February 16, 2019

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.
Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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

No responses received.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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. 

Share

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
Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.
Share

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.

Share

Letter to the Editor: Ziobron’s Record is Impressive, Deserving of Her Election to State Senate

To the Editor:

Melissa Ziobron has been serving as the State Representative for the 34th District for almost 6 years.  Her record is an impressive one.  Now we need her legislative experience in the State Senate.

Since her election in 2016 she has become the Ranking Member on the Appropriations Committee, the highest committee position for a Republican member of the House.  She was instrumental in instituting a constitutional spending cap in last year’s bipartisan budget agreement, created a plan to fund the unfunded pensions of state employees, prioritized education funding for small towns, and developed state budgets that didn’t involve tax increases.

Serving on the Environmental Committee throughout her time in the legislature she is passionate about protecting our State Parks and Fisheries and was recognized for her leadership by the CT Land Conservation Council and was named a 2017 Legislative Champion by the CT League of Conservation Voters.

I urge you to go to her website, http://melissaziobron.com/ to read her full background and list of accomplishments. 

Please join me in supporting Melissa Ziobron for State Senate on November 6.

Sincerely,

Adrienne Forrest,
Essex.

Share

Op-Ed: Needleman Says His Experience, Attitude Are Needed in Hartford, Will Benefit 33rd District

This op-ed was submitted by Norm Needleman, the current first selectman of Essex, who is the Democratic candidate for 33rd District State Senator.

I’ve been First Selectman in Essex for seven years. In all of those years, I’ve delivered a balanced town budget. And in most of those years, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents on our Board of Finance and in our town meetings have unanimously approved the budget.  But as importantly, I am directly responsible for making sure every service funded in those budgets actually happens in the real world, even when state support evaporates. So, every day I directly confront the fallout from the financial crisis in Hartford…not in theory or from the sidelines…but as the core of my responsibility as First Selectman. 

That experience on the front lines of both financial management and service delivery in a small town has given me some insight and perspective on what the towns in our district need in their next state senator. In my view, there are three criteria: first, does the candidate have hands-on experience and real world success in making a small town function and prosper? Second, can you measure the results the candidate has actually delivered? And third, what motivates the candidate to run for the state senate?

I’d like to address those criteria about my own candidacy.

Experience and measurable achievements: If you choose me as your next state senator, I’ll go to Hartford as a leader who has created jobs (225) in his own business, and who has helped make his small town home to over 700 businesses. I’ll go to Hartford as a tax cutter, not a tax raiser…Essex property taxes have remained lower than 90% of the municipalities in our state. I’ll go to Hartford as someone who has streamlined town government to make it more efficient and more responsive.  I’ll go to Hartford as a financial manager who has created years of balanced budgets, and actually been responsible for making those budgets work in the real world. And last but not least, I’ll go to Hartford as a problem solver who has worked every day with Democrats, Republicans and Independents by creating an inclusive decision-making dialogue. 

My motivation for running: I’m not running as a stepping-stone to higher office. I’m not a politician, and I don’t need a job. I want to be your State Senator for two reasons: to help every town in our district get their fair share of support for education and infrastructure improvements; and to help make certain that every individual in every town has a fair and equitable chance to live a safe, healthy, and fulfilling life.

That’s the experience and the attitude I’ll bring to Hartford.

Share

CT Valley Camera Hosts Equine Photographer Tonight, All Welcome

An example of photography by Sarah Grote.

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will host a presentation on Equine Photography by Sarah Grote on Monday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme. The public is welcomed to attend.

Sarah Grote is a lifestyle and nature photographer specializing in projects, equine, and event photography. After 20 years in corporate and nonprofit companies in various operational, development, and managerial roles, she decided to follow her artistic dreams and visions based on her Mom’s inspirational quote, “celebrate everything”.

Since 2014, Sarah has been the photographer for the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum and the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue (CDHR). Her photos and paintings were selected for CDHR’s juried art show “Save a Horse – Buy Art!” in 2015 and 2017. Her photography was used for the “Demolish or Preserve: The 1960’s at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion” exhibit, which won the most prestigious award given by the American Association of State and Local History.

In 2018, her photos were selected for three juried shows in the Mystic Museum of Art, the Essex Art Association Gallery, and The Voice of Art Gallery. She has been a board member of the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue organization since 2015.

The CVCC, which was founded in 2002, has a simple mission — to give its members the opportunity to become better photographers.  The ways that the Club achieves this objective include offering a variety of presentations and workshops to help members expand their technical and creative skills.  During these popular events, members explore such areas as photographic techniques, computer processing, artistic interpretation and commercial applications, often under the tutelage of a professional photographer.

The CVCC welcomes new members at any time. Meetings are generally held on the first Monday of the month at the Lymes’ Senior Center in Old Lyme.  For more information about the CVCC, visit the club’s website at ctvalleycameraclub.smugmug.com.

Meeting dates, speakers and their topics, and other notices are also published on the club’s Facebook page at ww.facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage.

Share

Essex Steam Train Offers ‘Brats & Beer’ Cruise, Oct. 11

ESSEX — Enjoy ‘Brats & Beer’ along with beautiful fall foliage on the Connecticut River! A great night is in store for you from the minute you smell the brats sizzling on the grill to the last sip of beer as you glide into dock after the last rays of a stunning sunset.

