November 17, 2018

Recount Called in 33rd State Senate District Race

AREAWIDE — Secretary of the State Denise Merrill’s office said on Thursday that another state Senate race will be subject to a recount.

State election officials said a recent correction to a reporting error in Essex has put the contest for the 33rd District [which includes the Town of Lyme] within a margin that requires a recount. The new tally leaves Essex’s Democratic First Selectman Norm Needleman leading East Haddam Republican state Rep. Melissa Ziobron by 137 votes.

John Heiser of the Essex Registrar of Voters office said …

Read the full article by Clarice Silber, which was published today on CTMirror.com, at this link.

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Registration Open for ‘Trees in the Rigging,’ Nov. 25; ‘Boat Floats’ Added to Community Carol Stroll This Year

Buddy the Elf stands aboard one of the vessels in last year’s Lighted Boat Parade. Photo by CT River Museum.

ESSEX — Kick off the holiday season in Essex with the annual Trees in the Rigging Community Carol Sing and Lighted Boat Parade!  

The Connecticut River Museum, the Essex Board of Trade, and the Essex Historical Society combine to present this annual event that includes a traditional, lantern-lit carol stroll down Main Street where spectators are invited to bring their own lanterns or flashlights and join in with the Sailing Masters of 1812 Fife and Drum Corps and a parade of antique cars. 

Participants can gather at the Essex Town Hall at 4 p.m. The stroll steps off at 4:30 p.m. beginning on West Ave. and ending at the Connecticut River Museum with a parade of vessels dressed out in holiday lights and passing in review along the Connecticut River. 

Judges view the ‘Trees in the Rigging’ parade. Photo by CT River Museum.

Santa and his elves will arrive by one of the parade boats for visits with children on the lawn of the Connecticut River Museum. The Connecticut River Museum will also be open that evening for all to attend the 25th Annual Holiday Train Show.

New for this year’s land parade will be “Boat Floats” or small watercraft on trailers that are decorated for the holidays and can be towed down Essex’s streets.  Members of the public are welcome to decorate their own boat to be pulled or walked down the parade route.  This addition is starting small-scale – so folksy, homemade and low-budget will suit the spirit of the parade perfectly.  Rowboats, kayaks and canoes will all work, too. 

Contact Essex Historical Society to register your “Boat Float” and receive important driving and parking info: 860-767-0681 or mjosefiak@essexhistory.org

The essence of this free community event is the parade of boats dressed in holiday lights that sail along Essex’s waterfront in a friendly competition.  Prizes will be awarded to the top three best dressed boats.  Winners will be invited to receive their prize and have their photo taken on Monday, Nov. 26, at 4:30 p.m. at the Connecticut River Museum.

Join the on-the-water fun and register your boat for the lighted boat parade.  Registration is required to participate in the boat parade that usually begins around 5:15 p.m. from the south end of Essex Harbor.  To register, send emails to: akyff@ctrivermuseum.org. Information should include: vessel name; type of boat and description; owner(s) name; contact information (phone and preferred email); decorating scheme (if known at time of registration).  Registration must be received by Monday, Nov. 19 at 4:30 p.m.

To make your own lanterns at home: 

  • Step 1: fill an empty aluminum can with water and freeze. This will make it easier to punch holes for the design in the can.
  • Step 2: using a hammer and nail, punch holes in the can to make a connect-the-dots style picture of a holiday design. Use plenty of holes to allow the light to shine through.
  • Step 3: punch two holes near the rim to attach a wire handle.
  • Step 4: after the ice is melted, attach a votive or other small candle to the inside bottom of the can.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm.  For more information, call 860.767.8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org.

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Charles Sennott, Founder of The GroundTruth Project, to Speak at SECWAC Meeting, Wednesday

Seen here reporting in Afghanistan, Charles Sennott will be the speaker at the SECWAC meeting at Connecticut College on Wednesday

AREAWIDE — The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) hosts Charles M. Sennott on Wednesday, Nov. 14  when he will speak on “GroundTruth in a Post-truth Era,” at 6 p.m. The talk will be held in the Ernst Common Room at Blaustein Hall in Connecticut College.

An award-winning foreign correspondent and founder of The GroundTruth Project, Sennott will discuss the work of this non-profit news organization around the world. Specifically, Sennott will look at the assault on a free press in the US and globally and how it is impacting international coverage. A crisis in journalism is becoming a crisis for democracy.

Sennott is an award-winning correspondent, best-selling author, and editor with 30 years of experience in international, national and local journalism. A leading social entrepreneur in new media, Sennott started GroundTruth in 2014, and in 2017 launched the non-profit organization’s new, local reporting initiative, Report for America.

Reporting on the front lines of wars and insurgencies in at least 20 countries, including the post-9/11 conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and the 2011 Arab Spring, Sennott began his career in local news covering cops, courts, and municipal government. Sennott’s deep experience reporting led him to dedicate himself to supporting and training the next generation of journalists to tell the most important stories of our time.

Sennott is also the co-founder of GlobalPost, an acclaimed international news website.

Previously, Sennott worked for many years as a reporter at the New York Daily News and then the Boston Globe, where he became Bureau Chief for the Middle East and Europe, and a leader of the paper’s international coverage from 1997 to 2005.

Sennott has also served as a correspondent for PBS Frontline and the PBS NewsHour. He has contributed news analysis to the BBC, CNN, NPR, MSNBC and others. He is a graduate of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the main event beginning at 6 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC 2018-2019 Speaker Series. For non-members, tickets ($20) may be purchased at the door; ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership. Attendance is free for SECWAC members (and their guests). Membership September 2018 through June 2019 is $75; $25 for young professionals under 35; free for area college and high school students.

Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC meeting attendees have the option for $35 to attend a dinner with the speaker at Tony D’s Restaurant, New London. Reservations are required at 860-912-5718.

The Ernst Common Room at Blaustein Hall, Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Avenue, New London, CT 06320. (MAP HERE)

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange eight to 10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.

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Letter to the Editor: Needleman Says, “The Election Is Over … Let’s Get To Work”

To the Editor:

The voters of the 33rd District have chosen me to be their advocate in the State Senate for the next two years. The depth of my gratitude to the voters and to the hundreds of volunteers who helped throughout the campaign is beyond my ability to express.

The electioneering is finished, and now we will confront the hard work: get the state back on track, and secure a fair share of support for the towns in our district.  My opponent and I differed in our approach to addressing those issues, but we agreed that the core challenge is restoring the state’s financial health and economic vitality. There is no quick fix, but in my view the path we must travel is clear.

First, we have to bridge the partisan divide that stands in the way of good ideas and sensible solutions. Partisan politics have crippled our state, and it should be obvious by now that retreating to an ideological corner is lethal to the kind of cooperation we badly need. As I said throughout the campaign, I will work with anyone who is committed to finding real solutions, regardless of political affiliation.

Second, renovating our approach to developing revenue projections and budgets is vitally important, but is not the only component of the path to recovery. As importantly, the state needs a comprehensive economic development plan that clearly defines strategies and tactics for creating jobs. We need a plan that builds a compelling and durable appeal to businesses of all sizes…a plan that creates a marketing and communications framework for coalescing the state’s many attributes and advantages into a compelling message. Without a comprehensive plan, the road to economic vitality will be random and reactive, instead of well directed and focused.

Third, I will tirelessly advocate to make certain that every town in our district receives its fair share of support from Hartford. The perspective I have gained from real world experience in budgeting and managing town and business operations will add both credibility and impact to the voice our towns have in the State Senate.

But we also need to address issues that go beyond the state’s finances. We can never stop advocating for measures that address the quality of life in our towns: women’s issues; primary, secondary, and higher education; benefits to our seniors; support for small businesses; and job training for the thousands of unfilled, high paying technical and manufacturing jobs.

I make the same pledge to those who voted for me and to those who didn’t: I will listen to your concerns, I will give you straight answers, and I will never stop working for you. The challenges and the issues that concern you will always be my focus.

It is time to bridge the partisan gap and start on the road to finding solutions. I’m optimistic, because I believe all of us recognize that we have to set aside our differences and truly work together.  That’s the approach and the attitude I will bring to Hartford as your state senator.

Thanks to all of you for your encouragement and support.

Sincerely,

Norm Needleman,
Essex.

Editor’s Note: The author is the first selectman of Essex and state senator-elect for the 33rd Senate District.

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Deep River Public Library Holds Mayflower STEM Challenge, Thursday

DEEP RIVER — The Deep River Library will be holding a Mayflower STEM Challenge geared toward children in grades 2 – 4 on Thursday,  Nov. 15, from 4 to 5 p.m. Registration is required for this event.

Participants will be split into two teams and will work cooperatively through a series of tasks to complete the challenge. Students will need to be able to add decimals, work though a simple engineering task as a team and crack a rebus code to follow the clues.

For more information, visit http://deepriverlibrary.accountsupport.com and click on the monthly calendar, or call the library at 860-526-6039 during service hours: Monday 1 – 8pm; Tuesday 10 am – 6 pm; Wednesday 1 – 8 pm; Thursday and Friday 10 am – 6 pm; and Saturday 10 am – 2 pm.

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All Active, Retired Military Invited to Join Tri-Town Veteran’s Day Parade Today

TRI-TOWN — Tri-Town Veteran’s Day Parade kicks off at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, down Main St in Deep River.

