lawmakers and advocates which aims to improve water services to residents of the Tylerville section of Haddam.

The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) has named Phil a “Legislative Champion” for his support of environmental issues considered by the General Assembly this year.

Many people have told me they have phoned our representative and state senator, and it is always Phil that returns the call and tries to help them with their problem whatever it may be; Phil is approachable, inclusive and very successful in helping resolve problems.

Phil has the experience to work across the aisle, and has many avenues to help cut the red tape in Hartford and help pave the way to a better future. I hope you will join me in reelecting Phil Miller to the 36th District on November 8th.


Lisa Bibbiani, Deep River Democratic Town Committee (DRTC) Chair
AnnMarie Joy, DRDTC Vice Chair
Dorothy DeMichael, DRDTC Treasurer
Angus McDonald Jr, Deep River First Selectman
Stephen Bibbiani, DRDTC member
Bruce Edgerton, DRDTC Member
Jan Edgerton, DRDTC Member

Letter to the Editor: Sen. Linares Right for the Lower CT River Valley

To the Editor:

I met Senator Linares 4 years ago shortly after he decided to run for his first term to the State Senate. My first thought was, “He’s too young,” but then he spoke of his family’s immigrant history, his ideas for Connecticut and I was sold.  In his first two terms, he has shown leadership beyond his years.

The debate between Senator Linares and Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman held October 17 revealed a stark contrast.  Mr. Needleman’s understanding of the issues facing the state appeared thin and he had no solutions beyond the failed efforts of the democratic leadership of our state. In contrast, Senator Linares revealed a deep understanding of the issues and described efforts he has made and will continue to make to fix those problems.  Mr. Needleman not only supported Mr. Malloy and his tax increases, but donated to his campaigns and was amenable to further tax increases.  Notably, Mr. Needleman did not dispute that the Democratic Party has hired and is paying a handsome salary to a campaign manager for Mr. Needleman.  We can’t know what Mr. Needleman promised the Senate Democratic Leadership, but we should all be concerned.

Senator Linares stood up against Mr. Malloy’s tax increases and supports a plan to grow the economy, jobs and reduce taxes titled, “A Confident Future,” which was unveiled by the GOP Senate Leadership on September 15.  A copy of the plan can be found at


Mel Seifert,
Editor’s Note: The author is a member of the Chester RTC.

Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to State Rep. Miller

An Open Letter to State Representative Phil Miller:

I’m asking if you remember meeting with me when I called upon you to be my voice to make legislative change for those of us who suffer from damage to our highly taxed property  due to construction and  industrial blasting? I am asking you to remember that you refused to help me.

I am asking if you remember when you took the Oath of Office to represent all people in your district both Republicans and Democrats. I am asking you why you would not stand with me and Senator Art Linares on this important bipartisan issue.

I am asking you why you call yourself an environmental leader while saying no to environmental issues created by blasting that pertain to your constituent’s health, air, water, and welfare.

I am asking you Representative Miller if the definition of Representative is important to you.  Are you a true voice, a strong agent that works on behalf of all people?  I ask why you were offended when at our meeting I reminded you that you work for me.

I am asking if you agree that the hard working highly taxed people of the 36th district deserve and depend on great representation all of the time, not some of the time, or never?

I’m asking you Representative Miller, to now understand why I am so eager for new Representation in Hartford.  I for one am voting for Bob Siegrist.


Deborah F. Rindge,

Letter to the Editor: LVVS Thanks Shoreline Web News for Supporting Recent Fundraiser

To the Editor:

In our original letter regarding Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore’s Wine and Brew Tasting and Auction benefitting the organization’s tutoring program we set out to thank those responsible for the success of the event. The event, held on September 29th at the Saybrook Point Pavilion netted funds that will help L.V.V.S. continue the mission of eradicating illiteracy in the valley shore area well into 2017.

Many of our sponsors have longstanding relationships with our agency and support the work of eliminating illiteracy through a number of means. It has come to our attention that we inadvertently left off one of the most loyal and steadfast partners from that letter. Nigel and Olwen Logan of Shoreline Web News LLC provided LVVS with coverage and an ad for our fundraiser worth far in excess of the $200 normal ad space charge. We thank them for their continued support and for the fine work they do in covering area news and events.

Our agency exists because volunteers and sponsors, such as Shoreline Web News make it possible for us to raise the funds to help area residents improve their lives. Readers and advertsers can help in that work by supporting those businesses who are committed to causes such as this.

Thank You!


John J. Ferrara

Editor’s Note: The author is the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc.

Letter to the Editor: Linares, Siegrist Will Help Restore Fiscally Sound State Budget

To the Editor:

Art Linares and Bob Siegrist have the conviction to standup for the changes needed to put the Connecticut state budget back on track.  Too many of our state legislators speak about instituting change or making meaningful improvements to the budget.  These same legislators come to the eleventh hour and join the lemmings in passing a budget lacking any foresight or respect for non-partisan revenue predictions.  Art Linares did oppose the most recent budget due to a lack of substantive institutional changes.  Bob Siegrist has spoken out against that budget and provided meaningful solutions to the current budget problems.

Art Linares has been a voice advocating positive change and a more holistic budgeting process.  Bob Siegrist will be another voice addressing the long-term budgetary issues that have caused Connecticut to earn the dubious title of the having the highest per capita government debt.  Both will represent our district by ensuring our tax dollars are treated with the same consideration we give our individual household budgets.

We continue to hear about the “new economic reality” Connecticut is facing.  Well, that reality is not new; it started in 2008.  It’s time we have state representatives that recognize a “new” reality in less than eight years and not hide behind a tricky phrase as an excuse for their inaction.  Linares recognized that change early on as evidenced by his votes in the Senate.  Siegrist has been living the economic reality and understands the challenges.  Both are grounded in reality and understand what needs to be done to improve our prospects for the future.