This unique evening on Thursday, Oct. 11, runs from 5:45 to 9 p.m. 

Arrive 5:30 p.m. in Essex for departure at 5:45 p.m. for a two-hour cruise on the Becky Thatcher Riverboat. Return to Essex at 9 p.m.

The evening offers:

•    tastings of several carefully selected craft beers
•    a buffet of brats and all the fixin’s (additional beverages and snacks are available for purchase onboard.)
•    gift bag including an engraved beer glass as a memento

Note this event is for adults 21+.  Ticket prices are $65 in advance/ $75 Walk-up (pending availability.)

Visit EssexSteamTrain.com for tickets and more information.

Share

Last Chance to Visit Ivoryton Village Farmers’ Market, Saturday; Season Ends Today


IVORYTON — Summer’s back and so is the Ivoryton Farmers’ Market.  The Ivoryton Green will be bustling with vendors showcasing Connecticut-Grown produce and prepared foods. Local artisans and crafters will be displaying their latest creations and area musicians will be performing, live.

Brought to you by the Ivoryton Village Alliance, the market is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and runs weekly from June 16, through Sept.29. Everyone is invited to visit our village, shop the market and enjoy the free, live entertainment.

More information is available at www.ivorytonfarmersmarket.com or www.facebook.com/ivorytonfarmersmarket

Share

CRT Offers Early Registration for Annual Energy Assistance Program

AREAWIDE — Income-eligible residents in Hartford County and Middlesex County are encouraged to apply now through the Community Renewal Team’s (CRT) Energy Assistance program to get help paying for their home-heating bills this winter.

“Winter may be a few months away, but it is never too early to start planning how you will pay your home-heating bills,” says Patricia Monroe-Walker, Director of Energy Services for CRT. “We are happy to help eligible families make sure that they have the resources to heat their homes properly throughout the winter.”

Low to moderate-income households in Hartford and Middlesex Counties may be eligible for help paying their utility or fuel bills. Home heating includes oil, natural gas, electricity, propane, kerosene, or wood. Even if heat is included in the cost of rent, tenants may be able to receive a one-time cash payment.

CRT’s Energy Assistance program helps thousands of families in Connecticut every year. In 2017, the program served nearly 20,000 eligible households in Hartford and Middlesex Counties.

More information about how to apply for energy and weatherization assistance is available on CRT’s website at:
http://www.crtct.org/en/need-help/energy-a-weatherization or by calling their 24-hour automated attendant at 860-560-5800.

Share

Middlesex Coalition for Children Hosts Candidate Debate in Middletown, Oct. 11

AREAWIDE — The Middlesex Coalition for Children will host a 2018 Candidate Forum, Oct 11, from  9 to 10:30 a.m. at deKoven House in Middletown.Candidates running for office for State Senate and State Representative for
Middlesex County seats will be present.

In this panel discussion-style event, candidates will be asked questions about their views on issues that affect children and families in Middlesex County

All are welcome and admission is free.

Confirmed guests include:
Anthony Gennaro
Irene Haines
Madeline Leveille
Matt Lesser
Norman Needleman
John-Michael Parker
Matthew Pugliese
Quentin Phipps
Colin Souney
Linda Szynkowicz
Melissa Ziobron

Candidates are still in the process of confirming and this list will be modified as confirmations are received. Check the Facebook event page for the updates.

Share

NARAL Pro-Choice America Endorses Needleman For State Senate

Essex First Selectman and 33rd State Senate District candidate Norm Needleman.

AREAWIDE — NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the nation’s leading women’s health advocacy organizations, has announced its endorsement of Norm Needleman for the State Senate seat from the 33rd District in Connecticut.

The objective of NARAL Pro-Choice America candidate endorsements is to, “elect champions who don’t just pay lip service to values of reproductive freedom, but who truly fight for them…and help defeat those who want to roll back the clock on our rights.”

In accepting the endorsement, Needleman said: “We must continue our efforts to make certain that women have the right to choose how and when to raise a family, that paid family leave is assured, and that pregnancy discrimination is erased from the workplace. The endorsement by NARAL-Pro-Choice America is deeply gratifying. It strengthens my longstanding commitment to insure that basic reproductive rights are guaranteed to all women in or district, our state, and our nation.”

Needleman is the Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, which consists of the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook, and part of Old Saybrook.

Needleman is the founder and CEO of Tower Laboratories, a manufacturing business. As CEO, he has built the business to become a leader in its field, employing over 225 people.

Share

Cappella Cantorum Hosts Late Registration Tonight for December Concert; Includes Works by Puccini, Saint-Saens


AREAWIDE: 
Join the Cappella Cantorum Masterworks Chorus for its first rehearsal of Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio on Monday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Road, Deep River. Use the rear entrance.

These melodious and inspiring works will be performed in concert Sunday, Dec. 2, at John Winthrop with professional orchestra and soloists. Simon Holt of the Salt Marsh Opera will direct.

Auditions are not required.

Registration is $50 plus music: Puccini $9, Saint-Saens $11. Late registration is the following Monday, Sept. 24, at the same time and place.

For more information, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org or call 860-526-1038.

Share

See ‘Once’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through Oct. 14

Katie Barton plays the lead role of Girl in ‘Once,’ which opens Sept. 19 at Ivoryton Playhouse.