All active duty and veterans are welcome to march.

Muster at 12:30 p.m. behind Deep River Elementary School.

Ceremony follows at the Memorial Green.

Listen for all church bells to ring at 11 a.m. throughout the towns in observance of the 100th anniversary of Armistice.

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Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm Hosts 29th Annual ‘Farm Day’, Nov. 24; All Welcome

Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm Annual ‘Farm Day’ always draws a large number of visitors.

LYME — Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm will host their 29th Annual ‘Farm Day’ on Saturday November 24th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 139 Beaver Brook Rd. in Lyme, Conn. The annual event is a Lyme tradition, bringing families together to celebrate the heritage of the 101-year-old farm.  The open house ‘Farm Day’ is a free event and features activities for people of all ages.

The Sankows invite the public to see the animals; including over 600 sheep, learn the history of the Sankow farm, and to discover how the farm products are produced and used.   Suzanne Sankow says “Stan and I continue to encourage families to learn the importance of farming and local agriculture.  We greatly enjoy seeing the next generations explore the farm, pet a cow, try a sheep’s cheese or just have fun being outdoors before the winter cold arrives”.

Activities for the family include wagon hayrides, wool spinning and sock making demonstrations.  Live music will be performed by The Locomotives, a folk/blues/rock band, who will be playing songs from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s in addition some originals.

Visitors can shop from a few local vendors including Four Root Farms who will be onsite selling holiday wreaths and swags made with all-Connecticut grown evergreens, rose hips and berries.

The Farm Market and Wool Shop will be open during the event and will feature a variety of artisanal sheep and cow’s milk dairy products and meats as well as new wool products including wool socks, pillows, blankets, capes and sweater capes. Complimentary tastings of sheep’s and cow’s cheese will be available including the Award-Winning BIG E ‘Best in Class’ Feta Pesto.

Lamb and chicken sausage sandwiches, Abbey, Pleasant Cow and Pleasant Son mac & cheese, lamb and white bean chili, chicken corn chowder, hot chocolate and cider will be available for purchase.

Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm, is a 175 acres sheep and dairy farm located in Lyme, CT.  The 101 year old farm is home to a dozen Jersey Cows alongside the 450-600 sheep – Frislands, Romneys and natural coloreds.

Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm is the largest sheep farm in Connecticut and the only licensed producer of sheep’s milk in Connecticut.  They make and sells artisanal sheep and cow’s milk cheeses as well as yogurts, milk, and gelato.

The Wool Shop on the farm features wool garments including socks, scarves, sweaters, hats, vests, and blankets as well as cones of yarn made from their own wool. They offer fresh lamb meats at their farm store beside homemade entrees such as white bean chili and lamb curry stew.

Visit www.beaverbrookfarm.org for more information.

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Collomore Concert Series Concludes With ‘Andes Manta,’ Nov. 25

The ‘Andes Manta’ group from the Ecuadorian Andes will play the final Collomore Concert, Nov. 25.

CHESTER — The Collomore Concert Series wraps up its 45th season at the Chester Meetinghouse on Sunday, Nov. 25, with music of the Ecuadorian Andes, played on more than 35 traditional instruments by the music group Andes Manta.

The vibrant and powerful music of Andes Manta is a joyous celebration of daily life. Songs and festivals mark the blessing of a house, the birth of a child, and the cycles of planting and harvesting. Energetic music and dance animate religious festivals blending pre-Colombian and Catholic rituals.

Natives of the Ecuadorian Andes, the four Lopez brothers – Fernando, Luis, Bolivar, and Jorge – form the group.  They are well known all over America for their virtuosity and extraordinary performances. From Carnegie Hall to the Discovery Channel, the National Cathedral to Lincoln Center and in hundreds of schools and universities, their powerful and moving performance has received standing ovation after standing ovation.

As one presenter said, “The crowd would not let them stop. These guys are magic.”

A selection of the instruments played by ‘Andes Manta.’

The four brothers learned their traditional folk music as it has been learned for thousands of years, passed from father to son, and brother to brother. They have played the entire range of Andean instruments since their childhood, but each has specialties.

Fernando specializes in strings, and most often plays guitar, the bandolin, and the charango. Luis is a noted virtuoso on the charango and the quena, the Andean flute. Jorge specializes in the Andean stringed instruments, while Bolivar is a noted wind musician and the featured performer on the ronadador, an Ecuadorian panpipe that is unique in the world for the “chordal” note that it produces.

The Sunday, Nov. 25, concert will be at 5 p.m. at the Chester Meetinghouse, 4 Liberty St., Chester. A reception follows the concert so you can meet the four brothers.

Read more about Andes Manta on the website, www.collomoreconcerts.org. Tickets for the concert are $30 (students, $5). Tickets can be purchased online at www.collomoreconcerts.org using PayPal, or call (860) 526-5162.

The Collomore Concert series is under the auspices of the Chester Historical Society.

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High Hopes Holds ‘Holiday Market’ Today with All New ‘Tasting Center’

Last year’s Holiday Market at High Hopes drew huge crowds.

AREAWIDE — On Nov. 11, Veterans’ Day, High Hopes will host its 8th Annual Holiday Market with more than 60 carefully curated vendors  coming together with food trucks, kids’ activities, a wine and beer tasting tent, and a whole barn full of holiday spirit, to benefit over 1,750 children, teens and adults. Artisans come to the market to share their wares and help High Hopes to raise friends; the High Hopes Holiday Market is also the organization’s opportunity to share what they do.

Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., over 3,000 visitors will come through the farm gates in search of holiday inspiration. They’ll find something for everyone on their list from handmade silver jewelry to unique up-cycled clothing, woolly socks to silk scarves, goat soap to homemade honey, babies’ gifts to coffee table books, and cheese makers to chocolatiers. But it’s not just about shopping … the Market is a fun day out for the whole family.

Thanks to Market Partner, Benchmark Wealth Management of Old Lyme, entry to the market remains free with a non-perishable food item for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries. Last year High Hopes was the largest single-day collection point with our visitors donating over 3,000 lbs of food just in time for the Holidays.

Grab a group of friends and your “Passport” to Taste the World. Grand Wine & Spirits will be piquing your palate with a selection of wines and beers from each of 12 different producing regions across the world. The Gourmet Galley Catering will be tempting your taste buds with seasonal small-bites, holiday treats and a raw oyster bar.

Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online for $20 (a 33 percent saving, which also means you get fast-tracked into the tent on the day.) Tickets on the day will be $30 on a first-come-first-served basis. State or Federal photographic I.D. will be required for all entrants. Tickets are available at this link

As well as vendors, there will be kids’ activities, information about High Hopes 2019 Summer Camps, and some of the hottest food trucks on the Shoreline. Take the time to walk the beautiful “runway” and meet the High Hopes special herd of therapy horses.

Stop one of the many volunteers and find out why they joined with over 650 others this past year to help High Hopes deliver over 12,000 equine-assisted activities and therapies to over 1,500 children and adults who come through the organization’s programs, celebrating “ability not disability.”

Nov. 11 is Veterans’ Day, and thanks to our community partner MassMutual, veterans will be able to take some time out, browse some helpful resources, watch “Mark’s Story” and enjoy cider donuts and piping hot Omar Coffee in the Veterans’ Tent.

For more information and to register for the raffle or Passport to Taste the World Tent, visit this link.  

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Ivoryton Library Hosts Screeching Hawk, Other Mohegan Tribe Guests, Today

ESSEX — November is National Native American Heritage Month.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, Ivoryton Library welcomes Screeching Hawk and other guests from the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut. She will bring and discuss jewelry, baskets and other crafts, as well as regalia. Screeching Hawk will also demonstrate tribal dances.

Join the Ivoryton Library at 4 p.m. for this exciting program. For more information, call the library at 860-767-1252.

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Democrat Challenger Palm Defeats Republican Incumbent Siegrist in 36th District

State Representative-Elect (D-36th) Christine Palm.

AREAWIDE — Democrat Christine Palm defeated one term-incumbent State Rep. Robert Siegrist (R) by 6,930 votes to 6,592 in the 36th House District.  The District includes the towns of Essex, Chester, Deep River and Haddam.

Asked her reaction the result, Palm told ValleyNewsNow.com, “There are those who will say that speaking in terms of “red” and “blue” is counterproductive. But there’s no question that Democrats and Republicans approach problem-solving differently.”

She continued, “My job now is to represent all four towns in a way that is authentic, respectful of differences, and driven by both passion and pragmatism. Enlightened public policy always takes into account the needs of all people — regardless of where they fall on the economic spectrum.”

Palm concluded, “And while I will never please everyone, I intend to be a pro-active leader for all the towns in our district.”

 

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‘The Queens of the Golden Mask’ at Ivoryton Strikes a Topical Chord … With a Warning

Gerrianne Genga, Sarah Jo Provost and Ellen Barry perform in ‘The Queens of the Golden Mask.’ Photo by Jonathan Steele.

IVORYTON – It is summer, 1961, and in Celestial, Ala., it’s hotter’n a blister bug in a pepper patch.  It is especially steamy in the kitchen of the Sage household where the matriarch, Ida, has gathered her friends around her to meet the new girl in town.  How will Rose from Ohio fit in with the ladies of Celestial who bake pies, sell Avon and belong to the Ku Klux Klan?

