February 8, 2023

Guiding Eyes for the Blind Open House June 16

Puppy Geb enjoying a shower!

“Summer is almost here!  Time for tank tops, tans… and puppies!  Guiding Eyes for the Blind is looking for volunteers to give their heart and home to raising an adorable future guide dog puppy.  The Southern CT Puppy Raising region is hosting an Open House on Saturday, June 16 , from 6-8 p.m. at the Deep River Congregational Church, 1 Church St , Deep River .  Join us to meet some of our raisers and pups on program – and to learn how you, too, can raise a puppy with a purpose and give a great gift to someone in need.

Our dedicated volunteers receive weekly training and free vet care.  Puppy Raising classes in the Southern CT region are held on Saturday mornings in Guilford , Wallingford and Deep River .  For more information, visit our website at www.guidingeyes.org or call Regional Manager Maria Dunne at (845) 230-6436 or Raiser, Kris Lindner at 860-526-2345.  Do something extraordinary this year – raise a puppy, change a life!”

Penny Lane Pub to Host Party for Middlesex Hospital Fundraiser June 20

Old Saybrook, Ct. — The Penny Lane Pub on Main Street in Old Saybrook will be hosting a special party as part of the Middlesex Hospital’s “Appetite for Life,” program, on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 and include one beer or wine drink and appetizers.

This is the second year for the Hospital’s Appetite for Life dining program during the month of June, which raises funds for the Center for Survivorship and Integrative Medicine (CSIM) at the Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center. Restaurants throughout Middlesex County choose a day during the month to donate a portion of their proceeds from a meal or special event to the CSIM. The CSIM offers services to cancer patients such as Reiki, reflexology, massage, acupuncture, etc., along with survivorship programs.

Tickets to the Penny Lane Pub event can be purchased online at www.middlesexhospital.org/AFL. A complete list of all Appetite for Life participating restaurants can also be found there.

Appetite for Life is sponsored in part by Middletown-ct.patch.com.

Shore Music Presents a Summer Singing Workshop for Teens Starts July 2

Shore Music in Old Saybrook presents a Summer Singing Workshop for Teens & Tweens on Mondays and Wednesdays in July

The classes featuring Broadway show tunes and top ‘pop’ selections will offer vocal coaching, solo and group singing, simple choreography and other performance skills.   Learning these skills will in turn result in increased self confidence, experience of teamwork and collaboration, and the opportunity to make new friends and have fun.

There will be a performance in costume following the final class.

The class, which will be taught by Linda Towne Clifford, will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays,  July 2 -30  from  1:30 to  4 p.m.    The cost is $230 including music and CDs.

Space is limited so prompt registration at 860-767-3240 or shoremusic@att.net is recommended.

Native American Adventure Added to CRM Summer Camp Program

Aspiring archaeologists search for signs of the past at Nott Island during the Connecticut River Museum’s summer adventure camp Digging in the Past.

Essex, CT – Every year the Connecticut River Museum’s Summer Adventure Camps offer children age 7 to 12 the opportunity to get hands-on in history and have some fun learning about the Connecticut River Valley at two historic locations, Bushnell Farm in Old Saybrook and the Museum’s riverfront campus in Essex.   This year, the widely popular, week-long programs kick off on July 9 with Finding the First Americans, a newly created session for children age 9-12 where Bushnell Farm’s wigwam is the base for exploration of Connecticut Native American life in the 1600s.  Campers will help prepare a tree to be a dugout canoe, make a wigwam model, create pottery, and cook on an open fire.  On July 16, traveling back in time at Bushnell Farm continues with Colonial Survival Camp for ages 6-9.  The week’s activities include building a timber frame barn, learning to weave, playing colonial games and working in a heritage garden.  For those 9-12 year olds who prefer on-water adventure, Life At Sea is scheduled for the week of July 23 with learning to survive on the high seas as a Privateer and sailing on a historic wooden schooner.   For those 9-12 year old aspiring archaeologists, Digging into the Past is a sure bet for discovery at Nott Island and other mysterious sites during the week of July 30.  The final two camp sessions focus on the natural habitats of the Connecticut River and plenty of hands-on exploration with Wild River for ages 6-9 running during the week of August 6 and River Rangers for ages 9-12 wrapping up the summer from August 13-17.

Each program runs Monday –Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm with after care available until 3:00 pm.  A simple snack is provided, or kids can bring their own. The non-member fee is $185 per week.  The member fee is $170 for each week.  Advance registration is required.  To reserve a space, download and mail in the registration form from www.ctrivermuseum.org or contact the education department at 860-767-8269 extension 113 or jwhitedobbs@ctrivermuseum.org.  The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street.

TTYS Substance Abuse Prevention Council Meeting May 30

The next meeting of the Tri-Town Substance Abuse Prevention Council will be held at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High Street in Deep River at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 30.  This meeting will include a presentation on the effects of alcohol and other drugs on the developing teen brain.

Membership on this Council is open to all who live or work in the tri-town area who are concerned about substance abuse and interested in its prevention.  In addition to ongoing prevention programming in our schools and communities, the tri-town area is currently involved with Healthy Communities • Healthy Youth, an initiative funded through Middlesex United Way, as well as environmental prevention strategies funded through the Drug Free Communities Support Program.

For further information, call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.


54th Annual Essex Rotary Shad Bake June 2

54th Annual Essex Rotary Shad Bake will be held on June 2 at the Essex Elementary School, Main Street, Centerbrook. At this quintessential New England event, you’ll enjoy a cookout that includes:

Fresh Fire Roasted CT River Shad or BBQ Chicken or Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Green Salad, Lyman Orchard’s Apple Pie and Fresh Brewed Coffee. (Soda/Bottled Water will also be available for purchase)

Shucked Clams & Oysters with all the fixin’s (available for an additional fee).

There will also be:
Live Music,
Antique Cars, and
Firetruck/Moon Bounces, Face Painting, Cotton Candy, Popcorn and Sno
Cones for the kids! (All kids activities are included in ticket
Ticket Prices for this fundraiser are:

$20 per Adult, $10 for Kids (12-18) – FREE for Kids (0-12)Event is held rain or shine, tickets are non-refundable. Indoor, covered, and lawn seating is available.

Essex Elementary School
108 Main Street
Centerbrook, CT 06409

For more details visit http://www.essexrotaryshadbake.com

Essex Art Association, New Gallery Show, Explorations, Opens June 1


Fish Market by Chipp Davis Wells

The Essex Art Association is opening a new gallery show “Explorations” featuring work by Elected Artists Members. Continuing the tradition of showing art from the traditional to cutting edge the show promises to be exciting and thought provoking.

Featured in the Exit Gallery“, “A New Englander’s Palette” works by Chipp Davis Wells, who has studios in Eastern Point, Gloucester, MA and Westerly, R.I. Chipp Davis Wells started his art training early in the studio of his maternal grandmother, marine  artist, Amee Davis. He continued his training in Rome, Italy, the Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia. His subjects are New England coastal scenes, rivers, lighthouses, beaches, and groups of people he calls PEOPLESCAPES TM.

The reception and show are open to the public free of charge. Essex Art Association is a non profit serving the shoreline since 1946.

Reception June 1from 6-8 pm

Show open daily Wednesday through Monday 1-5 pm June 2. Through June 23.



Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series Ends With Past Versus Future June 1

The battle between gentrification and historic preservation in developing nations like China will be the topic of the Essex Library’s Centerbrook Architects Lecture by Tom Howorth, June 1st at Essex Town Hall. Pictured here, a Tianjin highrise against traditional, historic Hutongs in China.