ESSEX — The Broadway smash hit Once is currently enjoying a successful run at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician about to give up on his dreams and a beautiful young Czech immigrant are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by emotionally-charged music.

Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Once is an original theatrical experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once is an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect us all.

Based on the 2007 movie of the same name, written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the show features all of the haunting songs from the critically acclaimed film, including the Oscar-winning “Falling Slowly”. This uplifting show strikes an unforgettable chord in audiences and speaks to the power of music to connect us all. As Irglova said in her remarkable Oscar acceptance speech, “Fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up.”

A show like this only comes around Once.

Ivoryton welcomes back Ben Hope*, who has performed at Ivoryton in Million Dollar Quartet and Stand by Your Man. Hope is making his directorial debut with this show, which is dear to his heart, since he performed the role of Guy on Broadway many times.  What makes this production special is that Hope is directing his wife, Katie Barton*, in the role of Girl. Barton has also performed in Ivoryton, playing the lead role of Tammy Wynette in Stand by Your Man.

Joining them in this production are Sam Sherwood*, last seen in Ivoryton in The Road — My Life with John Denver, as Guy; Steven G. Anthony* as Billy; Jonathan Brown as Svec; Margaret Dudasik* as Reza; Andreina Kasper as Bank Manager; Marcy McGuigan* as Baruska; John Mervini as Eamon; Morgan Morse as Andre; Rachel Mulcahy as Ex-Girlfriend; Don Noble* as Da; Victoria Wepler as Emcee and Cadyn Malary and Lizzie Pantano as Ivanka.

Musical direction is by Eric Anthony, set design by Glen Bassett, lighting design by Marcus Abbott, and costume design by Cully Long.

Once runs through Oct. 14, 2018.  Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p. m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

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

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

*denotes member of Actors Equity.

Share

Renowned Wildlife Photographer Speaks Tonight on Photographing Birds, Other Wildlife at CT Valley Camera Club Meeting; All Welcome

Shawn Carey, who took this photo, will speak tonight at the Connecticut Valley Camera Club meeting at the Lymes’ Senior Center on tips taking nature photos.

AREAWIDE — The guest speaker at the Monday, Sept. 17, meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will be the renowned wildlife photographer Shawn Carey, who will give a talk titled, “ Photographing Birds and Other Wildlife in New England and Beyond.” The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, Conn.

All are welcome and there is no admission charge.

Over the last 10 years, bird and wildlife photography has seen a surge in popularity—thanks in large part to vast improvements in digital technology. Digital cameras are better, easier to use, and more affordable than ever. But how do you choose the right one? And once you have the camera, what’s next? Where do you go? When should you get there? And how do you turn those great views you’re getting into memorable images that truly capture the moment?

Don’t panic: wildlife photographer and educator Shawn Carey has you covered. Join Carey as he expertly guides you through these topics and shares some tricks of the trade to help you truly enjoy your experience.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Carey moved to Boston, Mass. in 1986 and has been photographing birds and other wildlife for over 20 years. He’s been teaching wildlife photography for Mass Audubon for the past 18 years. On the board of directors for Eastern Mass HawkWatch where he serves as their Vice President, he is also on the advisory board for the Massachusetts Audubon Society and Mass Audubon Museum of American Bird Art.

“I love the natural world,” Carey says, “if it walks, crawls, flies, swims or slithers … I’ll photograph it!”

Carey’s work can be viewed on his website at www.migrationproductions.com.

The CVCC is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers. The group offers a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help members expand their technical and creative skills. Photographers of all levels of experience are welcomed.  The club draws members from up and down the river, from Middletown to Old Saybrook; from East Hampton to Old Lyme; and along the shoreline from Guilford to Gales Ferry.

For more information, visit the club’s website at https://ctvalleycameraclub.smugmug.com/. CVCC meeting dates, speakers/topics, and other notices are also published on the club’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage.

Share

Enjoy ‘Once,’ Two Receptions at ‘A Night of Theater’ to Benefit Sister Cities Essex Haiti, Sept. 27

ESSEX — Sister Cities Essex Haiti is joining with the Ivoryton Playhouse for “A Night of Theater” on Thursday, Sept. 27. The evening begins under the tent with a pre-show cocktail and light fare reception 6 to 7:15 p.m. “Once” cast musicians will stroll through the tent and entertain during the reception.  

The 2012 Award winning musical “Once” begins at 7:30 p.m. “Once” is an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect us all.  It is winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards.  

Enjoy dessert and meet the cast immediately following the show under the tent. 

For tickets visit, info@sistercitiesessexhaiti.org or call 860-227-0848.  Tickets are on sale through Monday, Sept. 17.

Proceeds from this event will enable Sister Cities Essex Haiti to continue its good work in Deschapelles, Haiti by providing funds for the operation of the Deschapelles Community Library and projects in Music, Tennis and Early Education Teacher Training. Essex and Deschapelles are Sister Cities.

For more information, visit www.sistercitiesessexhaiti.org

Share

Enjoy ‘Music on the Riverboat’ Tonight Featuring ‘Seat of our Pants’

‘Music on the Riverboat’ will be held on the Becky Thatcher, pictured above.

Enjoy live music while sailing down the Connecticut River during a gorgeous sunset at Essex Steam Train’s annual summer concert series, Music on the Riverboat. Offering four nights of music on the Becky Thatcher riverboat on select Fridays this summer, this is a fun and unique live music series offering the opportunity to dance the night away in front of a beautiful, natural backdrop.