The Queens of the Golden Mask, a world premiere currently being performed at the Ivoryton Playhouse, runs through Nov. 18. Carole Lockwood’s brand new play pulls aside the Cotton Curtain to reveal a hidden piece of history that tells a little-known story and also raises a warning. The normalizing of hate is dangerous and toxic – not only to the objects of the hatred but eventually destroying those who are unwittingly caught up in its comfortable complacency.

The play is based on the experiences of Elizabeth H. Cobbs/Petric Smith, who wrote the autobiographical Long Time Coming: An Insiders Story of the Birmingham Church Bombing that Rocked the World. Smith’s work provides more than an insider’s account of one of the most atrocious events of the civil rights era; it is also the personal journey of a woman inside the world of the most extreme opponents of racial justice.

In the violent world of the Klan, women were subservient; men beat their wives with impunity in order to sustain white male supremacy. Most women were partners in the goal of maintaining white supremacy but there were many who, quietly and with great moral courage, put their lives on the line. This is their story.

Lockwood is an actor and writer, who has performed all over the country, on and off Broadway, but it was a challenge from David Mamet that prompted her to sit down and write a play — she has been writing ever since.

Lockwood has written five plays; Basic CableThe Lone Star Princess; and three scripts based in the civil rights movement, “the girls” of Red Tears (the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church), The Mary Band Road Show (the Selma-to-Montgomery March) and The Queens of the Golden MaskUp on the Roof (rooftops after Hurricane Katrina) is currently in the works.

The cast includes Bonnie Black*, Bethany Fitzgerald*, Jes Bedwinek, and Anna Fagan, who have all previously appeared at Ivoryton, and Ellen Barry*, Gerrianne Genga* and Sarah Jo Provost* who will be making their Ivoryton debut.

The production is directed by Jacqueline Hubbard, Ivoryton’s Artistic Director, with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Saylor Cipollina.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

There will be a talk back with the cast and director plus guests after each performance on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

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

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

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Musical Masterworks’ MMModern Presents ‘Quinteto Latino’ This Evening at Centerbrook

‘Quinteto Latino’ will perform Friday, Nov. 9, in the Centerbrook Meeting House.

CENTERBROOK — Experience contemporary chamber music featuring Quinteto Latino tomorrow evening (Friday, Nov. 9) in a Musical Masterworks’ Modern concert starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse. Whether exploring new twists on traditional folk songs or premiering works by living composers, these five musicians blend both the vibrant colors and vigorous rhythms of Latin American music through the tones of the flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, and bassoon.

Admission is $35 and student admission is $10. Admission includes a reception prior to the concert at 5:30 p.m.; the concert begins at 6:30 p.m.

After the performance, continue your evening with a $40 per person Prix Fixe dinner at the new Los Charros Cantina at The Essex in Centerbrook. Price includes choice of appetizer, tacos, dessert and house margarita. Only available to MMModern concertgoers. Make your dinner reservation by calling The Essex at 860.237.4266 and reference MMModern.

This special performance has been generously sponsored by The Howard Gilman Foundation, Clark Group, Phyllis M. McDowell, Tower Labs and Wade Thomas.

For full details and to purchase tickets, visit Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

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Needleman Wins 33rd State Senate District by 303 Votes

State Senator-Elect Norm Needleman

State Representative (R-34th) Melissa Ziobron.

AREAWIDE — Melissa Ziobron, Republican Candidate for the 33rd State Senate District and outgoing House Representative for the 34th District, called her opponent to concede the race just after noon today.

According to the Connecticut Secretary of State, Mr. Needleman leads by 303 votes, or 0.58 percent, which is just 0.08 percent over the 0.5 percent threshold that would trigger an automatic recount.
Rep. Ziobron stated “I am very proud of the race that I ran and grateful for the tremendous effort from my campaign staff and volunteers. We worked hard, earned every vote and did not give an inch of ground.”
Rep. Ziobron concluded: “I want to thank everyone who has supported me, both in this race and elsewhere, most especially my family.”
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Reflecting State Result, Deep River Splits Vote Almost Evenly Between Lamont, Stefanowski; Lamont Ahead by 101

DEEP RIVER — Note these are unofficial results.  We also hear unofficially that Question 2 has passed statewide.

GOVERNOR

Lamont/ Bysiewicz: 1,279

Stefanowski/ Markley: 1,178

Griebel/Frank: 125


US SENATE:

Murphy: 1,584

Corey: 942

Lion: 17

Russell: 14


US HOUSE:

Courtney: 1,662

Postemski: 829

Reale: 16

Bicking: 29


STATE SENATE:

Needleman: 1,525

Ziobron: 1,035


STATE HOUSE:

Palm: 1,377

Siegrist: 1,171


SECRETARY OF STATE:

Merrill: 1,475

Chapman: 993

Gwynn: 17

DeRosa: 29


TREASURER:

Wooden: 1,439

Gray: 1,021

Brohinsky: 27


CONTROLLER:

Lembo: 1,435

Miller: 1,063

Passarelli: 17

Heflin: 16


ATTORNEY GENERAL:

Tong: 1,351

Hatfield: 1,139

Goselin: 31

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Essex Results Give Big Wins to Local Democrats Needleman, Palm

ESSEX– Note these are unofficial results.  We also hear unofficially that Question 2 has passed statewide.

GOVERNOR

Lamont/ Bysiewicz: 2,147

Stefanowski/ Markley: 1,990

Griebel/Frank: 220


US SENATE:

Murphy: 2,562

Corey: 1,632

Lion: 24

Russell: 7


US HOUSE:

Courtney: 2,804

Postemski: 1,422

Riele: 28

Bicking: 38


STATE SENATE:

Needleman: 2,798

Ziobron: 1,543


STATE HOUSE:

Palm: 2,378

Siegrist: 1,926


SECRETARY OF STATE:

Merrill: 2,451

Chapman: 1,755

Gwynn: 29

DeRosa: 32


TREASURER:

Wooden: 2,372

Gray: 1,815

Brohinsky: 39


CONTROLLER:

Lembo: 2,374

Miller: 1,795

Passarelli: 31

Heflin: 36


ATTORNEY GENERAL:

Tong: 2,250

Hatfield: 1,972

Goselin: 50

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Murphy Easily Wins Re-election


U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy speaks to supporters Tuesday night. Photo by Douglas Healey for CTNewJunkie.

Editor’s Note: We are providing this link to an article by Jack Kramer published on CTNewsJunkie.com Nov. 6, which covers Senator Chris Murphy’s victory.  CTNewsJunkie.com is a fellow member of the Local Independent Online News (LION) publishers national organization and we are pleased occasionally to cross-publish our stories.

HARTFORD, CT — U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy easily won a second term Tuesday night defeating Republican challenger Matthew Corey.

Murphy was declared the winner shortly after the polls closed at 8 p.m. Early results showed him with a 3-2 margin over Corey.

Read the full article at this link.

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Carney Claims Victory in 23rd House District

State Rep. Devin Carney

OLD SAYBROOK — On Facebook, State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23) has posted news of his victory over Matt Pugliese by 7129-5690 votes.

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Vote! Election Day is Today, Polls Open From 6am to 8pm

Tri-Town and Old Saybrook voters go to the polls today in a critical mid-term election.  There are no town elections — all the names on the ballot sheet are for state positions, including that of governor.

Visit this link to read the responses that all six of the local candidates gave to our questions.

Visit this link or click on the “Letters” tab above to read all the letters we have received relating to the elections.  Open any letter on its individual page to read the associated comments.

Polling stations open at 6 a.m. today and close at 8 p.m.  Essex and Chester  residents cast their votes at their respective town halls while Deep River residents should go to the Town Library. Optical scan machines will be used. Voters must present identification.

IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY DONE SO, WE URGE OUR READERS TO VOTE TODAY!

We will publish the results here on ValleyNewsNow.com very shortly after their announcement.

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We Asked, They Answered: The Candidates Respond to Our Questions

In keeping with a long tradition and in the interests of increasing voter knowledge prior to next week’s critically important mid-term elections, we asked all the candidates, whose districts include some or all of the towns in our coverage area, to send us a brief biography and photo, and answer four questions that we posed to them. The questions came from you — our large and diverse community of readers. We were overwhelmed by the sheer number of questions you sent to us, which we interpret as a clear sign of the level of interest in this election, and are extremely disappointed we could not include more of your questions.

We are pleased to report that five of the six candidates responded to our questionnaire and are delighted now to publish their responses.  We would like to express our sincere thanks to the candidates for taking the time to answer our questions and for adhering to our strict word deadlines — 100 words for the bio and 300 words for each response.

The questions were:

  1. What is the biggest problem facing the state, why is it the biggest problem, and what would you do to help solve it?
  2. What do you think of our leadership in Washington?
  3. What policies or infrastructure do you support at the state level for fostering or managing growth in you district?
  4. Why are you running for this position?

The candidates are:

House District #23 (includes Old Saybrook)

Devin Carney (R – Incumbent)

Matt Pugliese (D)

House District #36 (includes Chester, Deep River and Essex)

Bob Siegrist (R – Incumbent)

Christine Palm (D)

Senate District #33  (includes Chester, Deep River, Essex and Old Saybrook)

Norm Needleman (D) Essex First Selectman

Melissa Ziobron (R) State Rep. House District #34

Click on the candidate’s name above to read their biography and responses to our questions.