Art Linares and Bob Siegrist are our best choices for making the changes needed in our state government.  Join me in voting for Art and Bob on November 8.


Susie Beckman,

Letter to the Editor: Phil Miller is the Best Choice for the 36th District

To the Editor:

Phil Miller is the best choice for state representative for Essex, Deep River, Chester, and Haddam.  He is a legislative leader, chairing the Planning and Development Committee, and has been instrumental in making laws that benefit our region.  His prominent position in the legislature gives him a unique platform to continue to fight to solve the State’s financial issues. 

Since Phil has been in Hartford, he has advocated for many local infrastructure and transportation projects, giving aid to our local economy.  An active listener and talented problem solver, his office has helped countless citizens to navigate state agencies to get the assistance they need.  Phil’s experience as a Selectman and First Selectman has been particularly helpful in recognizing and helping to defeat proposed legislation which could place a financial burden on our small towns.  He knows what we need and we need to keep him in the State House. 

I ask you to join me in re-electing Phil Miller to District 36 State Representative.


Lauren S. Gister,

Editor’s Note: The author is the first selectman of Chester.

Letter to the Editor: Following the Saul Alinsky Road Map to a Socialist Gulag

To the Editor:

Once again, hard-left liberal politicians are attempting to co-opt or disarm Fiscal Conservatives by using the road map of their modern-day patron saint – the late Saul Alinsky. It is he who gave agnostic progressive Democrats instructions for burning down the system and replacing it with a Socialist Gulag.

The first stop on the road map, simply put, is to get elected to office by slithering into the brains of those likely to vote for your opponent. The goal is to mess with their minds by appearing moderate or fiscally conservative in order to gain their support. Of course, the truth is that it is impossible to be a big tax, big government, big bureaucracy and Big Deficit Spending progressive and still call yourself fiscally conservative.

If it doesn’t work to prevaricate, the next stop on the road map is to bellyache, investigate, litigate, obfuscate or deprecate your opponents. St. Alinsky’s rule number five advocates ridicule as man’s (sic) most potent weapon, e.g., those who disagree with you are stupid, racists, sexists, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, homophobic,  Islamaphobic and basically DEPLORABLE.  “You name it.”

As so often happens, those who throw out these kinds of accusations are often revealed as the genuine bigots (WikiLeaks document dump). So far, and there is likely much more to be revealed, the Clinton campaign believes Latinos are “needy,” millennials are “basement dwellers,” African Americans are underachievers, Bernie supporters are whiners and Catholics are back in the stone age.

And I know a ship-load of voters, both Democrats and Republicans, who are happily taking residence in the “Basket of Deplorables.” They are not infected with any isms, bics or tics. The” Deplorables” are motivated by the desire for the well-deserved respect for Veterans and police officers, a strong, military, Scalia-like Supreme appointments, intelligent Homeland Security, a robust economy, the demise of onerous regulations, the taming of out-of-control political correctness, the shake-up of establishment politicians and journalists, free market healthcare and the halting of what we recognize as a repudiation of the principles of our American founding – by far left agnostic progressives.


Alison Nichols,

Letter to the Editor: Prominent Democrat Supports Republican Siegrist for State Rep.

To the Editor:

As we are all aware, there is an election coming up, and I have given careful thought as to where I will place my vote on election day. It was not a difficult decision. When it comes to a responsible, knowledgeable, and honest choice; the choice is obvious, Bob Siegrist.

Bob is a fresh face to politics, with strong and relevant ideas on how best to serve the people of the 36th district. Connecticut politics need a new voice in Hartford and Bob’s voice will be heard when he becomes our next state representative. He is tenacious and ready and willing to fight for the needs of our district.

As our next State Representative for the 36th district, Bob will continue to take the time to meet with his constituents and understand what is important to them. I know because I have already met with and spoken with him a number of times about those things that concern me. I have found that he listens with an open mind and allows for opposing opinions as well as like-minded thoughts. He truly wants to know what it is that concerns those in his district and he is willing to step in to help find the best solutions to resolve those concerns.

Bob is ready to do the work to make our state and our district a better place to live, work, and raise our families. In my opinion, there’s only one right choice for state rep of the 36th district and that’s Bob Siegrist. Join me on November 8 and give Bob the opportunity to do the work he is ready to take on as our State Representative.


Leigh Balducci,
Deep River.

Letter to the Editor: Needleman has Qualifications, Experience for State Senate Job

To the Editor:

This election is a crucial one for all of us, for reasons that we know only too well. The state budget, economic development, oppressive mandates, and education funding affects each of us and our towns.  With so many daunting issues to address, we can’t settle for anyone who doesn’t have the experience, knowledge, and skills to work across party lines to get the job done right. 

Given those criteria, the choice for the 33rd District State Senator is an easy one. It is Norm Needleman.  Norm’s qualifications and experience make him the right person for the job.  He has nearly forty years of experience at running a successful company and creating jobs.  His first priority is not ambition or party politics. Rather, he is focused on enhancing the quality of life for everyone in our towns.

As First Selectman of Essex, Norm has kept taxes among the lowest in the state, without cutting services.  Norm believes that dialogue is the key to solving problems, and that no individual or political party has a monopoly on good ideas. He has long been actively involved in a number of civic and not-for-profit organizations.  Most of all, he relies on his proven business skills and a deep knowledge of town government to find ways of solving problems that cut across party lines and special interests.

In these challenging times, we need Norm Needleman’s leadership and problem-solving skills in Hartford. I am voting for Norm because he will return meaningful state senate representation to our district.


Ted Taigen,

Letter to the Editor: Needleman Stands for Sensible Gun Control, Unlike His Opponent

To the Editor:

I am voting for Norm Needleman for State Senate because of his pragmatic and common-sense approach to public service, exemplified by Needleman’s position for sensible gun control.