The Essex Library’s popular Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series comes to a close with a talk by Tom Howorth FAIA, who’ll speak on “Gentrification Versus Historical Identity” Friday June 1 at 7 p.m., at Essex Town Hall. Especially relevant to towns debating the creation of historic districts, Mr. Howorth will discuss the challenges communities face with the conflict between gentrification and the loss of cultural identity in historic areas.  He will focus on his recent research, conducted over the last two years on behalf of Virginia Technical Institute, using examples from his travels to developing nations including Cuba and China.

Tom Howorth was a founder of Mockbee Coker Howorth Architects in Jackson, Mississippi, which won critical national acclaim for projects that were innovative yet built on the values and culture of established communities.   Many of these communities were in rural areas and often economically depressed.  Mr. Howorth then founded Howorth & Associate Architects, located off the historic courthouse square in Oxford, Mississippi where he continues to design new construction, historic preservation, and residences, that are of our time and that connect our past with the future.

The talk is free and open to all. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information or to register. Essex Town Hall is at 29 West Avenue.

RiverFare 2012 Returns for 19th Year of Delicious Fun On The Essex Waterfront

Organizers, sponsors and participants gather to toast the 19th Annual RiverFare happening on May 31 at the Connecticut River Museum. Left to right: CRM Development Manager Phyllis Stillman of the Connecticut River Museum, RiverFare Committee Member Joanne Masin, Essex Savings Bank Vice President Thomas Lindner, Olive Oyl’s Owner and Chef Kevin Kendall, Wells Fargo Advisors Branch Manager Philip Reynolds, and CRM Executive Director Jerry Roberts.

Essex, CT – On Thursday, May 31 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, the waterfront lawn of the Connecticut River Museum will be the scenic setting for RiverFare 2012, the unofficial kick off of summer on the shoreline, featuring savory bites, fine spirits and silent auction overlooking scenic Essex Harbor.  This year’s lineup of Connecticut’s leading restaurants and food purveyors includes Chamard Bistro, Culinary Concerts, Inc., El & Ela’s Fine Foods, Essex Coffee & Tea Co., Fromage Fine Foods, Gabrielle’s, Gourmet Galley Catering, Griswold Inn, Olive Oyl’s, Saybrook Point Inn, Seaflour Foods, Selene’s Sweet Shoppe, and others.  RiverFarers can sample signature dishes and drinks while perusing and bidding on a diverse array of fine gifts, services, and entertainment experiences up for silent auction.  Of special note is a 12-foot 1989 Butterfly scow sailboat with trailer and ready to launch by the lucky bidder.

Wells Fargo Advisors is this year’s Presenting Sponsor. Other sponsors include C. Sherman Johnson Co., Inc., Centerbrook Architects and Planners, Clark Group, North Sails Group, LLC, Essex Savings Bank/Essex Financial Services, Bogaert Construction, Reynolds’ Garage & Marine, Inc., Essex Boat Works Inc., Caulfield & Ridgway, Inc., blp Enterprises, Rachel Thomas Associates, Connected Systems, Brown & Knapp, Point One Architects, Landscape Specialties, Essex Printing, Rhode Van Gessel Design, Sperry Tents, and Shore Publishing.

Event admission is $60 per person in advance and $65 on the day of the event.  Patron tickets may be purchased for $150 and include a premium bar and $100 tax deduction.  Net proceeds will help support the Connecticut River Museum’s mission to increase public awareness and access to the heritage, culture, and natural beauty of New England’s Great River.  For more information or to make advance reservations, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860.767.8269.    The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street in Essex.

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PHOTO CAPTION (l-r): Organizers, sponsors and participants gather to toast the 19th Annual RiverFare happening on May 31 at the Connecticut River Museum. CRM Development Manager Phyllis Stillman of the Connecticut River Museum, RiverFare Committee Member Joanne Masin, Essex Savings Bank Vice President Thomas Lindner, Olive Oyl’s Owner and Chef Kevin Kendall, Wells Fargo Advisors Branch Manager Philip Reynolds, and CRM Executive Director Jerry Roberts.

An Evening at The Ivoryton Playhouse Fundraiser June 8

The Essex Community Fund invites you to opening night of Last of the Red Hot Lovers by Neil Simon on June 8.

The evening begins at 7 p.m. under the tent with wine and Hors D’oeuvres.  Then it is inside for the show at 8 pm with dessert and coffee after the show.  Join us for a fun filled evening and help support the Fund as well as the Playhouse.

Tickets are $50 each and can be obtained by calling Mark Bombaci at 860-304-2751.

Filmmaker Alexandra Isles Reveals Hidden Treasures May 24

Rembrant Self-Portrait,1660

Every year millions of people visit the Metropolitan Museum to admire its treasures– but behind the scenes, Museum staff have their own personal, often surprising, relationships with the works of art Documentary filmmaker Alexandra Isles, who’ll screen her film “Hidden Treasures”  at the Essex Library on Thursday May 24 at 7 PM, takes us “backstage” at the Museum, and introduces us to the odd, moving, even mystical stories of Museum staff, who spend their days, and sometimes their nights, restoring, guarding, moving, cleaning and teaching about the art. Their stories include a wish-granting statue, a sword with a secret compartment, a time traveling melody, a portrait that has become a trusted mentor, a famous landscape with an unexpected population, and rooms and objects that brought joy to a dying woman.

This rare opportunity to meet the filmmaker kicks off the Essex Library’s series of documentary films; all very different, idiosyncratic, and powerful in their own ways.  Some will make you laugh, some may make you cry; all will inform and enlighten you.  Screenings are on Thursdays and begin at 6:30: May 31st,THE INTERRUPTERS focuses on community volunteers trying to break the deadly cycle of gang violence in Chicago that they themselves were once part of: JUNE 7th, HELL AND BACK AGAIN follows a wounded Iraqi war vet as he returns home and readjusts to a changed life: JUNE 14th, A MAN CALLED PEARL tells the inspiring story of self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar, who fought prejudice by creating beauty: JUNE 21st: INTO THE ABYSS by Werner Hertzog, whose conversations with death row inmate Michael Perry and those affected by his crime serve as an examination of why people – and the state – kill: JUNE 28th, VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR is an intimate portrait of a volatile fashion icon at the spectacular end of his career. All films are free; to register for the programs or for more information, please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560. The Library is located at 33 West Avenue.

PHOTO CAPTION: A museum employee who’s “consulted” this Rembrandt self-portrait before every major decision in his adult life is one of the fascinating people presented in the film “HIDDEN TREASURES”, to be presented at Essex Library by its director Alexandra Isles on Thursday May 24th at 7 PM.

Essex Memorial Day Parade May 28

Memorial Day offers an opportunity to reflect on our freedoms and the price of those freedoms. Without rhetoric or dissertation, men and women gave their lives to secure and protect those freedoms.  In recognition of these fallen heroes, the Essex Memorial Day Parade will provide a reverent celebration winding through the streets of Essex.

The parade will commence on Monday May 28 at 9:00 a.m. All veterans are welcome; wear your uniform of choice or collared shirt/slacks and join your fellow military comrades. Assemble at the Foot of Main Street in downtown Essex at 8:45 a.m.

The parade will follow a three mile route as it makes the following stops to pay respects: Riverview Cemetery, First Baptist Church, Town Hall, Centerbrook Cemetery, and the Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall. There will be a short ceremony at the Veteran’s Hall at the conclusion of the parade (approximately 11:00 a.m).

If weather precludes a parade, ceremonies will be held at Essex Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. and at the Essex Veteran’s Memorial Hall at 11:00 a.m. All interested parties may contact Phil Beckman at 860.767.9755 or philipbeckman@yahoo.com with questions. Please come out to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

Howard Fishman Returns to CBSRZ with Tales From the Road May 20

When the Howard Fishman Quartet appears at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) on Sunday,May 20 at 5 pm, the singer-guitarist-composer will not reprise his highly acclaimed performance in Chester last year. He will present an entirely new and different program, “Tales From The Road.” Fishman says the concert will be will be “focused on songs and stories from my own travels inward and out.”