For the record and again in keeping with a long tradition, we will not be making any candidate endorsements.

Happy reading … and voting!

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Meehan’s Presidential Memorabilia Display at Acton Library Ends Nov. 7


OLD SAYBROOK — From Oct. 1 until Nov. 7, the Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting a display of James Meehan’s presidential memorabilia in their atrium display case. 

The Acton Public Library is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. (starting Oct. 14.)

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Essex Foundation Expands Gateway Beautification 

Sullivan Lawn Service crew members focus on the task at hand – the planting of 15,000 daffodil bulbs at Sunset Pond along West Avenue in Essex thanks to the efforts of The Essex Foundation and its project partners.

ESSEX – The legacy of the late Elizabeth “Diz” Callender continues to enhance the Essex landscape. Through a generous bequest to The Essex Foundation upon her passing in 2014, funding support is now fueling the addition of daffodils along the West Avenue entrance into Essex village.

The first phase of the daffodil project was completed this October with 15,000 bulbs planted in a 3,000 square foot section of turf between Sunset Pond and West Avenue, and blooms expected this spring. Sullivan Lawn Service was hired to provide the planting services. The second phase of the daffodil project will be completed next fall, and includes expanded bulb planting in the Sunset Pond area as well as at the Rte. 153/154 gateway intersection.

The idea for the project came from the fact that Diz Callender enjoyed planting daffodils. Additional funding is coming from The Paul Foundation (owners of the Sunset Pond property), Centerbrook Properties, and individual donors.

A truckload of daffodil bulbs are at the ready to be planted at Sunset Pond along West Avenue in Essex thanks in part to a bequest to The Essex Foundation by the late “Diz” Callender.

The gateway beautification project, which also included the installation of 12 Chanticlear Pear trees and over 300 evergreen and perennial ornamentals at the intersection of Rte. 153 and Rte. 154, is a good example of the types of community efforts supported by The Essex Foundation; projects that are somewhat unique, require quick action, and have an immediate impact.

The Essex Foundation was founded in 1970. It is a non profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of Essex residents. The foundation is funded through donations from the community and strives to fill needs not met by other organizations or sources. In general, funds are granted for special purposes, including buildings, equipment, land, and programs, but not to recurring expenses.

More information can be found at www.theessexfoundation.org.

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Letter to the Editor: Vote Yes on Q2 on Nov. 6 to Protect our Public Lands

To the Editor:

As a strong supporter and user of Connecticut’s wonderful state parks, forests, farmlands and other state-owned recreational and conservation lands (in our area, Nehantic State Forest and Rocky Neck, Harkness and Hammonassett State Parks, just to call out a few of them), I write in support of the public land conveyance constitutional amendment that will appear on our November 6 ballot as Question #2. I urge my friends and neighbors to vote YES. This ballot measure alone is worth a  trip to the polls.

Many people assume that our state-owned recreational and conservation lands are safeguarded for the public forever. Sadly, this is not the case. As things stand now in Connecticut, the state legislature, by simple majority vote,  can sell, swap or give away these lands to private companies or local governments just as it can any other properties that the state owns.
The number #2 ballot proposal, if adopted, would change this. It would amend the state constitution to require a public hearing and a 2/3 vote before the state legislature could take such action. Thus, while not providing absolute protection for publicly-accessible and much-loved  lands, the measure would require direct public input on their fate. It would create an open and transparent process preventing back-room deals.
For many in our community, state parks and forests are our only way to experience nature and the outdoors. For all of us, our state lands are beautiful and unique; they nourish body and soul. They also contribute substantial revenue to the state and to the localities in which they are located.
Please join me in voting YES on ballot question 2 on November 6.

Sincerely,

Christina E. Clayton,
Old Lyme.
Editor’s Note: The author is a former president of the Old Lyme Land Trust.
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It’s ‘First Friday’ in Chester Tonight!

CHESTER — The First Friday of the month means something’s happening in Chester!

The merchants of Chester are kicking off the season of Thanksgiving on the First Friday of November, Nov. 2, by collecting canned goods for Hinka’s Cupboard, the Middletown food pantry. Drop off a can at your favorite shop (or brewmaster), and then enjoy the quaint boutiques, talented artists and the top-notch brewery and restaurants that Chester has to offer during the First Friday activities from 5 to 8 p.m.

Drop-off spots for canned goods include Blackkat Leather(36 Main Street), Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery(1 Spring Street), Little House Brewing Company(16 Main Street), The French Hen(14 Main Street), Shops at the Mill House(5 West Main Street), Chester Package Store(1 North Main Street), Lark(4 Water Street), CAIT SHEA + Sprouted(1 Main Street), Kismet(11 Main Street), Lori Warner Gallery and Swoon(21 Main Street), Dina Varano Gallery(27 Main Street), Strut Your Mutt(29 Main Street), Caryn Paradis(43 Main Street) and The Perfect Pear(51 Main Street).

Merchants, restaurants and galleries will be offering food and drink samples, newly introduced products and specials.

The Chester Gallery continues their exhibit “In the Elements” featuring two new Sol LeWitt gouaches, along with other wonderful sculptures, paintings, neon glass, etchings, baskets and more…visit their website for a list of artists! https://www.chestergalleryct.com/artists/

Blackkat Leather will host Aquinnah Jewelry for the evening. Meet Kelly and customize your own tassel keychains in the shop. Spend $100 or more in store and you get to make one on the house.

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Join Essex Land Trust This Saturday to Hike Falls River Preserve, All Welcome

ESSEX — Join former Essex Land Trust President, Chet Arnold, and naturalist Phil Miller on a beautiful autumn walk of the Falls River Preserve this Saturday, Nov. 3.  Meet at 9 a.m. at Falls River Drive in Ivoryton.

The Preserve is a 40-acre peninsula of forest and ledge projecting into Mill Pond on the Falls River. Arnold was one of the key players that helped to secure this property back in the late 1990s … and Miller always entertains and informs due to his vast knowledge of the environment and nature.

The more challenging trails cross over ledges of 800-million-year-old metamorphic schist forming the peninsula’s spine. The Falls River was dammed in the 18th century to provide waterpower to run a gristmill, a sawmill and an iron works over the years.

The land has been used for logging and pasture as recently as the 1930s. The property’s shoreline on the Mill Pond attracts a large variety of birdlife.

Bad weather cancels.

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Norm Needleman (D) Candidate for Senate District #33

Biography

Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman

Norm Needleman is currently serving his fourth term as Essex First Selectman. He has over 20 years as a leading advocate for small towns, with experience as a Selectman in Essex, a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Essex Economic Development Commission, the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments, and Board Member of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.

Norm founded Tower Laboratories, a manufacturing company, 38 years ago. He and his two sons have built the company to become a leader in its field, now employing over 250 people.

Q1: What is the biggest problem facing the state, why is it the biggest problem, and what would you do to help solve it?

The state’s most immediate problem is the fiscal crisis brought on by years of mismanagement by administrations of both political parties. The harsh reality is that there is no quick fix. Fundamental change is required in the way we manage the state’s finances.

  1. Stop the blame game. We need cooperation, not finger-pointing. The way out of the financial mess is to stop the political gamesmanship that cripples any real chance for cooperation. Inclusion is the only way to forge the dialogue that can resolve difficult issues. No solution to the financial crisis will result without meaningful participation from all stakeholders.
  2. Start with reliable revenue projections. The state has to live within its means. The budget process should begin with revenue projections that are both reasonable and reliable. Overly optimistic revenue projections have caused budget instability, knee-jerk fixes, and fluctuating funding for our towns, making local budgets unstable and compromising delivery of services.
  3. Recognize that shared sacrifice is required. Interest groups, legislators, and the administration must come to the table recognizing an unavoidable reality: we can’t always get what we want. Not everyone will leave the table happy, but all stakeholders have to share the responsibility for putting the state on the road to financial stability.
  4. Start on the road to a proven long-term solution. Job creation through aggressive economic development is the permanent solution to the state’s financial crisis. We need a comprehensive, long-term plan that will define the path to attracting businesses of all sizes and the high paying jobs that come with them. Those businesses want certainty, not a constant refrain of gloom and doom. When a long-term plan is implemented, our state will regain its status as a place where businesses can grow and prosper.

What do you think of our leadership in Washington?

I’m proud of the work being done by Connecticut’s congressional leaders in Washington, Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, and Congressman Courtney. They work tirelessly for the benefit of their constituents in our state. Their work exists in sharp contrast to the thoughtless, damaging and rigidly ideological policies of the current administration. In almost every area…taxation, healthcare, women’s rights, trade and tariff policy, the environment, voting rights, education, foreign policy…the current administration has attempted to implement regressive and repressive policies that punish hard working people. In our district and in our state, businesses of all sizes have suffered economic consequences, and individuals have felt the impact in job losses and price increases for goods and services. The price we pay for current administration policies is made worse by the tone-deaf policies on issues like women’s rights, healthcare and voting rights.  I am grateful to Connecticut elected officials in the Senate and the House, who have worked to battle the rising tide of repressive policies that ignore human values, basic rights, and the economic interests of hard working Americans.