After the Newtown school massacre of 20 first graders and 6 educators, the NRA ‘robocalled” Newtown residents urging them to oppose gun safety legislation and to contact Senator Linares to mobilize opposition.

The press sought out Linares for an explanation of his role, but he was “unavailable for comment”.  A month later, the legislature overwhelmingly passed “An Act Concerning Gun Violence and Children’s Safety”, drafted by a bipartisan panel and supported by the leadership of both parties.

Linares voted “NO” and never explained why.

In May 2016, despite vehement opposition from the NRA, sensible legislation to stem gun violence, “An Act Concerning Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence” was enacted.  Again Linares voted “NO”, even though there was strong bipartisan support ensuring its passage. Over 20 states have similar statutes.

Linares’s NRA’s high rating is apparently due to his Newtown and domestic violence no votes and his confided answers to their questionnaires.

In my view, most gun owners are responsible and practice careful use of their firearms. The job of our State Senator is to listen to all concerns and recommendations on gun safety and go beyond the extreme positions of the NRA hierarchy, and begin to address the provisions of the General Assembly’s Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention, April 2013.

Norm Needleman is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and not the extreme positions embraced by the NRA and Linares.

Vote for Norm Needleman, whose proven leadership and proven results, in both the public and private sectors are driven by his sensible, compassionate and balanced approach to getting things done.


Ed Meehan,

Letter to the Editor: Why do I Support Needleman? Let me Count the Ways … (With the Editor’s Apologies to The Bard)

To the Editor:

I enthusiastically support Norm Needleman for State Senate because as a business owner and Essex first selectman, Norm knows how to balance a budget, make a payroll and care for hundreds of employees.

Norm’s opponent? He has problems. Art Linares was a Trump delegate at the Republican Convention, and has blatantly reaffirmed his support for Trump in recent days. The question for voters is, why?

The New London Day (October 5, page B3) carried a column calling Linares’ support of Trump the most ludicrous in the state.  It pointed out that Linares’ family business (“Greenskies”, which installs solar panels from China) receives huge state subsidies to encourage renewable energy.  Yet Trump is denier-in-chief that climate change even exists.

Consider also one of Linares’ favorite issues: balancing the budget. Trump’s economic plan is projected by the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget to increase the national deficit by $5.3 trillion over the next 10 years — 26 times more that Clinton’s plan.  How can Linares possibly support that? Norm’s budget-balancing plan for the state is to cut state spending — a good approach.

Next up is Trump’s abhorrent treatment of women, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and immigrants in general, and the GOP/Trump platform’s proposals to end a women’s right to chose, legalize discrimination against gays, toss out campaign finance law, and end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The list goes on and on. Where does Linares stand on these Trump issues?

Trump’s poor record was well-known when Linares became a Trump delegate, long before the recent disclosure of Trump’s vulgar, disgusting tapes about women. Are these the principles and positions Linares stands for, since he continues to support Trump? You bet – that’s why I’m backing Norm!

Arthur Henick,

Letter to the Editor: Literacy Volunteers Say Thanks to Supporters, Sponsors of Recent Fundraiser

To The Editor:

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore’s Wine and Brew Tasting and Auction benefitting the organization’s tutoring program was a rousing success again this year. The event, held on September 29th at the Saybrook Point Pavilion netted funds that will help L.V.V.S. continue the mission of eradicating illiteracy in the valley shore area well into 2017.

Again this year people and organizations came together in a worthy cause. Special thanks to The Clark Group and Whelen Engineering our title sponsors. We are also indebted to Seaside Wine & Spirits of Old Saybrook who provided the evening’s libations. Event sponsors Tower Laboratories, Murphy and Company CPAs, Bogaert Construction, Guilford Savings Bank, Lyman Real Estate, Bob & Madge Fish and Edward Jones Investments of Clinton also deserve recognition for their support and for their continued belief in us.

I cannot thank Elizabeth Steffen enough. She worked so hard to produce the food for the evening, contributed raffle and auction items and still somehow found time to sell tickets and help set up the venue. Similarly, the efforts of board member Paula Chabot, our event organizer, board members Arcangela Claffey, Barb Erni, Bill Guerra and Linda Liptrot, Board Chairman Jack Smith and Madge Fish insured a wonderful and successful fundraiser.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hard work and extra dedication of Administrative Assistant Joanne Argersinger, volunteer Paula Ferrara and the cooperation of the Old Saybrook Park and Recreation Department.  Thank you all so very much!

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


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

Letter to the Editor: Thanks From TTYS for ‘Taste of the Valley’ Community Support

To the Editor:

Tri-Town Youth Services would like to thank the tri-town community for supporting our signature fundraiser, Taste of the Valley, which was held at the Deep River Historical Society on the evening of September 23.

Our thanks to the restaurants who were present and shared tempting appetizers and desserts: LaVita Gustosa, Dough on Main, Rustica, and Riverside Thai, as well as to many others who sent delicious platters.  We wish to thank the Essex Lions for providing tables and chairs.

Special thanks to sponsors, including Whelen Engineering, Tom Alexa, Coburn Financial Group, Middlesex Hospital, Tower Labs, and many others.  Our silent auction had many creative offerings, thanks to many individuals and local businesses.  Blues on the Rocks provided tasteful music for listening and dancing.

Thanks to everyone who made it an evening to remember as well as a meaningful contribution to Tri-Town Youth Services.

Tri-Town Youth services supports and advances the families, youth, and communities of Chester, Deep River, and Essex.  They coordinate and provide resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.