Fishman’s audience will be transported by a collection of music and stories inspired by his far-flung travels from New Orleans, where he spent his formative musical years, to rural Romania, Ukraine and Hungary and influenced by the exciting new music generated in Brooklyn, NY,where he is currently based. His travel experiences engender/give birth to his songs. Fishman says, “I never sit down to write a song. The melody just comes unbidden.”

Fishman’s musical style is difficult to characterize. He has been compared to artists as diverse as Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Cash, but he improvises his own personal take on various musical forms—New Orleans jazz, Brooklyn soul, folk, country,blues, gospel, pop, classical and experimental—creating a sound entirely his own. Backstage wrote that he creates “an irresistible synthesis,” while Downbeat called it“something entirely new.” The New York Times has said that Howard Fishman’s music “transcends time and idiom.”According to The Los Angeles Times, “At a time when performers in virtually every genre are trying to stretch their stylistic boundaries, Fishman refuses to acknowledge that boundaries exist.”

One of the pioneers of the current Brooklyn music scene, Fishman moved to Williams burgin the late 90s and began playing on subway platforms for spare change until he and his band were “discovered” by music insiders. This landed them a two-week engagement at the Algonquin Oak Room, one of NYC’s toniest concert venues. Since then he has headlined in major venues and garnered a devoted following, both here and abroad. Fishman has headlined at the Lincoln Center American Songbook series, The Steppenwolf Theatre, The Pasadena Playhouse, Joe’s Pub, NJPAC, and Le Petit Journal in Paris. In April he played with his New Orleans-style Biting Fish Brass Band at the Garde Arts Theater in New London.

A frequent National Public Radio guest, Fishman has appeared on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, “World Cafe,” “The Leonard Lopate Show,” “Word of Mouth”and “Sound check” among others. Fishman has performed on bills with such diverse artists as Odetta, Yo Yo Ma, Maceo Parker, Robyn Hitchcock,Madeleine Peyroux and Allen Holdsworth. He has recently released a trilogy of new albums—The World Will Be Different, No Further Instructions and Better Get Right.

The concert is open to the public. Admission is$25 for adults, $20 for CBSRZ members and $10 for children under 16. For reservations and further information, call 860-526-8920 or visit www.cbsrz.org.  

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

Wells Fargo Advisors Brings A Piece of American History to Essex

See the legendary Wells Fargo Stagecoach at the Essex Memorial Day Parade, May 28

Essex will get a very special delivery on May  28  when the Wells Fargo Stagecoach rolls into town. This American icon will arrive at the Essex Memorial Day Parade and will be available for photos from 9 a.m. -12 p.m. The public is welcome to come and experience this American icon and take pictures.

For more than 150 years, the Wells Fargo Stagecoach provided an important link for communication and business by land between eastern and western states. Today, the Wells Fargo Stagecoach is a recognized, appreciated and enduring corporate symbol.

“The Wells Fargo’s Stagecoach is a unique expression of the company’s rich heritage,” said Philip Reynolds, Branch Manager, “The stagecoach symbolizes how we continue to come through for our customers and the diverse communities in which we serve.”

For more information about the Wells Fargo Stagecoach coming to Essex, contact the local Essex office of Wells Fargo Advisors at 860-767-2681.

About Wells Fargo Advisors

With $1.2 trillion in client assets as of March 31, 2012, Wells Fargo’s brokerage businesses are comprised of 15,134 full-service financial advisors and 3,352 licensed bankers.  This vast network of advisors, one of the nation’s largest, serves clients through offices in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers and non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (members SIPC).  Statistics include other broker-dealers of Wells Fargo & Company.   www.wellsfargoadvisors.com Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.

No Matter How Big or How Small – We Will Wash Them All May 19

Help 35 committed, caring teenage tri-town volunteers help others by stopping by the Deep River Town Hall on Saturday, May 19 between the hours of 9 a.m. -3 p.m. and get your car washed!  Goodwill donations for a spruced up, shining car will be accepted.  As a way of giving back to our senior and veteran community members, stop by between 8 a.m.- 9 a.m. for a free car wash.

Funds raised from the car wash will help the teens during their week-long humanitarian relief efforts in July 2012. In Appalachia (Pipestem), West Virginia youth will work alongside experienced building professionals to restore dilapidated housing, tutor and mentor children, prepare/serve/deliver meals to the homeless and home-bound, and assist with an urban agriculture program and its greenhouse project. In Las Delicias, El Salvador youth will focus on building homes &community buildings, provide prenatal and child well-check medical visits, complete water supply checks, provide vaccinations and immunizations to dogs and cats, and deliver food/clothing/hygiene items to families and the elderly.

Please come and support this dedicated group of teens.  If you can’t attend our event, please consider a donation to help the teens purchase supplies needed for their humanitarian. Donations can be mailed to DRCC, P.O. Box 246, Deep River, CT 06417.  Checks should be made payable to DRCC; please indicate “2012 YM” on the memo line.  DRCC is a 501(C) 3 organization and your donation is tax deductible.

CMS Presents 2012 Prince and Princess Ball May 19

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School presents an enchanted afternoon for the entire family at the 2012 Prince and Princess Ball to be held on Saturday, May 19th from 3 to 6 pm at Essex Town Hall, West Avenue, Essex. Tickets for the event are $10 per person and proceeds will benefit music therapy programs at the Music School.

Children are encouraged to don their finest princess dresses and jackets and ties. Special guests include Miss Connecticut 2011 Morgan Amarone who will visit from 3 to 4 pm, and Cinderella who will lead a sing-along beginning at 4 pm. Children and their parents can also learn to ballroom dance, take part in arts & crafts activities, and enjoy refreshments.

To purchase tickets or for additional information, please contact Community Music School at (860) 767-0026 or visit  www.community-music-school.org

Chester Land Trust Gardener Round Table May 20

The Chester Land Trust will be holding their 2012 Gardner’s Round Table on Sunday May 20, 4 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House on Liberty Street, Chester.

Please join our panel of Master Gardeners for an informative and lively discussion on cultivating raspberries, nutrient dense gardening, growing vegetables, shade plants and much more. Come ask questions of Margot Caldor, Lois Nadel, Janet Nelson and Helene Ferrari. Wine and Cheese will be served.  Most Chester Land Trust education and awareness programs are free, please consider joining us!membership@chesterlandtrust.org. For more information on the Gardener’s event, please contact Deb Dembo: heydebs@gmail.com or phone 860.304.7560

Connecticut Valley Camera Club Photography Exhibit and Reception May 18

Tel Aviv Beach by Dianne Roberts

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) is having a photography exhibit at the Synagogue in Chester (55 East Kings Highway).  The subject is “open” with 45 member prints for viewing and for sale at very reasonable prices.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on Friday, May 18, 2012. The exhibit is open to the public from 10-3pm M-F from May 21st through July 31st ,2012.

The CVCC meets the last Monday of each month at 7:00 pm at the Community Room (lower level) of the Deep River, CT Library (photographers at all levels are welcome).

Essex Library Spring Book Sale May 19, 20

The Essex Library’s Spring Book Sale, to be held at the Library on May 19 and 20, will feature items signed by actress Katharine Hepburn in a special silent auction to be held Saturday. Pictured with the items are Jean Caron (l) and Dora Grover (r).

The Friends of the Essex Library are holding their Spring Book Sale at the Library, located at 33 West Avenue, on Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20. Money raised by the sale goes to provide numerous special library programs and activities. Outstanding features at this event are two silent auction items signed by Katharine Hepburn. Lot 1 is a signed copy of the book “The Private World of Katharine Hepburn”. Lot 2 consists of a signed note to a fan on Miss Hepburn’s personal stationery plus a copy of Sotheby’s 2004 Auction Catalogue, “Property from the Estate of Katharine Hepburn”. The silent auction will be held on Saturday only.