So, the short answer to your question about what I think of our leadership in Washington: I’m appalled and dismayed. But I’m not giving up…I’m committed to fighting every step of the way for state policies that insure safety, fairness and opportunity for every individual in our district.

Q3: What policies or infrastructure do you support at the state level for fostering or managing growth in your district?

Make certain that the towns in our district receive their fair share of support from the state. Every year our district sends tens of millions of dollars to Hartford. And every year, we get less and less support in return. I will work to eliminate inequities in state funding, and make certain that every town in our district gets its fair share of support. As importantly, I will support procedures that result in stable state budgets, so our towns can develop municipal budgets with the certainty that support will not fluctuate in mid-course.

Make economic development a priority. Re-building the economic vitality of our state and our district is key to almost every element of the quality of life here, including infrastructure maintenance, education, the environment, and everyone’s favorite, lower taxes.  I will use my experience as a job creator to build a reality-based economic development plan that will make it easier for small and large business to operate and prosper.

Fix the state’s budget process. Partisan bickering, shortsighted legislators, and knee-jerk reactions to profound economic challenges are what got us into our current fiscal mess.  All of that has to change. Revenue projections have to be realistic, the hard decisions about spending priorities need to be reality-based, and the budget development process needs to be inclusive, not exclusionary. In Essex, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents work together to focus on doing more with less. The result: our taxes are lower than 90% of the municipalities in our state. 

Set an example of non-partisan cooperation. I have built my success in business and government based on inclusion, and listening to ideas, regardless of the party affiliation of the source. Partisan politics got us into this mess…clearly it is the way out.

Q4: Why are you running for this position?

My commitment to public service and civic involvement stems from the lessons my father taught me when I worked in his small grocery store in Brooklyn, New York. He said that everyone has a responsibility to make his or her community a better place to live. To quote him: “”You cant just take…you have to give back.”  I have been fortunate in my life. I have built a successful business, and I have a beautiful family (my partner, Jacqueline Hubbard and 5 wonderful grandchildren). Today, I see a crucial need to give back to the towns in our district, and I am at the stage of my life when my experience will allow me to live up to the teachings of my father.

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Melissa Ziobron (R) Candidate for Senate District #33

Biography

State Representative (R-34th) Melissa Ziobron

Melissa Ziobron is a lifelong resident of the  District with an extensive record of community service. She was Assistant Minority Leader and Ranking Member of the legislature’s influential Appropriations Committee. In 2017 she was reappointed to the Environment Committee and newly appointed to the General Law Committee. In 2017 she was named a State Park Champion by Connecticut League of Conservation Voters and Legislator of the Year by Connecticut Citizens Defense League. In 2018 she received the Excellence in Land Conservation award from the Connecticut Land Conservation Council. She previously served on the legislature’s Public Health and Children’s Committee.

Q1: What is the biggest problem facing the state, why is it the biggest problem, and what would you do to help solve it?

We have several problems, but our large budget deficits — built over decades of mismanagement —  is chief among them.  This is an end result brought on by mainly by not funding pension payments. We also have a stagnant state economy, fueled by uncertainty in the legislature’s ability to live within its means and an atmosphere of extreme partisanship that makes collaboration difficult.

We need to work towards a model that changes the way we budget at the Capitol. Democrats have been content to develop a spending package without consideration of revenue. Reorganizing the budget process should be a priority; waiting to vote on a budget until the last few days of session is unacceptable. A Ways and Means Committee would be a possible solution that could be immediately implemented.

Q2: What do you think of our leadership in Washington?

I voted for and support our President.

Q3: What policies or infrastructure do you support at the state level for fostering or managing growth in your district?

I have intimate knowledge of this district because I have lived here all my life. I think environmental conservation is vitally important.  Our state and local municipalities have done great work in protecting open space, the lower Connecticut River valley and the shoreline.

More broadly, I think our region of the state should continue investing and promoting tourism, as this sort of commerce supports thousands of business across the 33rd district. The state should do as much as it can to support and bolster small business, particularly light manufacturing, regional farming and cottage foods.  I helped bring a new Cottage Food law into effect this year, which will be a benefit for small food based entrepreneurs.

Q4: Why are you running for this position?

I love our state and am dedicated to public service.   As A moderate Republican, I feel parity in representation is the key to working our way our of the current state of affairs in Hartford.

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Christine Palm (D) Candidate for House District #36

Biography

Christine Palm

Christine Palm is principal of Sexual Harassment Prevention, LLC, which gives anti-discrimination trainings for the corporate, academic and non-profit workplace. Palm served for many years as anti-harassment trainer for Connecticut’s Executive Branch agencies. She was women’s policy analyst for the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors and served as public information officer for the Office of State Treasurer.

She has been a newspaper reporter, high school teacher, marketer of non-profit and cultural institutions, and once owned a bowling alley. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for essay writing.

She and her husband have four sons and live in Chester.

Q1: What is the biggest problem facing the state, why is it the biggest problem, and what would you do to help solve it?

The biggest problem is the state of our economy, which began to tank years ago under previous administrations. Bad policies and irresponsible practices then have resulted in distress now.

The Connecticut I grew up in had a wonderfully diversified economy that stood on five strong “legs”: Manufacturing, Insurance, Defense, Retail/Commercial and Tourism. Many of the companies woven into this fabric were locally owned and run. We have become over-reliant on Fairfield Country hedge funds, have cut tourism spending, and have allowed our once-robust manufacturing sector to falter.

I’m in favor of investing in vocational and technical schools and apprenticeship programs which, when working together with corporations and businesses, will provide a pipeline to employment.

We need to invest in innovative start-ups. For this, I’d also like to see us reapportion the money currently being spent through the “First Five” program in two ways:

First, rather than give $322 million to 15 large companies (as we do now) let’s give smaller (but still critical) seed money to a wider swath of entrepreneurs, and small and mid-sized businesses. Imagine what 320 grants of $500,000 each could do! I would require that an affordable housing component be required, as well as retail activity. These are the two largest drivers of what makes cities and towns attractive to a young, educated workforce.

Secondly, I would use the other half (around $160 million) to defray college debt. With an average debt of $35,000, Connecticut’s young workforce has the third highest burden in the nation. If the State gave that $160 million to 320 companies to help pay off employees’ student loans, nearly 5,000 workers would have a large expense taken care of (and could therefore stay longer at the jobs), and the employer would not have to raise wages in order to compete.

Q2: What do you think of our leadership in Washington?

If by “leadership” we are talking about the president, I believe he is, without a doubt, the worst thing that has happened to our country in generations. He has debased the free press, incited riots and hatred, defended Neo-Nazis, imposed business-busting tariffs, committed sexual assault (and bragged about it), decimated the E.P.A., violated human rights on every front, and is poised to squander the surplus and strong economy he inherited when taking office. What should be of grave concern to our local residents, too, is the fact that his so-called tax cuts will actually add to the burden of middle-class and working families in Connecticut.

If, however, we are talking about our U.S. Congressional delegation, they are a very different story. Rep. Joe Courtney is a personal, lifelong friend and I know first-hand of his integrity and brains. From my work at the Capitol, I have partnered with Sen. Chris Murphy on such important issues as domestic violence reduction and gun safety. They and their Democratic colleagues represent our interests in a moral, effective way.

Q3: What policies or infrastructure do you support at the state level for fostering or managing growth in your district?

Our district is blessed with natural beauty, cultural attractions and vibrant small manufacturers and businesses. We need to invest and protect the interests of all, as we seek ways to attract more business, including retail, to our towns, especially Haddam.

From knocking on people’s doors this summer and fall, I heard over and over again of the need to make the town more vibrant by increasing the tax base, so that middle class families will not continue to bear the brunt of our unequal taxation system.

In addition, we must protect our schools by guaranteeing our fair share of Educational Cost Sharing dollars.

Q4: Why are you running for this position?

From my 10 years in government service as a non-partisan employee of the General Assembly, I saw too many good bills fail because of partisan bickering and the lack of political backbone. I believe we need bold leadership, and to have the chance to represent four river towns is a privilege I take very seriously.

One of my political heroes was Wilbur Cross, who was Connecticut’s governor during the Great Depression. Among his signature achievements were measures related to the abolition of child labor, improved factory safety and the creation of a minimum wage. I think of him when I get discouraged about political inaction and timidity.

Here is a guy who at the height of the worst crisis in memory, inspired people with his optimism: in his famous Thanksgiving address of 1936, he talked about “blessings that have been our common lot and have placed our beloved State with the favored regions of earth.”

But he also spoke of the need for “steadfast courage and zeal in the long, long search after truth.”

I can’t pretend to have Wilbur Cross’ courage or his wisdom. But in seeking to represent Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam at the Capitol, I promise to strive toward them.

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Bob Siegrist (R – Incumbent) Candidate for House District #36

No responses received.

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The Country School Hosts ‘Open House’ Today; Prospective Students Welcome

The Country School is holding an Open House on Sunday, Oct. 28, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Students interested in attending the school and their families are invited to visit and meet engaged students and dynamic teachers. Hear about the school’s rigorous academic program and commitment to honoring the creativity of childhood.

Learn about their signature programs – STEAM, Elmore Leadership, Outdoor Education, and Public Speaking – and extensive offerings in the arts and athletics. Tour the school’s transformed 23-acre campus. Hear how their alumni are thriving at top high schools and colleges across the country.