Gail E. Beck and Tri-Town’s Board of Directors,
Deep River

Letter to the Editor: Congratulations to Ann Lander on ‘Beacon Award’ for Literacy Volunteers’ Service

To The Editor:

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore is proud to congratulate Ann Lander for winning a Shore Publishing 2016 Beacon Award. Ann is being recognized for her dedication to Literacy Volunteers as a Workshop Leader, Conversation Social facilitator, Tutor, Student Services Coordinator and volunteer at the organization’s fundraisers. Her selflessness and commitment to helping tutors and students improve lives in our shoreline communities for over twenty seven years makes her more than deserving of this recognition. We are so proud to be associated with someone who has made a life, after improving the lives of area children in her teaching career, improving the lives of children AND adults in her “volunteer” career with Literacy Volunteers.

The Beacon Awards recognize a few outstanding individuals who selflessly step up to help fulfill the Shoreline community’s promise as a place of opportunity, wellbeing, and safety for all. Ms. Lander was officially recognized at the annual Beacon Awards Dinner to be held at Water’s Edge Resort & Spa in Westbrook on September 28th. I am honored to speak for the board, staff, tutors and students of Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore in thanking Ann for her service, congratulating her on this award and in extending our best wishes to her in her future endeavors (although we hope she never leaves!)


John J. Ferrara,

Editor’s note: The author is the Executive Director of Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore.

Letter to the Editor: Needleman Unites People With Differing Opinions

To The Editor:

My support for Norm Needleman in his candidacy for the 33rd District State Senate seat is not surprising, since I am a member of the Essex Democratic Town Committee.  But the reasons for my support go deeper than just party affiliation.  Throughout  his decades of involvement in Essex town government, I have seen Norm successfully tackle difficult problems with a unique ability to unite people with differing opinions.  I, and virtually everyone I have talked to in state government, believe that Norm’s deep knowledge of small town  government and his ability to build consensus will immediately make him a leader in the state senate.  That position of leadership will directly benefit our district.  So, my support for Norm is not political.  Rather, it is a decision to restore influential representation for our district in the state senate.


Claire Tiernan,

Editor’s Note: The author is a member of Essex Democratic Town Committee.

Letter to the Editor: No Better Choice for State Senator Than Needleman

To the Editor:
I am supporting Norm Needleman for State Senate in the 33rd district because I have seen his character firsthand. Actually, I wouldn’t be where I am today without Norm.
He hired me as a graphic designer for his company while I was attending college, and at a time when I could not afford my tuition, he was generous enough to pay it for me.
After graduating, I continued to work for his company, and the professional growth Norm fostered enabled me to achieve my current role as a design manager for Macy’s.
My experience with Norm is not unique, either. Simply put, Norm cares strongly about the well-being and development of everyone he meets. I cannot imagine a better choice for State Senator
Christopher Crowl,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Letter to the Editor: Writer Names Miller ‘Newspeak’ Prize Winner for ‘Capitol Update 2016’

To the Editor:

One of my favorite books of all time is ‘1984’, by George Orwell. The protagonist of the novel works for the Ministry of Truth. It is responsible for historical revisionism, using ‘Newspeak’. The historical record always supports the party line.

I award Representative Phil Miller, the Winner of the Newspeak Prize for ‘Capitol Update 2016’. A mailing to 36th District households (Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam) authored by him. His mailing among other Newspeak items, ” no withdrawals from the Rainy Day Fund” which was emptied by a withdrawal of approximately $315 million to close the fiscal year 2015-2016 deficit, earned consideration. However, what catapulted him to First Prize was his Newspeak, that the budget fully funds past Pension Liabilities. While I grant him that these liabilities are always estimates, due to interest of bond earnings and the liabilities have been estimated worse than this in the past five years. He must be content with 2015 estimates. The total underfunding of the State’s pension liabilities is estimated to be at least $26 Billion. Given that the total State of Connecticut Budget is $20 billion, it is impossible to proclaim these past pension liabilities as fully funded. Wow, what a fine example of historical revisionism. I truly hope this matter comes up at the one debate between he and the candidate who is running against him, Bob Siegrist. But, alas, that can only happen if a question concerning this is selected.

I know Bob Siegrist very well, having worked for him during the last election to represent the 36th District. I have also attended a few meetings to discuss the State Budget with him and a few other State Representatives from the area. The Pension Liabilities were discussed before the mailing, and that is why the fully funding caught my eye. Bob Siegrist will never win the Newspeak Prize. He simply can’t speak Newspeak. He examines the Budget, researches the issues his constituents ask about and unfailingly speaks the facts, as much as is humanly possible. I will vote for Bob Siegrist in November because I appreciate knowing the facts and not Newspeak.


Lynn Herlihy,

Letter to the Editor from New Essex Library Friends President

The Friends of Essex Library new Board for 2016 (L-R): Genie Devine, Secretary; Linda Levene, Past President; Jo Kelly, President; Judy Taylor, Catharine Wagner, Susan Hosack (not shown), Members at Large; Pat Mather, Treasurer; Judy Fish, Ivoryton Library Liaison; Peggy Tuttle, Book Sales Coordinator.

The Friends of Essex Library new Board for 2016 (L-R): Genie Devine, Secretary; Linda Levene, Past President; Jo Kelly, President; Judy Taylor, Catharine Wagner, Susan Hosack (not shown), Members at Large; Pat Mather, Treasurer; Judy Fish, Ivoryton Library Liaison; Peggy Tuttle, Book Sales Coordinator.

To the Editor:

I am very pleased to be on the Board of the Friends of the Essex Library as their new President.  I look forward to working with my new Board, the Essex Library Association board, and the Essex community.

Libraries across the country are going through a transformation.  The library many of you, as well as myself, grew up with no longer exists.  Essex Library is becoming an ever expanding multimedia community resource hub; striving to meet the needs and requirements of a changing community.

My goals are to aid and support Essex Library Association in its efforts to meet the challenges of a changing community.  And, with your community involvement in our library system, we will accomplish and surpass these goals.

Thank you for your continued support and involvement.