There is one act remaining on the schedule:

  • on Sept. 14, the series closes out with Seat of our Pants.

Features of the cruise include:

  • Board the train at Essex Station at 6 p.m. for a 6:15 p.m. departure
  • Two-hour cruise down the Connecticut River aboard the Becky Thatcher riverboat
  • Bands perform between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
  • Train returns to Essex Station approximately 9 p.m.
  • Food and beverage service are available at the fully stocked bar (No BYOB permitted)
  • Due to the time of day and duration of the cruise, Music on the Riverboat is not recommended for children under 10.
  • $45 per person

The Essex Steam Train is located at 1 Railroad Ave., Essex.  For more information, visit the Essex Steam Train website or contact Pam Amodio at 860.767.0103 or pamodio@essexsteamtrain.com

To reserve tickets, visit this link.

Share

Centerbrook Architects Promote Deep River Resident Batt to Associate

Daniel Batt

ESSEX – Centerbrook Architects & Planners has announced that Daniel Batt, AIA, LEED AP has been promoted to associate.

A graduate of Miami University in Ohio and the Rhode Island School of Design, Batt is just shy of 10 years with Centerbrook. His diverse résumé includes having served as the project manager for built projects such as the expansion of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and the new Red Barn at Mitchell College.

Batt, a Deep River resident, is currently the project manager for Rocky Corner, Connecticut’s first cohousing development that is now under construction. He is also managing a project currently in planning for The Basilica of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Stamford.

“Dan is one of the most well-rounded architects I’ve worked with,” said Centerbrook Principal Jim Childress, FAIA. “Not only is he a creative and thoughtful designer, but he’s excellent at delivering a project on-time and on-budget. He really knows how to keep the water out.”

Centerbrook also announced that its architectural staff is now 90-percent licensed with David Peterson most recently passing the Architect Registration Examination. The other latest licensees on the design staff include Aaron Emma, Hugo Fenaux, Anna Shakun and Aaron Trahan.

Centerbrook Architects & Planners is a firm conceived in 1975 as a community of architects working together to advance American place-making and the craft of building. A collaborative firm with an exceptional history of building, Centerbrook is known for inventive design solutions that are emblematic of its client and their traditions.

Centerbrook’s designs have won 380 awards, including the Architecture Firm Award, a distinction held by only 36 active firms nationwide. Centerbrook is currently designing for clients in seven states, Canada and China.

Share

Needleman To Host East Haddam Issues Forum, Aug. 29

Essex First Selectman and 33rd State Senate District candidate Norm Needleman.

AREAWIDE — State Senate candidate Norm Needleman has announced plans to host a series of public forums to discuss the issues facing the towns in the 33rd State Senate District.

The forums will take place in towns throughout the district, with the first one planned for the East Haddam Grange Hall,  488 Town St, East Haddam, on Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m.

In announcing his plan to host the public forums, Needleman said: “The most important perspective on the issues facing our district comes from the folks who live and work in our small towns, not from politicians. The people of our district deserve to have their voices heard by the legislators they will be electing to address those issues. These public forums will be a vital public dialogue … a way for all of us to exchange views and lay the groundwork for common sense solutions to the issues our small towns deal with every day.”

Needleman is the Democratic Candidate for Connecticut’s 33rd Senatorial District which includes: Clinton, Chester, Colchester, Deep River, Essex, East Hampton, East Haddam, Haddam, Lyme, Westbrook, Old Saybrook and Portland.

For more information about Needleman’s campaign for state senate, visit NormForSenate.com.

Share

Organ ‘Concert in Gratitude’ to be Held at All Saints, Aug. 26

ESSEX — Ivoryton Congregational Church has vacated its building. Before doing so it donated its Pipe Organ to All Saints’ Episcopal Church.

The pipe organ has been installed at All Saints Church and a “Concert in Gratitude” is being celebrated Sunday, Aug. 26, at 3 p.m. All are welcome.

Share

Last Chance to Enjoy a Saturday Night Sunset Cruise, Aug. 25

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat offers Sunset Cruises aboard the Becky Thatcher every Saturday.

The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat is offering summertime leisure aboard the Becky Thatcher riverboat with Saturday Night Sunset Cruises down the Connecticut River.

Every Saturday evening through Aug. 25, at 6 p.m., guests will enjoy 360-degree views Connecticut’s storybook countryside. For $30 per person, enjoy this sunset riverboat trip from the boat’s dock in Deep River to the Baldwin Bridge and back again – a twilight trip, which includes a 15-minute diesel locomotive ride from Essex Station to the Deep River boat launch, a two-hour cruise on the Connecticut River, and a return train ride.

  • Board the train at Essex Station at 6 p.m. for a 6:15 p.m. departure
  • Two-hour cruise down the Connecticut River on the Becky Thatcher riverboat
  • 9 p.m. return to Essex Station
  • Food and beverage service is available on board at the Snack Bar (no BYOB)
  • Due to the timing and duration of the cruise, the Sunset Cruise is not recommended to children under the age of 10.

The train will return passengers back to Essex Station after enjoying a wonderful sunset experience.

Space is limited.  Visit http://essexsteamtrain.com to purchase your tickets.