Founded in 1955 and located at 341 Opening Hill Rd., Madison, CT 06443, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8.

To learn more and register for the Open House, visit https://www.thecountryschool.org/admission/open-house.

For information about the school’s $10,000 60th Anniversary Merit Scholarship opportunity for students entering Grades 4-8, visit http://www.thecountryschool.org/scholarship.

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Letter to the Editor: Deep River, Essex Voters Have Opportunity to Elect Much-Needed Third Registrar

To the Editor:

Voters in Deep River and Essex will have a chance this year to elect a third registrar. Sean Ames is running as a write-in candidate in Deep River, and Alex Foster is running on the Green Party line in Essex. Under election law, the two major parties are guaranteed a registrar position, but if Ames and Foster get enough votes, they will be
elected, too.

It makes sense to have more than two registrars. The party registrars are elected to protect the interests of their parties, but the largest group of voters (40% in Essex, 45% in Deep River) are unaffiliated or minor party.

Recently, we’ve seen attempts by hackers, whether foreign or domestic, to break into voter databases across the nation. We’ve also seen clerical errors in the voter lists and attempts to remove voters because they share a name similar to another voter.

A third set of eyes is needed to improve the accuracy of the voter lists, to navigate the more complex election procedures mandated by the state, and to watch out for the interests of the growing number of voters who choose not to affiliate with one of the major parties, opting instead to join a third party or no party at all.

Sincerely,

David Bedell,
Wallingford.

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Salary, Other Benefits Become An Issue In Local Senate District

State Rep. Melissa Ziobron                                                               CTNEWSJUNKIE FILE PHOTO

Editor’s Note: We are providing this link to an article by Christine Stuart published on CTNewsJunkie.com Oct. 24, since it pertains to the senate race affecting the towns we cover in ValleyNewsNow.comCTNewsJunkie.com is a fellow member of the Local Independent Online News (LION) publishers national organization and we are pleased occasionally to cross-publish our stories.

HARTFORD, CT — On paper it looks like state Rep. Melissa Ziobron, who is in a pitched battle for a state Senate seat, was the highest paid state legislator in 2017.

Her opponent in the race, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, sent out a press release last week to highlight the fact that Ziobron collected $18,379 in “other” pay last year. That’s on top of a base salary of $32,241 for the part-time lawmaker.

In a phone interview last week, Ziobron said that Needleman is wrong.

Read the full article at this link.

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Local Historical Societies Commemorate End of WWI, Honor Local Veterans in ‘A Patriotic Salute,’ Nov. 4

The Corinthian Band will play patriotic music during the slide show.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and 100 years of women serving in the US military, the historical societies of Chester, Deep River and Essex will sponsor a program that combines local history, spirited patriotic music and a unique way to honor our veterans.

The area’s historical societies are combining forces to present “A Patriotic Salute,” a digital slide show of images of local veterans over the past 100 years, to be shown on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 3 p.m. at the Deep River Town Hall Auditorium at 174 Main Street, Deep River. The slide show will be presented with musical accompaniment by the Corinthian Jazz Band, performing patriotic music. Historic commentary will be provided by Angus McDonald.

The event is free and open to the public. Handicapped access is available. Refreshments will be served.

Questions? Call 860-558-4701 or go to chesterhistoricalsociety.org.

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How to Teach Kids About Consent, Healthy Relationships; Talk at Deep River Library, Tonight

Jill Whitney, LMFT

DEEP RIVER — The news lately has brought home to all of us how easy it can be for teen sexual experiences to go wrong.  Kids of any gender can be victims of sexual assault – or may even contribute to a culture of sexual harassment and violence if they’re confused about what respect and consent should look like.

Jill Whitney, a licensed marriage and family therapist who writes about relationships and sexuality, will guide parents on how to talk with kids about consent and other sex-related topics.  She will provide:

  • Ideas for getting the conversation started
  • Sample language you can use
  • Ways to deal with strong feelings that may come up for you or your child

Join the conversation on Wednesday, Oct. 24, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Deep River Public Library.  Open to parents of children of any age.  All are welcome.

Registration at tritownys.org would be appreciated for planning purposes.

Resources will also be on hand from the Women & Families Center and the CT Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney is a Fiscal Champion, Defended his Constituents from Tax Increases

To the Editor:

I am supporting Devin Carney for re-election as our State Representative for Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. He has been the fiscal champion we need in a time of economic uncertainty.

Devin has always stood up for taxpayers in Old Lyme and fought against increases in taxes that would have negatively affected our quality of life. Did you know there were serious proposals to add a new tax every time you brought your dog or cat to the vet? Or serious proposals to add a new statewide tax on anyone who owned a secondary home (there are many in Old Lyme)? Or that the DOT wanted to spend our money on a study to look into a proposal that would tax us every mile we drive?

Has Hartford lost its mind? For the most part, yes. But, thankfully we have a representative who is rising above the insanity and standing up for us.

Devin successfully defeated all of these fiscally irresponsible proposals  and, instead, has focused on and making Connecticut more affordable. He supported reducing taxes on pensions and social security, reducing taxes on small businesses, and reducing government spending.

I hope you will join me on Tues, Nov. 6th in voting to re-elect Devin Carney – a representative taxpayers can be proud of.

Sincerely

Deb Czarnecki,
Old Lyme.

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Essex, Brainerd (Haddam) Libraries Jointly Sponsor State Senate Candidate Debate Tonight at VRHS

AREAWIDE — The Essex and Brainerd (Haddam) Libraries will jointly sponsor two debates in October.  Moderators will be Essex Library Director Richard Conroy and Brainerd Library Director Tom Piezzo.

The first debate took place last Wednesday, Oct. 17, and featured incumbent 36th District State Representative Bob Siegrist (R) and challenger Christine Palm (D).

Democrat Norm Needleman and Republican Melissa Ziobron, candidates for the open 36th State Senate seat, will debate at 6:30 p.m. this evening, Monday, Oct. 22, at Valley Regional High School.  Conroy and Piezzo will once again serve as moderators.

District residents are encouraged to submit questions for the candidates in writing by mailing or dropping them off at either the Essex Library (33 West Ave, Essex, CT, 06426) or Brainerd Library (920 Saybrook Road, Haddam, CT 06438) or by sending them via email to rconroy@essexlib.org or tpiezzo@brainerdlibrary.org. 

In order to be considered for inclusion questions must be relevant to issues facing our state, particularly at the district level, and not constructed in such a way as to favor a particular candidate. 

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Putting the Spotlight on Cheetahs, Raising Funds Locally for Their Conservation, Friday

The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal and Africa’s most endangered big cat. Photo courtesy of CCF.

AREAWIDE — Join Brian Badger, the Cheetah Conservation Fund’s (CCF) Director of Conservation & Outreach, for a talk Nov. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m.  Titled, ‘Cheetah in the Spotlight: Toast to Conservation,’ the talk will take you into the wilds of Africa as Badger discusses key conservation strategies for the endangered cheetah. Badger will speak about the current status of wild cheetah populations and what’s being done to protect Africa’s most endangered big cat.

Badger’s talk will focus on CCF’s innovative conservation methods that address the welfare of both cheetah and human populations over large landscapes. Learn about the highly effective set of integrated programs that work together to achieve CCF’s objective to save the cheetah in the wild.

This is a free event at a private residence. Space is limited so an RSVP required. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

The address in Old Lyme, Conn. will be given upon RSVP registration.

RSVP at this link.

Donations are encouraged to support the Cheetah Conservation Fund programs. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go towards helping to save the cheetah in the wild.

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Letter to the Editor: Ziobron Challenges Needleman on Negative Campaigning, ‘Double-Dipping’

To the Editor:

While Norman Needleman has been busy spending his own money (to the tune of a $250,000 personal check) for negative TV ads and expensive mailings, I’ve been spending my time knocking on doors every day for the last six months, directly communicating and listening to the people I want to represent at the capital.

Rather than simply run in the merits of his own record, Mr.  Needleman has resorted to doubling down on the negativity, going after me with misleading videos and campaign mailers distorting my record, knowing I have limited resources to push back.  He has even gone so far as to enlist dark money via a nasty political action committee to push out negative information. The people behind this PAC don’t even live in our district.

I’m not even sure Mr. Needleman understands the job he’s trying to buy. When he’s not taking shots at me, he’s repeating old tropes about how Hartford is broken, suggesting that only he can fix it.  Where have we heard that before?

Lastly, there’s Needleman’s stated position on double-dipping from taxpayers. When questioned, he explains he won’t give up his job as First Selectman in Essex.  I’ve been a legislator for 6 years, and I can tell you, even though it only pays as a part time job, it isn’t. I know firsthand that the CEO of a small town is a 60-70 hour a week gig, and that’s when things are quiet. Couple this with Needleman’s abysmal attendance record at the critical River Council of Government meetings, and one can’t help but ask: if elected, which job is going to get his attention?  Voters in the 33rd district deserve someone who isn’t going to treat the job of representing them as a side-hustle.

Sincerely,

Melissa Ziobron,
East Haddam.
Candidate for the 33rd district of the State Seante
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East Haddam Business Association to Host Business Development Expo/Fair, Oct. 30

Registration is now open for the East Haddam Business Association’s (EHBA) Business Development Expo on Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Town of East Haddam’s new Municipal Office Complex, 1 Plains Rd. in Moodus, which will be followed by a networking reception to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Gelston House, 8 Main St., East Haddam.