Jo Kelly

Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Essex Library Garden Tour

To the Editor:

“Spectacular gardens!”  “Wonderful day!” were some of the comments heard throughout Essex Village as hundreds of visitors participated in the first Friends of the Essex Library Garden Tour held Saturday June 4. To those who came to walk the gardens and enjoy the beauty of Essex Village, we say, “Thank you!”

To make such an event possible took the involvement of many people, including those who planned the event, the hostesses at each garden, Master Gardeners, plein air painters, ticket takers and traffic managers.  Your help made the event run smoothly and for this we extend heartfelt thanks.  We especially thank Rhode VanGessel for her patience and tireless effort in making the publicity both eye-catching and beautiful.

Lastly, and most importantly, we wish to recognize the garden owners who worked tirelessly creating their works of art.  Those who attended saw the enormous effort that went into preparing for the event and it was gratifying to see your efforts appreciated by so many people.   All the Friends of the Essex Library say, “Thank You.”

Linda Levene and Daphne Nielsen, co-chairman

Thanks for Successful Essex Shad Bake at River Museum

(L to R) Stephen Brinkmann, Lisa LaMonte from Guilford Savings Bank, Christopher Dobbs, and Joseph Shea watch shad roasting around the bonfire. Shad are held onto the planks with strips of salt pork, adding to their smoky flavor.

(L to R) Stephen Brinkmann, Lisa LaMonte from Guilford Savings Bank, Christopher Dobbs, and Joseph Shea watch shad roasting around the bonfire. Shad are held onto the planks with strips of salt pork, adding to their smoky flavor.

ESSEX – On June 4, the Rotary Club of Essex held its annual Essex Shad Bake at the Connecticut River Museum. For 59 years running, the Rotarians have kept this traditional culinary event alive and well, and the success of this year’s bake is a testament to their dedication. Hundreds of visitors came to the museum on a beautiful Saturday to eat roasted shad and learn about the history of this once crucial fishery through talks, displays, and demonstrations.

The Rotary Club of Essex and the Connecticut River Museum would like to thank the lead sponsors for the Shad Bake – AJ Shea Construction Co., Gowrie Group, and Guilford Savings Bank – as well as all the other sponsors, volunteers, and organizations who made the afternoon such a success.

Letter to the Editor: Thanks from Organizers of Literacy Volunteers April Fool’s Race

To the Editor:

The 9th Annual Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore April Fool’s Race benefitting tutoring programs for area residents came in like spring this year. A little slow on the starting blocks but run in beautiful weather and finishing with a kick. Racers from all over New England and as far away as Minnesota participated in the festivities to help commemorate the contributions of past volunteers Dot and Erl Nord.

We are especially fortunate to have an extraordinary combination that made this year’s event a rousing success. Special thanks to the Clark Group and Tower Laboratories, our title sponsors. Their generosity reached new heights with their sponsorship, which included the Backward Mile race. AAA Refrigeration answered the call with a Silver Sponsorship this year. Thanks also to sponsors Edward Jones Investments-Clinton, Andre Prost, Inc., Pasta Vita, Kearney Insurance, Penny Lane Pub, Essex Savings Bank, Guilford Savings Bank and Big Y Supermarkets for their generosity in helping stamp out illiteracy.

A huge thank you to Race Director Elizabeth Steffen, who again worked very hard this year to make this event a success. We greatly appreciate the generous assistance from First Selectman Norm Needleman, the Town of Essex, Essex Police, Essex Parks & Recreation Department, our office staff and our many race volunteers.

Finally, thank you to all our racers and all those who brought “spring” to the race and the cause of literacy.


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

Serving the towns of: Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Guilford, Killingworth,
Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook

Letter to the Editor: Elect Siegrist in 36th District to Help Solve State’s Budget Woes

To the Editor:

On July 17, 2015 published a 938 word Op-Ed titled “We Have a State Budget” authored by State Representative Philip Miller.   This opinion piece heaped endless self-praise on the virtues of the fiscal year 2015-16 budget, rationalized the supposed benefits of this budget, and admonished us for questioning  the wisdom underlying this fine piece of legislation.  The budget was first of all, “balanced” and secondly, would act as the foundation for future economic growth in both the 36th District and the State of Connecticut.  Bravo!

What a difference ten months make!  Fast forward to May 2016, the current year’s budget deficit ballooned to more than $250 million; the 2016-17 budget was reduced $930 million dollars because of overspending and unrealistic revenue projections.  Did not Representative Miller tell us, with great fanfare, the State’s budget was balanced and our long term needs addressed?  Rest assured he said, there was no need to worry, the record tax increases would solve our economic and budgetary problems.  Anyone stating otherwise was just “posturing”.

The current year’s deficit remains in place and the cuts in the 2016-17 budget did irreparable damage to individuals through the loss of their jobs, curtailed services to those most in need, and threw municipal budgets into turmoil.  Representative Miller supports budgets reliant on revenue increases based on people smoking, drinking, and gambling at ever increasing levels while further reducing peoples’ eligibility for local property tax credits.

How did Representative Miller get it so wrong again?

It is time we elected an individual, Bob Siegrist, to Hartford who will vote for the interests of our district and not simply follow the marching orders of the Governor and House Democratic Leadership.  Bob is an independent voice who will vigorously represent our interests in the 36th House District of Essex, Haddam, Deep River and Chester.  He has the courage to address the systemic problems that plague our State.

This November, join the movement to bring fresh voices to Hartford and elect Bob Siegrist as our State Representative for the 36th District.


Vincent A. Pacileo, III

Letter to the Editor: Thanks and Appreciation for May Market

To the Editor:

On Saturday, May 7, the Essex Garden Club held its 64th May Market.  As Co-Chairs of  May Market, we would like to thank all of  the volunteers, town workers,  residents, and especially the shoppers who supported May Market.  The proceeds of the annual May Market support the villages of Centerbrook, Essex and Ivoryton with programs for youth, scholarships for education and  campers,   town park maintenance and town beautification during various times of the year.