Share

Joint Summer Worship Services Planned Between Ivoryton, Essex Congregational Churches

Combined summer worship services between the Ivoryton Congregational Church and the First Congregational Church in Essex will be held through the summer at the First Congregational Church in Essex at 6 Methodist Hill, Essex at 9 a.m. in the sanctuary.

The joint services will continue through Sept. 9.

All are welcome.

Share

New Driver Education School Opens Serving Local Area, ‘APC Driving’ Offers a “Boutique” Approach

Brent and Suzanne Thompson stand outside the doors of the newly-opened APC Driving in the Old Lyme Marketplace. Brent co-founded the business with Chris Robson. Photo submitted.

OLD LYME — APC Driving has opened its doors at 19 Halls Rd. in the Old Lyme Marketplace near The Hideaway, offering driver education programs for teens and adults, as well as advanced driver training. Co-founder Brent Thompson, who lives in Old Lyme, explains, “We didn’t want to be like any other driving school … we hope to develop more of a lifestyle approach [to driving.]”

This photo of the exterior of APC Driving in the lower left shows its prime location in the Old Lyme Marketplace next to the Hong Kong II restaurant.

Chris Robson is the other co-founder and he has over 25 years of experience as a professional race car driver and instructor.  Both men share a lifelong passion for all things automotive or in Thompson’s own words, “We’re both ‘Gearheads.'”

A small selection of Chris Robson’s extensive racing trophies and memorabilia decorates the walls.

Thompson grew up in Texas and Colorado and graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  A sales and marketing executive with years of experience leading teams across the U.S., Canada and Australia, Thompson has had a life-long passion for cars.  Working with the Franklin Mint and its die cast car models division in the 1990s, he created, negotiated and executed marketing programs with world-class partners in historic and collectible automotive fields.  He moved on to executive management in the men’s clothing industry.  

When Thompson’s employer was bought out by competitor in 2016, he decided to get off of corporate travel treadmill and see what he could create locally.  He maintains his full competition license with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and is chief motorsports correspondence for the Auto Chat Show podcasts, which has a subscriber base of over 100,000 listeners.

APC Driving co-founders Brent Thompson (left) and Chris Robson stand together on a racetrack in Brazil after Robson had completed a race there. Photo submitted.

Robson, APC Driving’s chief driving instructor, grew up in a racing family in the quiet corner of Connecticut.  A former chief driving instructor at Performance Motorsports Karting School in Columbus, Ohio, he has over 100 U.S. and international podium finishes in recognized racing organizations and over 25 years of professional racing and instructor experience.  Thompson describes Robson affectionately as, “the real deal behind the wheel,” noting, “The kids love him!”

Chris Robson drives through rain in this race. Photo submitted.

Asked how the idea of opening a driving school was conceived, Thompson explains, ” Chris and I met at a business networking event in West Hartford in 2017. Small talk quickly turned to cars and racing, so we set about figuring out how to create a business.”

The spacious teaching area will never accommodate more than 10 students at any one time.

 
He continues, “We’re taking a boutique approach to teaching people how to drive, with small classes of never more than 10, personalized assessments of their skills, abilities and confidence levels, and providing the training they need,” said Thompson, adding, “Whether you’re first learning to drive, want to have a safer commute or simply like to drive, the skills that you can learn at APC Driving will help you achieve your goal.” 

Both men take safe driving seriously.  Robson seeks to teach young drivers precision and control at the wheel, not speed and thrills.  Thompson’s academic approach to driver education focuses on building a solid foundation of knowledge and understanding what it takes to be safe and happy behind the wheel at any level.  The business partners also both have daughters, so Thompson notes sanguinely, “We have a vested interest. We look at safe driving from the perspective of parents, too.”

The driving simulator is a real boon to the business.

The office that APC Driving occupies is spacious and comfortable.  It is divided into a reception area and a teaching space while a driving simulator occupies one corner, retail sales another and advanced driving programs another.  The walls are covered with automobile-associated artwork and maps, and a large display case houses a number of Robson’s trophies and a fascinating selection of his his racing paraphernalia. Thompson comments, “Everything is fluid,” meaning the artwork and memorabilia will change regularly and as retails sales of clothing, equipment and model cars expand, he anticipates increased inventory necessitating more space being given over to them.

Brent Thompson sometimes mans the reception desk when he’s not teaching.

Brent is married to local writer and radio personality Suzanne Thompson, who is assisting APC Driving with their publicity and promotional planning.  Suzanne explains with a smile, “I’m more into kayaking and gardening than cars,” noting she hosts a weekly radio show about gardening and nature on WLIS 1420 AM/Old Saybrook and WMRD 1150 AM/Middletown and writes regularly for The Day and its weekly publications on environmental matters.  Suzanne stepped back from corporate communications in 2005 to raise her family, and since then she has served on Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau board for six years and in June became a board member of Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce.

Suzanne describes herself and her husband as “a couple of misplaced Midwesterners, who enjoy Connecticut’s New England feel and coastal shoreline.”  The Thompsons moved to Old Lyme in 2002 and have two daughters, who both attend Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

Looking into the APC Driving area, one can see the teaching one on the left and the advanced skills program area at the rear.

 
APC Driving is licensed by the State of Connecticut to teach the eight-hour Teen Drug and Alcohol and 30-hour Full Course classroom sessions for 16-17 year-olds, including the mandatory two-hour Parent Class, as well as classes for 18-year-olds and adults seeking their Connecticut Driver’s License.  These include behind-the-wheel training with a certified APC Driving instructor in an APC car. 
 