New and existing businesses in East Haddam and surrounding towns are encouraged to attend. Topics will include information about customer service, marketing, tourism, project management, business planning, lending, insurance and business start-up basics.

Guest speakers/topics include:

  • Debi Norton, Bravo! Interactive Media/SCORE Mentor – Workshop:
  • SEO Roundtable; Eric Munro, SCORE Mentor ­– Workshop: How to Grow Your Business;
  • Tom Gezo, T Gezo Business Consulting Llc./SCORE Mentor – Workshop: Planning for Success;
  • Jim Jackson, Connecticut Small Business Development Center – Workshop: Consultative Selling;
  • Meg Yetishefsky & Jill Belisle, State of Connecticut – Workshop: How to do Business With the State of Connecticut;
  • Karen Tessman, Connecticut Economic Development Fund – Workshop: Business Financing;
  • Irene Haines, AAA Insurance – Insurance Needs of Small Business;
  • Jennifer Height, Liberty Bank – Financing for Your Small Business;
  • Rosemary Bove, CT Office of Tourism – The Tourism Economy in CT;
  • East Haddam Economic Development Commission – Starting a Business in East Haddam.

This event is free for EHBA members and $15 per person for non-members. Non-members who register before or on the day of the event will receive a one-year EHBA membership for 2019.

In addition, regional businesses are invited to promote themselves through a Business Services Information Fair scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. The fair cost will be $25 to $50 per table depending on the size of the table. EHBA members will receive a discount.

Participants are welcome to attend workshops of their choosing, browse the business services fair, and network with attendees, speakers, and sponsors. Sponsorships and volunteer opportunities are available.

For more information contact: Judith M. Dobai 800-595-4912 or jdobai@ffcsconsulting.com.

Sponsors include: East Haddam News, Cold Spring Farm, Gelston House, Waide Communications, New Inn Kennels, and MoreFIT.

The East Haddam Business Association’s mission is to promote, support and advocate for local businesses through cooperative community outreach. For more information about the EHBA visit ehbact.org. or www.facebook.com/EHBusinessAssociation.

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Letter to the Editor: Correcting Errors in Ziobron Mailer About Needleman

To the Editor:

A mailer arrived at my house this past week that was so full of erroneous implications and information about Norm Needleman that I am compelled to publically (sic) correct some of it.

First, the truth about taxes in Essex:  in Norm’s four terms as First Selectman in Essex, taxes have remained lower than 90% of all other municipalities in the state.  And, this year the property tax rate in Essex was lowered.

Second, the truth about Norm Needleman’s salary:  when state support evaporated, he reduced his salary by 75% and donated the remaining 25% to area charities.  To call it ‘wasteful spending’ is more than misleading …it is an outright lie.

Norm Needleman is as much an “honest Abe” character as I have seen in politics.  He is totally committed to public service.  He has solved Essex’s problems with probity, ingenuity and intelligence and now he wants to bring these character traits and skills to Hartford where, by the way, he will not accept a salary.

Melissa’s Ziobron’s long-term reputation will depend on her taking a stand against  “dark money” slurs against her opponent.  I hope she does.

Sincerely,

Claire K. Matthews,
Essex.

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Needleman, Ziobron to Participate in Senate 33rd District Debate Tonight at Bacon Academy

State Senate 33rd Democratic candidate Norm Needleman.

State Senate 33rd District Republican candidate Melissa Ziobron.

AREAWIDE — The Bacon Academy Young Democrats, Colchester Young Republicans, and the Bacon Academy Debate Club will host a debate for candidates vying to represent the Connecticut State Senate 33rd District. The debate will take place Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Bacon Academy in Colchester, Conn. Admission is free and all are welcome.

From 6:30 to 7 p.m., there will be a meet-and-greet with State Representative candidates in the auditorium lobby. 

From 7 to 8 p.m., the debate will take place in the auditorium with Democratic candidate Norm Needleman, who is currently First Selectman of Essex, and Republican candidate State Rep. Melissa Ziobron, who represents the 34th Connecticut House District.  Incumbent Senator Art Linares (R) is not seeking re-election.

The sprawling Senate 33rd District includes Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.

All candidates for the 33rd District State Senate race are welcome to participate in the debate as long as they have filed paperwork to be on the ballot with the Secretary of the State’s office by Oct. 1.

For further information, email mkeho399@colchesterct.org

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Middlesex Chamber Hosts Membership Open House at CT River Museum Tonight with Brad Galiette of Google as Guest Speaker

ESSEX — The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce will host a membership open house & networking reception at the Connecticut River Museum on Tuesday, Oct. 16.  A special welcome is extended to persons in the member towns of Chester, Deep River, and Essex.

The event will be held along the banks of the Connecticut River outside the museum under a large tent courtesy of Chamber members Connecticut Rental and the Connecticut River Museum from 5 to 7 p.m. Food and drinks will be served at the event thanks to the sponsorship of Essex Savings Bank.

The kick-off speaker at the open house is Essex native Brad Galiette, Product Manager at Google NYC, where he helps drive the roadmap and execution for Google’s Display and Video Ads products. Growing up in the region, Galiette is passionate about the Middlesex County region and is proud to speak about his experiences as a young professional.

“We’re inviting prospective members to a wonderful evening at the Connecticut River Museum for our member open house and I thank Essex Savings Bank for their sponsorship of this event. We look forward to meeting new members down county and hearing Brad Galiette’s experience at Google,” said President of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Larry McHugh.

The Connecticut River Museum is located 67 Main Street in Essex, CT. To register for the event visitmiddlesexchamber.com.

For more information call 860-347-6924 or email info@middlesexchamber.com

About Brad Galiette: Galiette is a Product Manager at Google NYC where he helps drive the roadmap and execution for Google’s Display and Video Ads products. Previously, he was a member of Google’s Strategy and Operations team where he collaborated with senior leaders to help grow Google’s search and YouTube/video advertising businesses.

Before Google, Galiette was a Senior Associate at McKinsey & Company in its Stamford, CT office where he developed strategies for senior executives at Tech, Media, and Telecom (TMT), Advanced Electronics, and Financial Institutions companies across the US.  He has also spent time at Microsoft in both Product Management and Finance Management roles, which included experience in the company’s CFO office. 

Earlier in his profession, Galiette founded a digital media company and was recognized as a Top Young Entrepreneur by BusinessWeek. Brad holds a BS in Economics and Computer Science, an MS in Computer Science, and an MBA, all from Yale University, and graduated from Valley Regional High School in Deep River.

About Middlesex Chamber: The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce is a dynamic business organization with over 2,175 members that employ over 50,000 people. The chamber strives to be the voice of business in Middlesex County and the surrounding area.

From nine geographically based divisions, which meet on a monthly basis throughout Middlesex County, to industry based committees and councils, the Chamber works hard to provide a valuable service to members.

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Essex Library Presents True Story of ‘Lilac Girls’ During French Resistance, This Afternoon; All Welcome

A free, illustrated talk on the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Gardens will be presented by Connecticut Landmarks Educator Jana Colacinto at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Essex Library.

ESSEX — Best-selling author Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls is based on the true story of Caroline Ferriday’s work as a member of the French Resistance and her interest in the fate of the “lapins” (rabbits) – female political prisoners subject to medical testing at the Ravensbrück concentration camp.

Miss Caroline Ferriday

In her debut novel, Kelly transforms the horrors and inhumanities of war into a story of sisterhood and perseverance. Experience Connecticut Landmarks’ Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden through an illustrated lecture and discussion with Landmarks’ Educator, Jana Colacino at the Essex Library on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 3:30 p.m.

Enjoy a visual tour of the 18th-century historic house, built by Rev. Joseph Bellamy and the five-acre site which includes the 18th century residence, barns, and the historic formal parterre garden installed by Miss Caroline Ferriday, a philanthropist and the final resident of the house, and her mother, Eliza Woolsey Ferriday.  While Rev. Bellamy influenced everyday colonial life and preached with religious fervor throughout New England’s “Great Awakening,” Miss Ferriday championed human rights and social justice causes around the globe. 

Details from the lives of these notable residents will be interwoven with lovely images of site. Martha Hall Kelly’s forthcoming prequel, Lost Roses (2019), set in the World War I era, tells the story of Caroline’s mother Eliza and her fight to help Russian refugees displaced by the revolution.

This program is free and open to the public.

For more information or to register, call Essex Library at 860-767-1560. The Essex Library is located at 33 West Avenue in Essex.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney Consistently Demonstrates Commitment to Constituents

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Devin Carney for State Representative, District 23 (Towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Westbrook).  Devin was first elected in 2014 and through 2 terms has proven himself a strong advocate for our communities.  Devin was the first elected representative in any town along the shoreline to take a stand on the Federal Railroad Administration proposal to run a bypass through the region. In January 2016 his was the first voice we heard and the first to organize a meeting in the Town of Old Lyme to discuss the issue.  He went on to be a very effective advocate for the large numbers of local and regional community members who stood up against the proposal.