Thank you for your support.

Barbara  Hall  & Rosemary Willis
Co-Chairs of May Market

Letter to the Editor: Thanks from Friends of Essex Library

To the Editor:

The Board of the Friends of the Essex Library would like to thank all who contributed to the success of our recent book sale.  This exceptionally large sale required significant work by many volunteers including those who worked during the event and those who sorted, repaired, priced and stored books in preparation for the sale, helped set up for the sale and put everything away afterwards.    We thank all the students who are committed to Community Service and generously offered their time to help us.   Many carried boxes upon boxes of books from an outdoor shed to the library in preparation for the sale.  Others provided assistance with our clean-up efforts.   The library staff has been very supportive and for this we say thanks, with a special thank you to Anna Cierocki.

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

Look for our ‘Beach Books’ sale June 1-30 when sale items will change daily.

Peggy Tuttle
Book Sale Coordinator

Letter to the Editor: Miller’s November Challenger Questions Opponent’s Priorities

To the Editor:
An opportunity for our district towns was lost on the evening of May 13 as an amendment proposed by the House Republicans to restore education funding to their local budgets was rejected by self-serving democratic legislators including our Rep. Miller (D-36).

The amendment would have restored Education Cost Sharing (ECS) to the district towns by using Citizens’ Election Program (CEP) funds to pay for it. It would have restored $3,500 to Chester, $22,800 to Deep River, $10,000 to Haddam and $229,000 to Essex.  Miller voted against the amendment.

This is unbelievable! Wow! Miller voted to keep the money for his campaign instead of returning education funds to his district’s schools! It’s pretty clear  what his priorities are for the 36th.


Bob Siegrist,

Editor’s Note: The author is the Republican nominee to run against State Rep. Phil Miller in the 36th District.

Letter to the Editor: Thanks from Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 7th in Town Park, the Essex Garden Club held its 64rd May Market.  The Silent Auction Committee of May Market would like to thank our area merchants, friends and artists for the incredible generosity they showed in supporting this year’s Silent Auction.  They are:

Abby’s Place Restaurant, Acer Gardens, Aegean Treasures, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Black Seal, Blue Hound Cookery, Diana Charnok, Connecticut River Publishing Co., Copper Beech Inn, Cortland Park Cashmere, Adriane Costello, Ron Cozzolino, De Paula Jewelers, Essex Olive Oil Company, Essex Winter Series, Sandy French, Friends of the Essex Library, Judy Greene, Goodspeed Musicals, Phyllis and George Graf, Haystacks, Hortus Perennials, Ivoryton Playhouse, Marily MacKinnon Interior Design, Wendy and John Madsen, J. McLaughlin, Charlotte Meyer Design, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, Old Lyme Inn, One N Main, Pough Interiors, Saybrook Country Barn, Patricia Spratt for the Home, That’s the Spirit Shoppe, Walker-Loden, Weekend Kitchen, and Weltner’s Antiques and Art.

With thanks,

Dawn Boulanger, Alyson Danyliw, Genie Devine, Marily MacKinnon
The Essex Garden Club
May Market Silent Auction Committee

Republican Candidate Siegrist Challenges Incumbent Miller’s Priorities

To the Editor:

With only days left in the legislative session and a budget that is in complete disarray, Rep. Miller (D-36) chose to debate pesticides rather than address the unprecedented budget issues that the state is facing.

I feel that he (Miller) has really missed an opportunity.  We are facing budget decisions that will impact our state for decades. Rather than answer hard questions and take on the tough issues, he is taking valuable floor time to debate an issue that, although important in its own right, cannot hold a candle to the budget crisis we are facing.

This is a question of priorities and representing the constituents of the district.  Mr. Miller says that he is hearing concerns from his constituents on this issue.  Maybe he needs to listen a little harder.


Bob Siegrist,

Editor’s Note: The author is the nominated Republican Candidate for 36th House District.

Letter to the Editor: Your April 26 Primary Vote Matters

To the Editor:

So much is at stake in the upcoming Presidential primary elections with candidates who differ greatly in character, attitude, experience and promise. Perhaps never before has an election inspired such fervor, conflict, hopes or fears. Our nation’s future depends on the outcome of these races, and for the first time in many years, Connecticut voters have the opportunity to influence who the Presidential nominees will be since no candidate has yet captured enough party delegates.

We urge all Chester Democratic, Republican and Unaffiliated voters to cast a vote in the Tuesday, April 26, Connecticut primary. Voting is from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. in Chester Town Hall at 203 Middlesex Avenue, or earlier by absentee ballot.

Since only registered Democrats or Republicans can cast a vote in the Connecticut Presidential primary, it is necessary for Unaffiliateds to temporarily change their registration to either one of these two political parties.

The registration deadline to switch from Unaffiliated to Democrat or Republican is 12 p.m. on April 25. To switch by mail, the registration change form must be received by April 21, or in person at Chester Town Hall by 12 pm on April 25 (day before the primary). Registration can be switched back afterwards. To get a voter registration form (or an absentee ballot form), contact the Registrar of Voters or Chester Town Clerk at 860-526-0013.

Whether your vote is to support your preferred Presidential candidate, or to stop a candidate you fear, we urge registered Democrats and Republicans to vote on April 26.

This is Connecticut’s opportunity to influence one of the most critical presidential elections in our nation’s history. Every vote is especially important and matters. Have a voice in the future. VOTE in the primary on April 26!

Chester Democratic Town Committee

Lori Ann Clymas, Chair


Letter to the Editor: Many Reasons to Support Bob Siegrist’s Candidacy

To the Editor:

I was thrilled to hear Bob Siegrist will be running again in 2016 as the Republican House Candidate for the 36th district! I have personally know Bob for over 10 years and in that time he has been nothing but a hard-working, upstanding, and motivated individual who cares deeply for politics, people and making a positive change. He is easy to talk to and a good listener who makes you feel heard.