The sale will run from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday May 19, and from 1 to 5 PM on Sunday May 20, when everything remaining will be half price. There will be a special table of books signed by their authors. Other offerings will include clean, well-sorted books on cooking, gardening, history, literature, art, travel, philosophy, science, nature, nautical subjects, sports, self-help, foreign languages, and more. There will be tables of fiction, children’s books, paperbacks, book sets, and audio-visual materials.

Specific information about titles offered in various categories and the signed books available will be on the Essex Library website, at www.essexlib.org.

On book-sale Saturday library materials can be checked in and out from 10 AM to 2 PM, but computers in the adult section will not be available for use. There will be no library services available on Sunday.

Free Train Rides this weekend, May 12, 13

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat is delighted to kick off its season with Neighbor Appreciation Weekend, May 12 & 13, 2012.

Neighbor Appreciation weekend includes free TRAIN and BOAT rides for residents in 5 towns along the Valley Railroad’s operating line – – Essex, Deep River, Chester, Haddam, and Old Saybrook.

  • Passengers may elect a 1-hour train ride or 2 1/2-hour train and boat ride at 11:00am12:30pm2:00pm, or a 1-hour train ride at 3:30pm.

Hop aboard this springtime adventure bursting with flora and fauna! The magnificent Connecticut River Valley that’s our own backyard, will be on full display from the multiple decks of the Becky Thatcher riverboat. Enjoy close up views of the wildlife’s natural habitat as the train traverses the tidal wetlands of Pratt Cove and Chester Creek. Treasure the historic sites including East Haddam Swing Bridge, Goodspeed Opera House, and Gillette Castle.


A Day in the Wild at Bushy Hill Open House May 19

Ivoryton, CT Bushy Hill will be hosting “A Day in the Wild” on Saturday, May 19 from 10am-3pm. This event is free and open to the public!  Join us to learn more about the Bushy Hill Summer Day Camp. Stop by to meet the directors and tour the camp. We have a variety of activities to participate in, such as primitive fire making, dream catcher crafts, hikes through the Cedar Swamp, and much more!

Bushy Hill at Incarnation Center is located at 253 Bushy Hill Road, Ivoryton, CT. Please meet at the Activity Center field. If you have any questions call (860)767-0848. Visit our website at www.bushyhill.org for more information.

Caring for your Treasures – Fallon & Wilkinson Furniture at Gather, May 17

Furniture Conservators Fallon & Wilkinson will give a lecture, Caring for your Treasures and answer questions on Thursday, May 17 at Gather, 104 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT, noon-1 p.m.

Fallon & Wilkinson, brings a combined 45 years of training and experience to the care and conservation of furniture, wooden artifacts, and interior woodwork, blending old world craftsmanship with modern conservation practices. The firm also provides museum quality reproduction furniture for institutions and private clients. Since its founding in 2000, Fallon & Wilkinson, has built a worldwide reputation for its knowledge of antique furniture and the delicate art and science of conserving it.

Tad D. Fallon and Randy S. Wilkinson both trained at the Smithsonian Institution’s prestigious Furniture Conservation Training Program. Tad completed a conservation fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and holds a Master’s Degree in Conservation from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Randy completed fellowships at the Preservation Society of Newport County in Rhode Island and the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut and holds a Master’s Degree in Conservation from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

To register call Essex Books at 860-767-1707 or call Gather at 860-767-7816.

*Bring one of your own treasures to ask the experts about conservation.

Connecticut Valley Camera Club Exhibit at CBSRZ Gallery Opens May 18

Canal du Midi by Deborah Rutty

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek will be exhibiting 45 photographs by 22 members of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club in the Main Street Gallery of the synagogue. The show will run from May 18 to July 27, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. The photos represent a juried selection, covering a wide variety of subjects, including very old Connecticut cemeteries, classic European synagogues, brilliant nature studies and contemplative landscapes and waterscapes.

Danny Street Synagogue Interior by Vincent Pipit

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club is an organization whose purpose is to help its members hone their technical and creative skills through presentations, interactive workshops and critiques. CVCC members Sheila Wertheimer and Elin Dolle organized the show with Linda Pinn, curator of the Main Street Gallery at CBSRZ.

Elegance by Edward McCaffrey

The exhibit is free and open to the public. All photos are for sale. For further information, call 860-526-8920. Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester.

Governor Malloy to Commemorate Burning of the Ships Day on May 12 in Essex


PHOTO 1: Community rowboat races will be one of the many free Burning of the Ships Day events happening in Essex Village on Saturday, May 12. Pictured here is the 2011 team fielded by the Sailing Masters of 1812. PHOTO 2: Free Men of the Sea will be on hand for colonial weaponry demonstrations and maritime games at the Connecticut River Museum’s Burning of the Ships Day on Saturday, May 12.

Essex, CT – On Saturday, May 12, Governor Dannel Malloy will arrive in Essex Village to help commemorate the historic 1814 British raid on Essex.  The festivities begin at 2:00 pm with the annual Burning of the Ships Commemoration Parade presented by the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife & Drums Corps.  Along with 14 other regional fife and drums corps, they will march down Main Street to the Essex waterfront to perform a small “muster” and ceremony remembering the fateful night when British troops rowed upriver and destroyed 27 ships during the War of 1812.  Joined by Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Jerry Roberts, Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman and State Representative Philip Miller, the Governor will recognize the Sailing Masters for nearly 50 years of service in keeping Connecticut’s heritage alive and then officially proclaim Essex as a War of 1812 battle site with a presentation to the Connecticut River Museum for their efforts in researching and telling the story.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Connecticut River Museum will present re-enactors, colonial weaponry demonstrations, and maritime games on its lawn while hosting community rowboat races off of its docks.  At 5:00 pm, the public is then invited to join museum staff in the Burning of the Fleet exhibit gallery for a special evening of grog, rum and tales of the British raid. The program will end in time for the 8:00 pm start of the 3rd Annual Regency Ball hosted by the Sailing Masters of 1812 at Essex Town Hall.

For more information on the Sailing Masters of 1812, go to www.sailingmasters.org. For more information on the Connecticut River Museum, go to www.ctrivermuseum.org or call (860)767-8269.

Burning of the Ships Day Itinerary

Governor Arrival

1:45 pm │Connecticut River Museum, 67 Main Street:  Governor Malloy arrives at the Connecticut River Museum prior to the 2:00 pm parade (before the street is closed) for a quick tour at the 1814 British Raid on Essex exhibit.

Sailing Masters of 1812 Commemoration Parade

2:00 pm │Essex Town Hall, 29 West Avenue:  The Sailing Masters of 1812 along with approximately 14 visiting fife and drum corps assemble at Town Hall and proceed on foot down Main Street to the Essex waterfront.

Waterfront Commemoration Ceremony

2:15 pm (approx.) │Foot of Main Street, adjacent to Connecticut River Museum

Sailing Masters Captain Ted Nelson begins commemoration ceremony by welcoming those gathered, introducing the corps and saying a few words.  He then introduces Connecticut River Museum Executive Director Jerry Roberts.

Jerry Roberts provides a brief history of the 1814 British raid on Essex and introduces Essex First Selectmen Norman Needleman.

First Selectman Needleman says a few words and introduces State Representative Phil Miller.

Representative Miller says a few words and then introduces Governor Malloy.


Governor Malloy speaks to the following three themes of the day:

  1. Kick off of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 in CT
  2. Recognition of  the Sailing Masters for keeping our heritage alive for nearly 50 years
  3. Official declaration of Essex as a War of 1812 battle site (see attachment from SHPO)

If possible, the Governor could present an official proclamation to the Sailing Masters for their years of public service in addition to presenting a proclamation recognizing Essex as a War of 1812 battle site to the Connecticut River Museum for display in the Museum’s exhibit.