The school also offers specialized training for new and licensed drivers to prepare them to drive on today’s roads.  Students can master their parallel and other parking challenges in PARK IT, hone their big-city driving skills in RUSH HOUR, or sign up for additional Individual Driving Hours.  APC Driving also offers PRIMETIME for mature or senior drivers and in-car training for anyone who needs help understanding all of the technologies in today’s cars. The AUTO SELECT program helps people choose and purchase their vehicle.
 
Courses and training are described on APC Driving’s website, www.apcdriving.com, where parents and students can see the class schedule and register online.  Classes are held Monday through Friday and the school offers flexible hours for in-car instruction.  APC Driving is open Monday through Friday10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call for an appointment. 
 
APC Driving is a subsidiary of Accelerated Performance Coaching, LLC.
Share

Jeannine Lewis Sworn In as Judge of Probate for Saybrook District

Atty. Jeannine Lewis is sworn in as Judge of Probate for Saybrook Probate District by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna.

On Monday, July 23, Essex Attorney Jeannine Lewis was sworn in as the next judge of probate for the Saybrook Probate District in a ceremony held on the town green in Old Saybrook. The swearing-in was performed by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl P. Fortuna, Jr.

Attorney Lewis was elected in November to fill the remaining term of Hon. Terrence B. Lomme, who retired the same week after eight years in service to the district. The Saybrook Probate District encompasses the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Killingworth, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

Attorney Lewis has focused her legal career on the types of cases typically handled by the probate court. She is particularly concerned with ensuring that the rights of the most vulnerable individuals who appear before the court are respected and upheld including the rights of the elderly, disabled, mentally ill, and minor children. She has been actively involved in educating other attorneys regarding elder law and estate planning as immediate past chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Elder Law Section Continuing Legal Education Committee. 

In addition, she is a contributing author of the manual used online by Connecticut’s Probate Court Administration to help train attorneys on how to properly represent clients in probate court. As a result of these accomplishments she was appointed to the Probate Court Administration’s Conservatorship Guidelines Committee, which developed standards of practice for Connecticut conservators that were published on July 1 of this year.

As a 17-year-resident of Essex, Lewis is also an active community member. She is a board member for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries and has been a meal site server for the organization for more than 10 years. In addition she is a community lecturer on end-of-life issues and the pro bono attorney for Sister Cities Essex Haiti.

Judge Lewis is running unopposed in the upcoming November election for a full four-year term as probate judge for the Saybrook Probate District.

For more information about Lewis and her qualifications, visit www.lewisforprobate.com.

Share

Last Chance to See ‘Grease’ Today at Ivoryton Playhouse

Danny, played by Johnny Newcomb, and  Sandy (Kimberley Immanuel) are the leads in ‘Grease’ at Ivoryton Playhouse.  Both are members of Equity. Photograph by Anne Hudson.

IVORYTON — Dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks and take a trip to a simpler time as Danny and Sandy fall in love all over again at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Opening on July 5, and running through July 29, Grease, by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey,  features all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie including “You’re The One That I Want”, “Grease Is The Word”, “Summer Nights”, “Hopelessly Devoted To You”, “Greased Lightnin’” and many more.

Here is Rydell High’s senior class of 1959: duck-tailed, hot-rodding “Burger Palace Boys” and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking “Pink Ladies” in bobby sox and pedal pushers, evoking the look and sound of the 1950s in this rollicking musical.

Head “greaser” Danny Zuko and new (good) girl Sandy Dumbrowski try to relive the high romance of their “Summer Nights” as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through such songs as “Greased Lightnin’,” “It’s Raining on Prom Night,” “Alone at the Drive-In Movie” recalling the music of Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley that became the soundtrack of a generation.

The Burger Palace Boys comprising (Kenickie, (Natale Pirrotta*), Roger (Taylor Morrow), Danny (Johnny Newcomb*), Doody (Luke Linsteadt*) and Sonny (Max Weinstein) play a key  role in ‘Grease.’ * denotes member of Equity. Photograph by Anne Hudson.

Grease‘ opened Off-Broadway at the Eden Theatre on Feb. 14, 1972 but was deemed eligible for the 1972 Tony Awards, and received seven Tony Award nominations. The 1994 revival also garnered Tony nominations and the show went on to a successful national tour, featuring local hero Micky Dolenz as Vince Fontaine.

The movie that we all know and love opened 40 years ago and it is a testament to the music and the iconic characters that ‘Grease‘ is still the word today.

The best part of this quintessentially American high school story (aside from the music, of course) is what Danny, Sandy, Rizzo, Kenickie, Frenchy and the rest of the Rydell High gang taught us – that the people who really care about you will stay by your side no matter how different you are from one another, and support you just the same whether you’re a pom-pom-wielding goody-two-shoes, a leather-touting T-Bird or a starry-eyed, pink-haired aspiring beautician, who drops out of school months before graduation.

So throw your mittens around your kittens and hand jive the night away with the show that’ll make you want to stand up and shout, ‘A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop, a-wop-bam-boom!