Devin has co-sponsored comprehensive legislation on the opioid crisis. This is a critical issue for our communities. Devin’s careful attention proves again how deeply he cares about this heartbreaking problem which affects far too many in our communities. In addition, Devin has helped to reduce the burden on local businesses by reducing the sales tax on boat sales. He has helped to reduce the propane tax on local homeowners and he has stopped the mileage tax.

As an experienced and effective leader Devin Carney has proven again and again his commitment to his constituents and to working across the aisle for solutions to improve the quality of life in our towns and state. Please join me in re-electing Devin Carney to the State Legislature on November 6th.

Sincerely,

Diane Mallory,
Old Lyme.

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Letter to the Editor: Needleman Thinks, Acts Independently; Works in a Bipartisan Manner for Good of Essex

To the Editor:

The time has come where we all need to get out and vote and try and pick representatives who will lead us out of the partisanship that is causing so much negativity and lack of progress in our governments; local, state and national.

If you saw 60 Minutes on Sunday, September 30th you saw Jeff Flake, a Republican Senator from Arizona and seemingly a reasonable and thoughtful person, admit that if he was running for Senator again, he would have not have reached out to Chris Coons, Democratic Senator from Delaware, to put some sense in the discussions over the allegations of sexual misconduct of Judge Kavanaugh. He stated that there is no longer any reward in politics for acting on personal beliefs and values if those beliefs and values do not fall in line with the political party with which you are affiliated. How sad. While this is a well publicized national issue, the same type of partisan behavior is happening much more quietly on local and state levels. I personally want to respect the person for whom I vote and want to believe that that person will do what he or she thinks is right, not what is being driven through the political party. And accept it that the chosen leader may not always support issues the way I would, but that leaders have a bigger and broader view than I could possibly have for what is good for the state or the nation.

It is for that reason I support Norm Needleman for Senator in the 33rd district. He is a man who follows his own mind and has proven in Essex his willingness to extend past party lines and attempt to do the right thing.

Getting out to vote this election is very important. Find out what you can about candidates, and vote for those who you think are most likely to help solve our local, state and national problems by working with the people and other leaders from all parties. I believe Norm is that person for 33rd district Senator.

Sincerely,

Robert Ward,
Essex.

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Ivoryton Library Association Hosts 5K Pumpkin Chase at Ivoryton Village Park, Saturday

ESSEX — The Ivoryton Library Association will host a 5K Pumpkin Chase on Saturday, Oct. 20, starting at Ivoryton Village Park, 109 Main St.  Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., with a kids’ fun run at 8:45 a.m., and a 5K run at 9:15 a.m.

Applications are available at the library across the street from the park (at 106 Main St.) or at wwww.ivorytonlibrary.org, or you can register online at www.aratrace.com. There will be prizes for multiple age groups, as well as prizes for best costumes.

Pre-register by Oct. 18 for $15. Registration on the day of the race is $20. T-shirts are $5, and registration for the kids’ run is $5.

For more information, call Chris Pagliuco at 860-759-6430.

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‘In The Elements’ on View at Chester Gallery Through Nov. 25

‘String Theory’ by Michael Pressman is the signature work of the ‘In the Elements’ exhibition opening at The Chester Gallery, Oct. 5.  Image courtesy of the Chester Gallery.

CHESTER — After a successful reopening by new ownership this past August, the Chester Gallery will present a new show titled, In the Elements, for this fall season.

Opening Friday, Oct. 5, for the Chester community’s First Friday celebration, the exhibit will bring fresh works from standing gallery artists like Sol Lewitt and Richard Ziemann, as well as Sosse Baker, Sheila Barbone, Gil Boro, Stephanie Chubbuck, Rosamund Christison, Sean Kratzert, Michael McLaughlin, Nancy Pinney, Fred Trinkaus, Jerry Weiss and Annie Wildey.

New to the gallery will be works from Ashby Carlisle, Mundy Hepburn, Ella Crampton Knox, Kimberly Monson, Mark Patnode, Michael Pressman and Michael Viera. Also to be featured are the paintings of the late Curt Hanson, a longtime friend and colleague of gallery owner Nancy Pinney. He is dearly missed and is thankfully carried on by his masterful works. 

In the Elements highlightthe innate ability of the artist to capture the nature of this reality, both in the real and the abstract in various mediums including glass and bronze sculptures, weavings, lithographs, photography, mixed media, and paintings. Using the seven elements of art, consciously or otherwise, these artists not only capture but enhance the four elements of life, creating an eclectic assortment of many fine and challenging views of our world.  

The opening reception will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. with live music from local band Low Pagoda in the sculpture garden. 

The Chester Gallery is located at 76 Main Street and is open Wednesday through Saturday (Sundays by chance) from noon to 6 p.m., or by appointment. In the Elements will remain on view through Nov. 25. 

For more information, call (860) 449-3617.

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Letter to the Editor: Needleman, Palm, and Pugliese are Value-Based Candidates

To the Editor:

With less than 50 days to the midterm elections candidates seem to be ramping up with canvassing, lawn signs, and public appearances. As a voter, I am ramping up my interest in the candidates and what they represent. I am looking for value-based candidates who will demonstrate integrity, authenticity, and a commitment to the people they serve. I have had enough of partisan bickering, lies and distortions of the truth, and downright crude behavior. Is it too much to expect truth, dignity, or empathy from our elected officials? I think not.

It is reported that 90% of Republicans approve of President Trump, but that report doesn’t tell the whole story. More accurately, it is 90% of remaining Republicans who approve of him. Yes, many Republicans are abandoning their party because they cannot align with current policies, tactics, or values. Neither can they align with a president who demonstrates little respect for honorable traditions, or who sacrifices national security for his own self serving purposes. The midterm elections seem to pose a conundrum for Republican voters. Do they betray themselves, their party allegiance, stay at home, or attempt to salvage what is left of the party of Lincoln? It seems to me, that casting a vote for Democrats, while counterintuitive, may be the best way to do that.

What better way to send a message to their party leaders than to vote for Democrats who better represent their values. Will you have the courage to make that choice? Norm Needleman, Christine Palm, and Matt Pugliese are local candidates who are honest, competent, and dedicated to the public good. They are committed to improving the economic wellbeing of our community, supporting young families and Seniors, protecting healthcare and the environment, and ensuring school safety. They are value-based candidates who deserve a look.

Sincerely,

Claire Walsh,
Deep River

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Letter to the Editor: Ziobron Confirms her Commitment to ‘Bipartisan Good Faith,’ Explains Her Reasons for Running

To the Editor:

As a moderate, I‘ve been open in my belief in working in a bipartisan good faith. It has been a cornerstone of my philosophy of public service. This was evident in May of 2018, when State Representatives from both sides of aisle spoke, unsolicited, of their experiences working with me in the State House. These comments were public and broadcast on CT-N.   I used those clips in a $375 video to answer the Needleman campaign’s recent spate of vitriolic attacks, soon to be disseminated in a $86,000 TV ad buy.  This is something my opponent can do because, unlike me, he is unrestricted by the rules of our Citizen’s Elections Program.

While out meeting voters in Colchester, a woman’s comment pulled me up short: why was I running at a time of such partisan divide?  My  reaction caught me off guard as much as the question.  I felt tears suddenly welling up and had to take a moment to compose myself.  I wanted to answer with sincerity.  I spoke to her of my passion for our community.  Of my earnest desire to protect our beautiful vistas and natural resources.  My appreciation for the volunteers that make our towns run and how I love our home state.

I can’t ignore how this question touches a recent fault line: in letters to local papers some have expressed upset that I used a personal photo in a campaign mailer that happened to include prominent local Democrats. The photo wasn’t captioned, it was standard campaign material: a picture taken during my tenure as President of Friends of Gillette Castle State Park in 2011 with a newly appointed State official.  It’s regrettable to me how some remain committed to fanatical partisan division at a time when we need to work together.

Sincerely,

Melissa Ziobron,
East Haddam.

Editor’s Note: The author is currently the State Representative for the 34th District and is now the endorsed Republican candidate for the State Senate for the 33rd District.
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Send Us Your Questions for the Candidates, Deadline is Today!

We will shortly be sending questionnaires to the local candidates running for state office in the Nov. 6 election.  We plan to publish their responses on Thursday, Nov. 1.  We invite readers to submit possible questions for the candidates to editor@ValleyNewsNow.com by next Tuesday, Oct. 2.

The candidates to whom we will be e-mailing questionnaires are:

STATE SENATE DISTRICT 33
This District includes Chester, Deep River, Essex and Old Saybrook.  There is no incumbent since the current state senator for the district, Art Linares, is not running again.

Candidates:
Norm Needleman – Democrat
Needleman is currently first selectman of Essex.

Melissa Ziobron – Republican
Ziobron is currently state representative for the 34th State Assembly District (Colchester, East Haddam, and East Hampton)

STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 36
This District includes Chester, Deep River and Essex.

Robert Siegrist – Republican (incumbent seeking his second term)

Christine Palm – Democrat

STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 23
This District includes Old Saybrook.

Candidates:
Devin Carney – Republican (incumbent seeking his third term)

Matt Pugliese – Democrat

We look forward to publishing reader’s Letters to the Editor.  We have a strict 350-word limit for these letters and will enforce a two-week break between letters submitted by the same author.

The final day that we will publish letters will be Sunday, Nov. 4: we will only publish new letters on Nov. 5 if they are in response to a letter published on Nov. 4.

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