Ted Nelson thanks the Governor, Phil Miller, Norm Needleman and Jerry Roberts.  He then cues the start of the fife and drum corps muster while the Governor stands in review.  Fife and drum corps disperse back up Main Street to Town Hall.  Connecticut River Museum commences community row boat races and lawn activities.  Governor departs Museum grounds.


30 Artists Answer Chester Historical Society Square Challenge

Sophy Johnston and Max Hotkowski, both of Chester, are combining their resourceful and creative talents to enter the Chester Historical Society's Square Roots challenge. Above, they preview the early stages of their indoor/outdoor hanging sculpture, utilizing square aluminum knitting gauges made by the Bates Company in 1950 in Chester (photo courtesy of Skip Hubbard).

In 1950 the C.J. Bates & Son manufacturing company in Chester produced 2-inch-square aluminum pink and green knitting gauges. This spring the Chester Historical Society has challenged area artists, sculptors, photographers, engineers, jewelers, and all others with a creative mind to create finished pieces of art with a few of those squares.

More than 30 people accepted the challenge. All of their creations will be on display and sold through silent auction when the Historical Society hosts a Square Roots Champagne Reception on Saturday, May 19, at the Chester Meetinghouse.

Skip Hubbard, president of the Chester Historical Society, said, “In 2004 we staged a similar challenge, the very popular Brooks for Hooks event, using hooks and screw eyes manufactured by M.S. Brooks & Sons.  It was fascinating to see the variety of work created from those hooks and screw eyes.”

“Eight years later, we still hear comments about the Brooks for Hooks challenge,” said Sosse Baker, co-chairman of the event.  “This challenge has the same potential and should be equally exciting for everyone, from the creators to those attending the reception.”

Besides the silent auction, the champagne reception will feature hors oeuvres from local restaurants and kitchens.  It will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets for the evening are $25 and can be purchased at Chester Gallery and Ceramica in Chester Center.

All the proceeds from the event will benefit the Chester Historical Society and its programs, including Chester Museum at The Mill.  More information is available on the Historical Society website, www.chesterhistoricalsociety.org.

Using a knitted piece as a foundation, Anna Sweeney created a framed series of 25 squares and rectangles (can you count them?) as her entry in the Square Roots Artist Exhibit and Silent Auction hosted by the Chester Historical Society (photo courtesy of Skip Hubbard).

CMS Presents Saxophone Master Class at Community Music School May 6

CENTERBROOK – Robbie Collomore Concert Series presents renowned classical saxophonist Ashu in a special Master Class at the Community Music School on Sunday, May 6th at 10:30 am. The event is free and open to the public and takes place at the School at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook.

Concert saxophonist Ashu, age 26, has continually defied conventions winning major international and national competitions traditionally won by pianists and violinists.  He made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall in New York and, at age 16, made his concerto debut at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.  Since then, concerto and recital performances have taken him throughout the USA and Europe

Students from the studio of CMS faculty member Russ Becker will perform at the Master Class.

Ashu will perform a concert as part of the Collomore series later that day at 5 pm at the Chester Meeting House. For ticket information, visit www.collomoreconcerts.org or call 860-526-5162.

For more information about the Master Class, please contact Community Music School at 860-767-0026.

TTYS Family Scavenger Hunt May 5

Tri-Town Youth Services will be hosting a fun family Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, May 5.

All families are welcome to participate in a treasure hunt around Deep River.  All you will need is a digital camera (or phone camera) and a sense of fun.

Meet at Tri-Town  Youth Services, 56 High Street, Deep River at 1 p.m. This program is free.  Call Tri-Town at 526-3600 to register.

‘Disney’s Aristocats’ at the Ivoryton Playhouse Supports Team Avery

Four year old Old Saybrook resident Avery Rose Leopoldino suffers from CDKL5, a rare genetic mutation that mostly affects girls because it is located on the X chromosome.  About 400 people around the world are diagnosed with this disease and Avery is the only one in Connecticut to have it.  Because of these miniscule numbers, little is known in the medical community about CDKL5.

Avery attends Goodwin School but currently suffers with up to six seizures a day and cannot walk, talk or hold her head up.  She is also visually impaired, cannot use her hands and suffers from gastrointestinal issues.

Avery’s parents Mark and Kristen donate all funds raised to CDKL5 organizations and want to raise public awareness of the this rare disorder.  Avery’s father Mark is the manager of Bill’s Seafood Restaurant in Westbrook.

Madhatters Theatre Company is supporting Team Avery in the their upcoming production of ‘Disney’s Aristocats’ at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Performances Friday May 18 at 7pm, Saturday May 19 at 2pm & 7pm and Sunday May 20 at 2pm.

Tickets $15 Adults and $8 Children 12 and under.  All concession proceeds to benefit Team Avery.  If you would like to support Avery, please mention Team Avery when you call to purchase tickets and we will donate $1 of the ticket price to them.  For tickets please call (860) 395-1861


Craft Fair Vendor Spaces Available Now for May 12

The Sixth Annual Mother’s Day Craft Fair will take place on Saturday, May 12  from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Deep River, 1 Church Street.  There are inside and outside spaces available for a cost of $25.00 per space.  The indoor spaces are extremely limited and will be filled on a first requested, first served basis.  A limited number of 8’ tables for inside use are also available, for an additional $5.00.  Deadline for applications is April 30, 2012.

In addition to the numerous vendors, there will be a silent auction, garden plant and bake sale, as well as a luncheon.   Please come and enjoy the day!  You may contact the church office at 860-526-5045 or check our church web site, www.deepriverchurch.org for an application or further information.

Bushy Hill Farm Aid All Day Outdoor Benefit Concert May 12

Ivoryton, CT Grab the kids and put on your dancing shoes as Bushy Hill is hosting its first ever Farm Aid, a benefit concert for the farm at Bushy Hill! On May 12 (rain date May 13) from 11am-5pm on the Activity Center field we will have performances from 6 local bands and musicians. There will also be a Primitive Studies Expo where kids and families can learn about flint napping, hyde tanning, primitive fire making, basket weaving and much more! There will be some great food vendors, including a donut truck, and many local artists selling their crafts. Admission is $5 per person, children under 12 are free! All proceeds will go towards operating the farm, which is in need of some repairs and new equipment.

The local bands and musicians performing at Farm Aid will be: The Side Doors, Margie Warner, The Meadows Brothers, Autopilot, Will Leet, The Dizzy River Band, and Eric & Sandra Lichter.

The farm plays an integral and ever growing part in the Bushy Hill Nature Center programs. At Bushy Hill we are committed to helping people of all ages, especially children, develop a strong connection to and reverence for our natural world. Our programs serve over 2000 children a year from pre-school through high school. We believe that by connecting with nature we come to better understand ourselves, each other, and the world around us.

Bushy Hill at Incarnation Center is located at 253 Bushy Hill Road, Ivoryton, CT. Parking for the event will be on one side of Bushy Hill Road, you can then walk to the main entrance, past the pond, and you will see the Activity Center field on your left. If you have any questions call (860)767-0848. Visit our website at www.bushyhill.org for more information and to make a donation if you cannot attend.

History in the Park with Town Historian Chris Pagliuco May 20

The Essex Park and Recreation Department and Essex Historical Society are hosting: “History in the Park” on Sunday, May 20 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Grove Street Park in Essex, (next to Town Hall)

The event will feature a book talk and signing by author and Essex Town Historian, Chris Pagliuco. Pagliuco will speak about his newly published book entitled, The Great Escape of Edward Whalley and William Goffe-Smuggled through Connecticut (History Press).

Pagliuco will be available for questions and signings of his book after his talk. Families are invited to attend, picnic and enjoy an afternoon at the Grove Street Park.  If you don’t want to pack a lunch – the Touchdown Club will be there with hot dogs and hamburgers for sale to benefit the Valley Regional Football Boosters.