This production stars Johnny Newcomb* as Danny Zuko and Kimberley Immanuel* as Sandy. Johnny made his Broadway debut in The Last Ship and was part of the national tour of American Idiot. He was last seen in Ivoryton as Roger in Rent. This season’s audience may remember Kimberley for her luminous performance as Luisa in The Fantasticks

Other cast members that may be familiar to Ivoryton audiences are Alyssa V. Gomez* (Rizzo), Amy Buckley (Miss Lynch), Cory Candelet (Eugene), Jonny Cortes (Johnny Casino), Taylor Lloyd (Marty), Alexa Racioppi (Patty Simcox) Max Weinstein (Sonny) Amanda Lupacchino, Andee Buccheri, and Nathan Russo. Making their Ivoryton debut are Katelyn Bowman (Frenchy) Lawrence Cummings* (Vince Fontaine/Teen Angel), Luke Linsteadt* (Doody), Taylor Morrow (Roger), Natale Pirrotta* (Kenickie), Shalani Taylor (Cha-Cha), Audrey Wilson (Jan), Jamaal Fields-Green, Jared Starkey and Clementine Wurzbach

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd L. Underwood and musical directed by Michael Morris, with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Saylor Cippolina.

Grease opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 5 and runs through July 29, 2018. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Additional matinee performances are on Saturday, July 7, 14 and 28 at 2pm.

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

Share

Summer Rock Camp Opens at Community Music School Tomorrow

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School (CMS) has announced the launch of a new summer initiative, Summer Rock Camp.  This new program takes place at Community Music School’s main campus at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook and runs for a weeklong session July 30 through August 3 from 9 am to 12 pm each day. Designed for intermediate to advanced students aged 12 and up who play guitar, bass, drums, woodwinds, brass, or voice.

Directed by CMS Guitar Instructor John Birt, Summer Rock Camp will help students explore popular music on a variety of instruments. Students will gain experience putting together an ensemble and learn how to prepare for a performance.

All instruments are welcome, as well as all styles of music such as classic rock, country, pop, blues, and more.  The camp will end in a live performance at the Centerbrook Meeting House for family and friends on Aug. 3 at 1 pm.

Tuition for this camp is $225 and scholarships are available for families with a financial need.

For additional information and to register, visit www.community-music-school.org/summer or call 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 35 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

Share

Community Music School Presents Inaugural Annual Cornhole Charity Challenge, Aug. 13

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School will present their first annual Cornhole Charity Challenge on Aug. 13, at 6 pm on beautiful Essex Island.  Join us for live music and southern BBQ! Local charities will face off in this friendly cornhole competition. BYOB and family friendly! The event is presented by Guilford Savings Bank and proceeds will benefit scholarships and outreach programs at Community Music School.

Event tickets include live music and all food: $25/adult, $12/kid, ages 5 and under free. Teams of two can enter the cornhole competition for $20. Rain or shine; covered area available. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit www.community-music-school.org/cornhole or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 35-year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

Share

Middlesex Hospital Opens Renovated Essex Facility

Middlesex Hospital leaders celebrate the opening of the renovated Shoreline Medical Center. From left to right, Lori Pascarelli, Manager of Occupational Medicine, Jackie Calamari, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Matthew Lundquist, Chief of Occupational Medicine, David Giuffrida, Vice President of Operations, Brian Taber, Physical Rehabilitation Director, Donna Stroneski, Vice President of Human Resources and Robin Copperthwaite, Rehabilitation Supervisor.

ESSEX — Middlesex Hospital has opened its renovated building at 252 Westbrook Road in Essex.

The building was once home to the Shoreline Medical Center, which moved to 252 Flat Rock Place in Westbrook in 2014. On July 10, Middlesex Hospital’s Occupational and Environmental Medicine Department and its Physical Rehabilitation Department began seeing patients at the renovated facility.

The Physical Rehabilitation Department, which includes the Hospital’s physical and occupational therapy programs, has several offices located throughout Middlesex County. The department’s office at 192 Westbrook Road in Essex is now closed due to the department’s move to the renovated space.

Occupational and Environmental Medicine also moved from 192 Westbrook Road. As such, Middlesex Hospital no longer has any offices located at that address.

When it renovated 252 Westbrook Road, Middlesex installed new exterior wall framing, insulation, siding and a new roof. The inside of the building was rebuilt and includes a new HVAC system, ceiling, lighting, flooring and finishes. By doing this work, Middlesex invested in its facility, in the services it offers and in the Essex community.

“We are so excited to open this renovated facility,” says Middlesex President and CEO Vincent G. Capece, Jr. “This building will give our Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Physical Rehabilitation departments a new home. It will give them the space and resources to continue doing what they do best—caring for our community.”

Share

Essex Land Trust Hosts Kayak Race Today on Mill Pond

Join a kayak race round Jean’s Island, July 14!

ESSEX — On your marks, get ready. paddle!

Join the Essex Land Trust in a first ever kayak race around Jean’s island, on the seven-acre Falls River Mill Pond located in Ivoryton and Centerbrook. This will be an informal, fun and family-friendly race with prizes provided for the first three finishers.

Participants ages 12 and older should register on site starting at 9:30 a.m. and launch their boats from the Falls River Park Landing, located on Falls River Drive. All participants should wear a personal floatation device.

The competition starts at 10 a.m. Safety boat will accompany. Bad weather cancels.