From the time I met Bob, he was talking about how he wanted to be involved with Republican politics… Two years ago he seriously began that journey by running for the 36th State House. He has practical, realistic views and ideas and is truly for the people of Haddam, Chester, Deep River and Essex. He wants to make sure their voices are heard. Let’s congratulate Bob on another race and wish him the best this coming year!


Sarah Mathis,
Haddam Neck.

Letter: Thanks from LVVS

To The Editor

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

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

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

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


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

Letter: Essex Needs Pro-Active Management

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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


Susie Beckman

Letter: Experience, Leadership and Common Sense

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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


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

Letter: Sen. Linares Endorses Beckman for Essex Selectman

To the Editor:

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

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

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


Art Linares
State Senator, 33rd District


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

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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


Lori Ann Clymas



Letter: Look Past the Labels

To the Editor:

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

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


Tom  Marsh
First Selectman, Chester (2005-2011)

Letter: Englert Thoughtful, Decent, Committed

To the Editor:

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

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


Tom Marsh
First Selectman, Chester (2005 – 2011)

Letter: Four Generations of Blair Family Support Linn

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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


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

Letter: Needleman Exhibits a Calm Clear Headed Approach

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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


Bob Ward,
Essex, CT

Letter: Sypher Proud to Support Gister, Janecek

To the Editor:

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

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

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

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

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

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


Larry Sypher

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

To the Editor:

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

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

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


Virginia E. Carmany
Chester, CT

Letter to the Editor: Former Chester First Selectman Supports Gister/Janecek

To the Editor:

It is with great pleasure and honor that I throw my full support behind two amazing women, Lauren Gister and Charlene Janecek.

Lauren is a 20 year resident of Chester and has served our nation for 25 years as a U.S. Marine Major.  As an attorney she has focused on real estate, small business, estate planning and family mediations.

In addition to raising her four children, three of which have been part of Region 4 school system, she has found the time to give back to Chester.  Serving on her synagogue’s Board of Directors, Chester’s Veteran contact, Girl Scout leader, various parent organizations and veteran-oriented non- profits for the past 18 years, Lauren has shown her dedication and support.

Her varied life experiences, community involvement and judicial knowledge have proven that she can lead Chester as its First Selectman.

Charlene may be best known as the owner of The Lunch Box for 28 years, but she exemplifies honesty, fairness, and thoughtfulness.  Still working in customer care, it provides the right foundation in overseeing a town.

She has served Chester for many years as a Registrar of Voters, Police Commission Chairman, Retirement Board, Chester Fire Department Auxiliary, Fire Commissioners and Chester Fair Board of Directors.  Her town background will be a great asset to the Board of Selectmen.

Gister and Janecek want to serve Chester. They care for Chester.  I for one cannot think of two women more suited for the job.

Elections are only a month away and you deserve a say in who runs your town. Voting for the Gister/Janecek team is a vote that you care for Chester.


Martin L. Heft
Former Chester First Selectman

Letter to the Editor: Thanks All Round from Library Directors for Successful Fundraiser at Ivoryton Playhouse

To the Editor:

The Ivoryton Library and Friends of the Essex Library sponsored the first and now annual, joint fundraiser on Thursday, July 9th at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Thank you to those who attended the event and those who baked cookies for the “Meet the Cast” party following the “South Pacific” performance.  This would not have been possible without the generous support of the Ivoryton Playhouse and of Krista May, Managing Director of the Playhouse, who provided untiring assistance.  For all, we are particularly grateful.

Our libraries serve as community centers.  We strive to provide a variety of programs, services and events that enrich both our intellectual and entertainment experiences.  It was a thrill for us who were involved in organizing this event to receive such a positive response.


Richard Conroy and Elizabeth Alvord

Editor’s Note: Richard Conroy is the Director of the Essex Library and Elizabeth Alvord is the Director of the Ivoryton Library.

Letter to the Editor: Thanks to Police for Prompt Assistance, Follow-up in Home Burglary

To the Editor:
I live in Chester, CT and I would like to take this opportunity to publically thank our local Resident Trooper, Officer Ewing and Troop F Officer G. for all the hard work they have done on my family’s  behalf.
Recently, my husband entered our home and discovered we had been robbed.  He called the Trooper’s office and then he called me.  But, before I could get home, Trooper G. was already there.  Later, he was joined by Officer Ewing who at the time was on another case.
Both officers performed a thorough investigation and were extremely helpful.  The robbers took off with the typical stuff but it was reported by a Good Samaritan that there was no car in our driveway during the robbery. So the Troopers thought they may have taken off on foot out in the woods.  So they brought in a tracking dog to track the nearby woods.
So far, our things have not been recovered, but I know Officer Ewing is still looking as he has called with updates and one time stopped by the house and spoke with our family.
We are fortunate to live in such a lovely town that is so well protected.  I feel safer now just knowing how our security is handled. Good job Officers Ewing and Officer G.  Thank you both so, so much.
The Monahan family including,
Christina and Steven Monahan, Chester.

Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks from Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

Essex Garden Club‘s (EGC) May Market on May 9th was a huge success.  Augie Pampel and Mark Pratt again did an excellent job organizing the many details in making this special day go smoothly.  Hard working EGC members spent many days and hours in preparation for May Market.

Our community is extremely important to the success of May Market.  We appreciate all those who returned again this year to make purchases and the merchants who provided valuable donations to the Café, the Silent Auction, and Treasures.  Because of all your support at this year’s May Market, we were able to give more camperships this year to Essex Park and Recreation and to Bushy Hill Nature Preserve for children living in Centerbrook, Essex, and Ivoryton.  Thank You All!