In case of rain, the festivities will be moved indoors to the Essex Town Hall auditorium.

Iva Bittova, Vocalist, Violinist, Avant-garde Performer at Chester Meetinghouse April 22

Moravian-born Iva Bittova, vocalist, violinist, avant-garde performer, will be the featured musician at the third concert of the 38th season of the Robbie Collomore Concert Series at the Chester Meetinghouse on Sunday, April 22 at 5 p.m.

Iva Bittova is renowned for giving unique performances that draw upon her training in drama, classical violin and singing. Influenced by jazz, rock, Czechoslovakian folk music and classical violin training, Bittova creates vocal and violin sounds than have always been described as thrilling and impossible to categorize. As expected from an actress featured in a Czech film nominated for an Academy Award in 2004, her performances have a dramatic cohesion that is spellbinding. She will be accompanied by George Mraz, jazz bassist and alto saxophonist.

The Collomore Concert Series bring high-caliber, visiting musicians to Chester four times a year. Each performance is followed by a simple reception to mingle with and meet other music lovers and the performer. Tickets are $21 for adults and $5 for students. For information and tickets, call 860-526-5162 or visit www.collomoreconcerts.org. Iva Bittova’s performance is sponsored by First Niagara Bank.

Connecticut River Explorations and Art Adventures Planned for April Vacation Week

Children age 7 to 12 years can take a river exploration and art adventure during April Vacation Week at the Connecticut River Museum

Essex, CT – This April school vacation week will be packed with plenty of adventure and exploration at the Connecticut River Museum.  Children age 7 to 12 are invited to join museum educators for a day or two, or the entire week, as they discover the many wonders of the Connecticut River.  Starting on Monday, April 9, River Journey will feature a hike along the riverbank, a river scavenger hunt in the galleries, exploration of maps and charts and a chance to create your own river landscape.  On Tuesday, April 10, Community Creation will be all about creating a design for a park or building along the waterfront while working together to build ideas for a waterfront town.  On Wednesday, April 11, River Exploration will feature a hiking quest, sketching discoveries and planning a river landscape while on Thursday, April 12 , Construction Crew will feature an architecture adventure through Essex Village and the Museum’s aerial photography and river mural galleries for inspiration to build towns and cities on a tabletop river landscape.  The April vacation adventures wrap up on Friday, April 13 with River Valley Roundup, a program where all of the artwork completed during the week will be assembled to create a final tabletop river landscape and scavenger game.

Each program runs from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  A simple snack is provided, or kids can bring their own. The non-member fee is $30 per day or $135 for the week.  The member fee is $25 per day or $110 for the week.  Advance registration is required.  To reserve a space, download and mail in the registration form from www.ctrivermuseum.org or contact the education department at 860-767-8269 extension 113 or jwhitedobbs@ctrivermuseum.org.  The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street.


Community Music School Presents Sinfonia and String Ensemble April 3

DEEP RIVER – The Community Music School presents its Sinfonia and String Ensemble performance groups in concert on Tuesday, April 3rdat 7:00 pm at Valley Regional High School in Deep River.  Under the direction of Martha Herrle, each of these ensembles will perform a variety of works by Brahms, Schubert, Shostakovich, plus a medley of early American music and selections from West Side Story.

Sinfonia is a multi-generational orchestra offered to players of all ages and orchestral instruments. The String Ensemble had a modest start in2002, with 4 children and one adult.  Today it is an amazing, inter-generational string orchestra with over 30 members from ages 8 to 80. Each ensemble rehearses weekly from September through March and also performs annually at the CMS Holiday Concert. New members are welcome to join and registration for the next year opens in August.

The concert is free and open to the public.  For more information please contact 860-767-0026 or visit www.community-music-school.org.

Con Brio will “Make a Joyful Noise” April 29

On April 29, 2012, Con Brio, the Connecticut shoreline’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, will “make a joyful noise,” as Leonard Bernstein quotes the psalmist in his 1965 Chichester Psalms, the concert’s feature work.  Under the direction of Dr. Stephen Bruce, accompanied by Assistant Director Susan Saltus and full orchestra, Con Brio will make a “joyful noise” as it celebrates its fifteenth anniversary as a chorus.  The program is rounded out with other “B’s,” Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and the Beatles, festive pieces by Vivaldi and Handel, and a number of lighter pieces the chorus will also be performing in its upcoming concert tour to southern Spain.

Bernstein’s popular work, which the chorus will sing in its original Hebrew, was commissioned by the Cathedral at Chichester, England but first performed in New York. Described as “affirmative and at times serene,” the work is comprised of three entire psalms and portions of three others. The music moves through a range of emotions: joy, plaintive anguish and at times anger, unsettledness, and, finally, hope.

The first movement, because of its complex rhythms and repeated use of the dissonant parallel seventh (the seventh interval having numerological importance in the Judeo-Christian tradition), is noted for its musical difficulty, especially for tenors.

Twelve-year-old Erik Olsen, student at the Middle School in Old Saybrook, will be the featured soloist

The second movement, based on Psalms 2 and 23, was written as if to be the young voice of David. Twelve-year-old Erik Olsen, student at the Middle School in Old Saybrook and alto in the boys’ choir of Trinity Church in New Haven, will be the featured soloist, accompanied by harp.  Both of Erik’s parents, Jennifer and David Olsen, have sung with Con Brio as chorus members and soloists. The men’s theme in this second section was adapted from material that Bernstein cut from West Side Story.

After a complex and unsettled instrumental prelude, the third movement resolves into a gentle chorale.  The last words of the piece serenely proclaim: “Together in Unity.”

This is only the beginning of the concert!  Bach’s unfinished Cantata 50, “Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft,” jubilantly proclaims “now come the power that heals us”; Beethoven’s “Hallelujah,” the final movement from Christ on the Mount of Olives, his only oratorio, is a favorite of audiences everywhere; and Brahms’ Motet on Psalm 51 is a sublime example of beautiful choral writing.

Vivaldi’s “Domine ad adjuvandum me festina,” buoyantly asks, “Lord, make haste to help me.” Handel’s “Zadok the Priest”, one of his most popular and majestic of anthems, is based upon the biblical text of the anointing of Solomon as king.  This anthem, composed for the coronation of George II in 1727, has been performed at every British coronation since.

Looking forward to Con Brio’s upcoming concert tour this spring in southern Spain is “Amor Que Une Con El Amor Grandisimo” (“Love that Unites Me with the Greatest Love).”

On the lighter side is a collection of pieces that Con Brio will also share with its Spanish audiences: a “Swingle Singers’” version of a Bach fugue; “Gabriel,” a rousing gospel tune;  John Rutter’s rollicking “When the Saints Go Marching In;” and a rendition of the Beatles’ hit, “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

Don’t miss this one.  Tell your friends.  Bring your friends.  Celebrate with joyful noise!

Tickets:  $25, available through www.conbrio.org, by calling 860 526 5399 or from any Con Brio member.

Location:  Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme, Ct., 4PM

Rum-Running – EHS April 11 Program at Essex Town Hall

Rum-running will be the subject of a short talk and film at the Essex Town Hall, Wednesday, April 11 beginning at 7:30 p.m. The talk is sponsored by Essex Historical Society, as part of their annual lecture series. The public is invited to attend and the event is free to all. Refreshments will follow the program.

Brenda Milkofsky, the founding director and former curator of the Connecticut River Museum will talk briefly about the lower Connecticut River during Prohibition and provide some local context for the film, The Real McCoy: The Legend of Bill McCoy & The Rum War at Sea.

 The film was made largely in Mystic in 2007 by Bailey Pryor of Telemark Films and features Stephen Jones, author of the film, English professor at UCONN, raconteur, and author of the rum-running tale, The Bahama Queen and other marine history works.

In re-creating the Prohibition period from 1920 to 1933 for the film, Pryor was assisted by the Essex Steam Train, Ralph Herman of Antique Auto Services, Inc., Herb Clark, the Connecticut State Police and the US Coast Guard.

Viewers may also recognize Malabar II, Compass Rose, and Ilona all sail boats that play roles as “Rum Row,” the large schooners who brought illegal liquor from Canada and the Bahamas to off-Long Island and anchored three-miles out awaiting the arrival of the fast rum-runners.

Bill McCoy was a very successful and charismatic bootlegger who transported illegal whisky in his fleet of large schooners and reportedly created Rum Row. The book jacket of The Real McCoy, the book from which the film derived, says “For nearly four years he slaked the thirst of the nation while leading authorities on a merry chase. He…built a bootlegging empire that made millions of dollars. In all his dealings McCoy remained personable and trustworthy and true to his standard that the liquor he carried was the best…the real McCoy.”


Greek Tragedies will Come Alive at Chester Library

With so many new books being published every day, why would anyone want to read books written in Greece almost 2500 years ago?

Just ask Charlotte Rea, who will be leading a series of three evening discussions on three Greek tragedies in April at the Chester Public Library. Rea, the former Head of School at the Williams School in New London, has an academic background in English and theater, including Greek drama.

“They are a good read,” she says firmly. “They are great stories that capture human purpose, drive, action, guilt and knowledge at its most elemental, intense, and ennobling.”

Rea draws a parallel between life in Greece 2500 years ago and our American society today. “The tragedies were written during a time of Athenian prosperity and stability, during the best periods of a working democracy (as they defined it – adult free males only).  In the background, though, was the memory of recent wars and the mounting tensions with neighboring city-states, such as Sparta. Prosperity and stability in a time of tension, doubt, worry and cultural divides – sound familiar?”

The three plays, by Sophocles and Euripedes, are “Oedipus Rex,” “Antigone,” and “The Trojan Women.” In “Oedipus,” the Greeks asked how we find the truth and what choices do we make in our journey to see and to understand. “Antigone” raises the question of the individual’s right to act on a personal belief system when respect for civic stability requires cooperation. “The Trojan Women” makes clear the timeless, seemingly inevitable consequences of war for the survivors. The discussions will begin Wednesday, April 11, with “Oedipus Rex”; move on to “Antigone” on April 18; and end on April 25, with “The Trojan Women.”

“The plays have lasted as ‘classics’ for almost 2500 years – why?” Rea asks. “What do they teach us about the human condition and quest for meaning? In a period of quick changes and rapid alterations in communication, landscape, and attitudes, which human values have endured through the centuries? Which have not?”

Rea notes that the plays are easy to read and short, requiring an hour or so to read (though the former schoolteacher admits to encouraging a second reading).

Registration is required for these programs, which are brought to you by the Friends of Chester Public Library. Call the library at 860-526-0018, or visit the library website at www.chesterct.org/library.php to register. All discussions will be at Chester Public Library from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Books will be available for loan at Chester Library. Those interested in ebooks may want to check out the texts available through Project Gutenberg.

Annual Valley-Shore Men’s Palm Sunday Breakfast

Over a hundred men, young and old, from congregations throughout the Connecticut River Valley annually gather in Deep River for the annual Palm Sunday Men’s Breakfast.    Again this year we will gather at 7 a.m. on Palm Sunday, April 1, for a half-hour communion service, followed by breakfast in Fellowship Hall.   After breakfast, we will hear about a wonderful mission outreach working among the poorest people in our hemisphere.

Please plan to join over a hundred men from throughout the Valley Shore area by calling the Deep River church office before Tuesday, March 27 (860-526-5045), or by e-mailing your reservations to congregational.chrch@snet.net (or go to our church web site, www.deepriverchurch.org  and click the box on the main page)

Our speaker this year is the Rev. Dr. Peter Allen, Vice President of  Simply Smiles Inc., a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing bright futures for impoverished children.   Simply Smiles was founded in Connecticut in 2003.  Its inaugural project was the Casa Hogar Benito Juarez Children’s Home in Oaxaca City, Mexico.  Today the work has expanded to help the desperate poor living in Oaxaca and a nearby garbage dump.  Simply Smiles also helps to provide income for the Mexican poor by marketing their coffee beans in this country.  More recently a new project has begun among the people of the Cheyenne River Sioux reservation in South Dakota.

Rev. Allen was born and raised in Westport, Connecticut, and is the father of two young adult sons. His earliest religious experiences were with the Greens Farms Congregational Church, UCC, where he was baptized, confirmed, and ordained. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Andover Newton Theological School, and Hartford Seminary, Pete served churches in Walpole, Massachusetts; Concord, New Hampshire; and Monroe, Connecticut, before leaving his 23-year career in parish ministry to work full time with Simply Smiles. Pete’s professional passions are preaching, youth and young adult ministry, and mission travel. As Vice President of Simply Smiles, Pete’s duties are diverse. On any given day, he could be preaching, presenting, fundraising, hosting a service trip, carrying food, or mixing cement. He is currently learning Spanish.


7:00 – 7:30             Communion in the Sanctuary

7:30 – 8:15              Bountiful Breakfast  (Cost:  Donation)

8:15 – 9:00              Program

Full-Day Kindergarten and DRES CMTs Discussion with Dr. Levy

On Tuesday March 13, at 6.30 p.m. there will be a discussion of proposed full-day kindergarten and DRES CMTs with Region IV Superintendent Dr. Levy & Assistant Superintendent Mr. Neviaser at DRES Library, 12 River St., Deep River.

Light refreshments will be served. The discussion will be followed by a regular DRES PTO Meeting at 7:00 p.m.

Local Student Composer’s Work to be Premiered

Kim Nucci, of Deep River, CT, will have one of her orchestral compositions premiered by the Sage City Symphony.  Nucci, a student at Bennington College in Bennington, VT, has written a work entitled “Decline and Resolution,” which will be performed on a concert at Bennington College, on Sunday, March 18, at 4:00 p.m.

Nucci is a multi-media artist currently studying at Bennington College.  There she studies painting, photography and saxophone performance, as well as music composition.  Her teachers in music have included Allen Shawn, Nick Brooke, Bruce Williamson, Su Lian Tan, Daniel Ott, and Jason Rigby.  In both painting and music Nucci tends to work largely in textures dealing with atonal concepts of musical form and grouping.  In music this palette is comprised of melodic counterpoint and harmonic language derived from her experience playing jazz and free music.

“Decline and Resolution” is her first piece for orchestra as well as her first political work in music.  It is a continuation of a project in painting on the erosion of The American Dream and Western Culture at large.  While following the news intently, seeing war and financial scandals and their resulting riots and protests worldwide, Nucci became increasingly motivated to say something about the geopolitical climate.  “Decline and Resolution” is an expression of the current economic collapse and the fall of Western society as it is presently known.  This movement is characterized in the piece as the churning and spiraling and its ultimate “resolution” as the last hiccup of the machine. The orchestra, unable to carry out a grandiose cadential texture like those in works of the past is similar to that of the economic struggle in the EU and those countries no longer being able to provide the previous amenities their citizens had come to expect when faced with austerity measures imposed by the European community at large.

Winter Weather Delays Region 4 School Board Budget Vote

REGION 4— Wednesday’s winter weather has led the Region 4 Board of Education to reschedule the meeting where the panel was expected to vote on a proposed district education budget for 2012-2013.

With district schools dismissed early Wednesday because of approaching winter weather, the board meeting planned for Wednesday night has been postponed to Wednesday March 7 at 7 p.m. in the library/media center at John Winthrop Middle School.

At the March 7 meeting, the board is expected to adopt a proposed district education budget of $17,568,043. The education budget approved next week will be presented to the residents of Chester, Deep River, and Essex at the annual budget hearing on April 2.