Linda Newberg,
President of Essex Garden Club

Letter to the Editor: Thanks for Book Sale Help from Friends of Essex Library

National Honor Society volunteer Essex Public Library booksale workers from Valley Regional High School

National Honor Society students from Valley Regional High School volunteered as workers at Essex Library’s recent book sale.

To the Editor:

The Board of the Friends of the Essex Library would like to thank all who contributed to the success of our recent book sale.  A successful  sale requires significant work by many volunteers including those who  work during the day-and-a-half event and  those who sort, repair, price and store books in preparation for the sale, help set-up for the sale by arranging tables, chairs and books by category, and who put everything away afterwards.

Many people contribute hours to this event.  We are especially grateful to six Valley Regional National Honor Society students who assisted in our clean-up effort by lifting and stowing heavy boxes of unsold books, many of which will be given to a variety of non-profit organizations.  Kristen Kilby, Neve Flynn, Hannah Halsey, Tina Mitchel, Leah Harger and Julia Hammond, thank you!  We also thank the library staff for their support, with a special thank you to Anna Cierocki for being with us both days.

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

Our next sale is October 3-4 and we hope to see you there!

The Friends of the Essex Library

Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks From Essex Garden Club

To the Editor:

On Saturday May 9th in Town Park the Essex Garden Club held its 63rd May Market.  The Silent Auction Committee of May Market would like to thank our area merchants, friends and artists for the incredible generosity they showed in supporting this year’s Silent Auction.

As May Market is the Club’s only fund-raiser, we depend on its proceeds to support our civic projects in Essex Village, Centerbrook and Ivoryton.  These range from helping to maintain the town parks, to providing scholarships to college students and camperships to elementary students, planting trees in town, organizing horticultural activities with elementary and junior high school students and decorating throughout town with greens for the holidays.

The Essex Garden Club would like to thank the following merchants, friends and artists most sincerely for their wonderful donations to the Silent Auction:

Acer Gardens, Aegean Treasures, Ashleigh’s Garden, Bartlett Tree Experts, Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store, The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook, The Copper Beech Inn, Cottage Whimsey, De Paula Jewelers, English Accents Antiques, Essex Winter Series, Goodspeed Musicals, Haystacks, Hortus Perennials, The Ivoryton Playhouse, Marily MacKinnon Interior Design, John & Wendy Madsen, Mimi Merton, Charlotte Meyer Designs, Musical Masterworks, New Earth Acupuncture, One North Main, Augie Pampel, A Pocketful of Posies, Pough Interiors, Mark Pratt, Saybrook Country Barn, Eileen Taylor, That’s the Spirit, Walker-Loden, Weekend Kitchen, and Weltner’s Antiques and Art.

With thanks.


Dawn Boulanger, Alyson Danyliw, Genie Devine, Marily MacKinnon

The Essex Garden Club
May Market Silent Auction Committee

Letter to the Editor: The Reign of the Nuancers

To the Editor:

The Kings and Queens of nuance have deluded themselves into believing that the delicate difference perceived by any of the senses (nuance) gives them a superior ability to make decisions. It appears, however, that nuance is running rough-shod over any semblance of wisdom coming from the Obama administration.

The nuancers are deflecting the reality that worldwide murderous Islamic jihadists are intent on killing all who do not believe in their revolutionary ideology; they are bound by an imperative to fight to kill infidels till death.

This administration’s tag-team of haughty wizards have offered nothing of value. Their fanciful ideas and statements are alarming and devoid of intellectual honesty. Deputy spokesperson for the Department of State, Marie Harf, posits that the extremists are driven by economic deprivation and need jobs — really?

John Kerry, the emperor of nuance, offers the ludicrous statement that the world is “safer than ever.” Kerry hardly inspires confidence in those of us who hear direct threats, witness barbarous immolation and beheadings and understand what is motivating the slaughter. Does Kerry even know that 2014 was the deadliest year for terror attacks in forty-five years?

All of this nonsense is coming from the same administration who made the incogitable decision to trade Bowe Bergdahl, the deserter, for five high-value Taliban prisoners. And why does this administration continue to cuddle-up to Foreign Nationals who continue to break immigration laws. One can only imagine, because we just do not know, how many jihadists are slipping through the borders.

Is the current accommodates approach to Iran another decision influenced by nuance? The last time I checked, Iran was the leading sponsor of State Terrorism and too close to having nuclear capabilities. They would love the “deal” being contemplated by this White House. The “geniuses” are beginning to scare me. They believe that the just war is the war against “global warming” (the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on humankind) and refuse to accept that radical Islamists are driven to wipe out Christians, Jews and moderate Muslims who are, in their minds, infidels.

There are no shades of gray here. The nuancers need to get off their high horse, stop the verbal acrobatics, get a grip and LEAD.


Alison Nichols,
Essex, CT

Letter to the Editor: Save Our Historic Chester Library

To the Editor:

Regarding the proposed new Chester Library, I think abandoning our exquisite building for a new library/community center is a mistake. It will never come close to what we already have. Amenities or not, I would be saddened to see a likely generic visitor-center type structure as a replacement. The Library Board is ignoring their own surveys from the community, where the preference was “resoundingly to stay in the current location.”

The present library building still could be adapted to accommodate the needs of this small but unique town. A community center could be developed in the underutilized town hall, or a more modest new one built at North Quarter Park. We already have the Meeting House, Town Hall, and Elementary School for meetings and events.

The Chester Library is a well-loved, beautiful, historic building in a perfect spot. The funds requested may be better spent in possibly purchasing the land the building is on, and applying for historic preservation grants. We should work with what we have, and not abandon this 1907 building which was generously given by S. Mills Ely to be Chester’s library, as a memorial to his parents. It is an icon of this town.

The Board and some people want a new building and feel this is the best solution, it may be, (if the community wants it), but this move also comes with great aesthetic loss and financial cost, an additional burden on Chester taxpayers, not to be taken lightly.


Karin Badger,