Always…P​atsy Cline at the Ivoryton Playhouse

Jacqueline Petroccia as Patsy Cline at the Mac-Haydn Theatre

Ivoryton:  In the town of Winchester in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, there is a gravestone that probably says it best: “Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies: Love.”

It is a tribute to the late, great singer Patsy Cline. Not many singers remain legends so long after their death, especially after a short career of slightly more than five years. Cline died tragically at age 30 on March 5, 1963, which was almost 49 years ago. Her music lives on partly through such wonderful stage tributes as Always… Patsy Cline, which opens the season at the Ivoryton Playhouse on March 14.

 Always…Patsy Cline has enjoyed great success all over the United States, including a successful run off-Broadway. It is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer. The show is based on a true story about Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in l961, and continued a correspondence with Cline until her death.

The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams and Walking After Midnight…27 songs in all.  The show’s title was inspired by Cline’s letters to Seger, which were consistently signed “Love ALWAYS… Patsy Cline.”

Playhouse Executive Director, Jacqui Hubbard, who directs this production, says “I grew up listening to my mother sing these songs while cooking dinner. They are part of my DNA and I only have to hear the opening chords of Crazy and I am instantly transported. Even if you are not a country fan, Patsy Cline crosses all the boundaries. Her music has lasted this long because if defies being categorized. It is the music of us all.”

Playing Patsy Cline is Jacqueline Petroccia*, who also played her in a production at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in 2011 with spectacular reviews. “Petroccia looked like Patsy and sang like Patsy” – Gail Burns, Berkshire Theatre Reviews; “Petroccia gives us a near perfect performance of what Patsy Cline would have sounded like in concert. There were times in the show when I really imagined I was watching Patsy Cline at the Opry” – Kevin Richards, DJ 107.7 WGNA

Laurie Dawn*, who will be playing Louise in this production, is no stranger to the Ivoryton Playhouse. Audiences loved her as M’Lin in Steel Magnolias and as Charlotte in Moon Over Buffalo. John DeNicola musical directs this production. Sets designed by William Stark, lights by Doug Harry, costumes by Lisa Marie Harry and hair by Joel Silvestro.

Always…Patsy Cline  opens on March 14 and runs thru April 1 for 3 weeks. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

* Denotes member of Actors Equity

“A Star to Sail Her By” – Book Signing at The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club

The Essex Corinthian Yacht Club is pleased to host a book talk and signing by Alex Ellison, author of “A Star to Sail Her By” on Sunday, March 4,  3 p.m. at the Corinthian, 9 Novelty Lane, Essex.If you don’t think it’s possible for you and your family to live peacefully together in your home, imagine if you had to live peacefully together on a boat…for five years!

When Alex Ellison was 8, he set off from Essex with his parents and his sister, Lara, for a one-year trip on their sailboat. One year became five years, spent on the Caribbean island of Nevis and other remote locations throughout the Caribbean and Pacific. Alex and his family shared adventures as well as challenges — everything from tropical navigation to dangerous waters to tropical storms.

Alex, now 17, and a student at Phillips Exeter Academy, kept a daily journal through all of it and turned that into a rousing memoir entitled “A Star to Sail Her By: A Five-Year Odyssey of Coming of Age at Sea.” According to Meredith Laitos, Editor of Sail Magazine, “In and of itself, this memoir of a 25,000 nautical mile voyage is informative, entertaining and eye-opening. That a high school student wrote it is astounding.”The event and book sales will be a benefit supporting the Valley Regional High School Sailing Team.  Suggested donations are $10.For further information, please contact Elaine Kyle, Manager, Essex Corinthian Yacht Club at 860-767-3239.

TTYS Announces Mini-Grants for Local Non-Profits

Tri-Town Youth Services announces the availability of mini-grants to local nonprofit organizations in Chester, Deep River and Essex. Applications for mini-grants are available at Tri-Town Youth Services, 56 High Street in Deep River.

A workshop about asset development and the application process will be held at Tri-Town Youth Services, 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. This workshop is required for all first-time applicants. Nonprofit organizations who have previously applied are not required to attend the workshop. Completed applications must be received by Tri-Town by noon on March 21, 2012.

Programs eligible for funding will  build youth assets and will take place between May 1 and August 31, 2012.

These mini-grants are part of the Healthy Communities · Healthy Youth of Chester, Deep River, and Essex initiative that is funded through Middlesex United Way. For additional information, please call Gail Onofrio at Tri-Town Youth Services: 860-526-3600.

The Ice Man Cometh & the Public is Invited!

Please join us on Thursday, March 15 at 7.30 p.m.  at the Ivoryton Congregational Church, 57 Main Street, Ivoryton,
for an interesting slide-show presentation on “Ice Harvesting in New England” by Arthur Howe.  Arthur has been harvesting
ice for over seventy years for a family camp his grand mother started over 100 years ago at Squam Lake in New Hampshire
(the site of the movie “On Golden Pond”).

Through several up-grades in the harvesting technology “Ice Harvesting” goes on to this day on the lake and provides campers
who come for the summer months with a source of refrigeration.

You will be fascinated to see how it is done and share in this rare look at history that takes us back before the time of
ice making refrigerators in our homes.

A free-will offering to the Church’s Music Fund will be made.

Introduction to Indian Cooking at Essex Library

The techniques of creating flavorful Indian dishes will be demonstrated by Madhu Gupta at the Essex Library on Saturday March 10 at 1 p.m.

In the mood for something spicy? Take a “tasting tour” of India at the Essex Library with Madhu Gupta, who will prepare a variety of delicious Indian dishes from appetizers to desserts Saturday, March 10 at 1 p.m.

Madhu will introduce Indian cooking techniques, highlighting the regional differences in regards to spicing, flavors and recipes.  Indian-born, she’s traveled extensively across India, experiencing many different cultures, and learned to cook from her mother. Her love of spices is always at the heart of her cooking, and Madhu will demonstrate that Indian cooking is not always hot and spicy but that the flavor is determined by balancing the ingredients.

The program is free and open to all, but seating is limited. Please call the Essex Library to register for this program at 860-767-1560


Marshview Gallery Artist of the Month, Mimi Chiang

Mimi Chiang has been selected as the Estuary Council of Seniors March Artist of the Month.  The walls of our Marshview Gallery will be brightened with Mimi’s watercolor paintings.  Her love for art bloomed later in life, though her study began in high school with her art teacher and future husband, Chien Fei Chiang.  Over the years, as she watched and admired her husband’s art evolve, her own interest grew.  Mimi earned a 2011 first prize award from the Essex Art Association.

Chiang resides in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.  It is with great pride that she exhibits her art locally, trusting that her husband and long time instructor continues to observe in spirit.

A reception to honor Mimi and feature her work will be held on Friday, March 9, from 5-7:00 pm.  Everyone is welcome.

Essex Town Hall Nature Program

Potapaug Audubon will present “Journey of the Universe” on Thursday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall. The format will be  a film presentation followed by a live discussion with Dr. Don Rankin. This film tells the story of cosmic and Earth evolution, drawing on the latest scientific knowledge. For more info call 860-767-9763.

A St. Patrick’s Celebration With Michael McDermott and friends

“A St. Patrick’s Celebration” with Michael McDermott and friends will be held at the Centerbrook Meeting House on Saturday March 10, at 7 p.m. to benefit the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Tickets $50 (including food and beverage). Call 860-767-7318 for more details.

Have a Heart for Haiti

The Sister Cities Essex Haiti will be holding a celebration of support of Hospital Albert Schweitzer and our community projects in Deschapelles on Friday, March 2, between 5:30 and 8:00 at the Left Bank Gallery, Main Street, Essex.

To learn more about it, please click here Have a Heart for Haiti Fundraiser.  You may purchase tickets at the door or on-line by clicking here.