Share

Local Organizations Host Summer Program to Provide Food for Families in Need

TRI-TOWN — Tri-Town Youth Services, Deep River Public Library and Deep River, Chester and Essex Social Service Departments are working together to help local families in need over the summer.  No child should go hungry, and yet many children, who receive free and reduced lunches during the school year, are left without the nutrition they need in the summer.

Beginning Thursday, July 12, families can visit the Deep River Public Library’s Children’s Garden, on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to receive a bag of nutritious food.  Arts and crafts will also be available for the children.

The program sponsors are looking for volunteer help and food donations, especially easy-to-carry, kid-friendly, nutritious lunch and snack items.

Contact Tri-Town Youth Services at 860-526-3600 for more information or to sign up to help.

Share

Happy Fourth to all our Readers! Join the Ivoryton Independence Day Parade Today!

IVORYTON — Join your friends and neighbors to celebrate The Fourth of July at the Ivoryton Independence Day Parade, July 4th.

All are welcome to march on foot or ride on bicycles, scooters, trucks, tractors wagons or in vintage cars. Patriotic attire encouraged.

Vehicles should assemble on Cheney Street, Ivoryton by 9:15 a.m. and walkers by 9:30 a.m. The parade steps off at 10 a.m., circling Ivoryton and winding up by the green in preparation for a short, patriotic program around 11 a.m.

Severe rain will cancel the event, which will not be rescheduled.

Show your spirit for American History and help celebrate The Glorious Fourth!

Share

Essex Steam Train Hosts ‘Cigar & Whiskey’ Cruise, July 12

AREAWIDE — Join Essex Steam Train for a unique night of refined pleasures on their Cigar & Whiskey Cruise.

On Thursday, July 12, from 6 to 9 p.m., the Cigar & Whiskey Cruise (for adults only) will take an exclusive group of cigar enthusiasts on the Becky Thatcher riverboat for an evening of spirits, cigars, and delicious cuisine.  This event will be held rain or shine.

Guests board the vintage steam train at Essex Station for a ride to Deep River Landing, where they will embark on a two-hour sunset cruise along the Connecticut River while they sample premium whiskeys paired with a hand-rolled cigar for each passenger.

The schedule for the evening is as follows:-

  • Board the locomotive at Essex Station at 6 p.m.
  • Train departs Essex at 6:15 p.m.
  • Riverboat Cruise runs from 7 to 9 p.m.
  • Arrive back at Essex Station at 9:30 p.m.

Light hors d’oeuvres will be provided and additional spirits will be available for purchase.

Included in the $85 ticket price ($95 at the door) is the initial train ride to Deep River Landing, two-hour cruise on the Connecticut River, a hand-rolled cigar, 1/2-oz. tastings of the night’s featured whiskeys, light fare, and an Essex Steam Train & Riverboat rocks glass.

For more information and to reserve tickets, contact Pam Amodio at pamodio@essexsteamtrain.com or call 860.767.0103 or visit this link.

 

Share

“Brilliant,” Essex Art Association’s Summer Exhibition, on View Through July 21

‘Mom’s Basket’ by Steven Wells is one of the signature paintings of the artist’s solo show in the Gantner Gallery at the Essex Art Association.

ESSEX — The July show at the Essex Art Association (EAA) is an Open Exhibition and welcomes all area artists to submit up to two pieces of artwork for display. This type of show offers the public a viewing experience with a wide spectrum of subjects, styles and mediums.

The show is juried for awards only, with the EAA distributing $1800 in nine categories. In addition, one artist will be awarded a solo exhibit in the EAA Gantner Gallery during the 2019 gallery season. 

The exhibit’s opening reception is Friday, June 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. The show runs June 30  through July 21. The EAA Gallery is located at 10 North Main Street, Essex, CT. Gallery hours are 1-5 pm daily, closed Tuesdays. For more information visit essexartassociation.com or call 860-767-8996.

The exhibit theme “Brilliant” invites artists to share their most ingenious and insightful artwork reflecting expressions of dynamic composition, luminous color or any personal inspiration.

The Gantner Gallery exhibit, “Perspective of Portland, My Home Town,” features the work of Steven Wells of Portland, Conn. Wells has enjoyed portraying familiar and unique perspectives in and around his home town the better part of his life.  This Paier College of Art student, after teaching art classes on and off for a few years, set aside his passion for watercolors to create with a different medium, hammer and nail, having been a professional building contractor for over 40 years.

Throughout his time designing, renovating, and creating homes in and around Portland, Wells never truly “put down the brush” as he would use the winter months to pick up where he left off, pursuing what he enjoys most, which is painting.

His profound ability to capture the essence of life and nature was undoubtedly nurtured by his mother Lois, a tremendous watercolorist of her own. They loved to share creative moments while they worked on their latest pieces.  

Becoming a member of the Essex Art Association and participating in their exhibitions has been a welcoming experience and allowed him to share, through his eyes, the artist behind the hammer.

Exhibition juror, Douglas Deveny is an abstract expressionist who attended the Art Institute of Atlanta and Savannah College of Art and Design. He graduated with a B.S. in Art Education from Southern Connecticut State University – Summa Cum Laude.

Deveny says, “My work is non-objective. I like to explore the complexity in simplicity by use of texture and color. I am intrigued by the beauty of deteriorated surfaces, happenstance and patina. Each painting incorporates a variety of techniques and countless layers of acrylic and mixed media, with a constant accumulation and reduction of materials, until each piece finds its own end.”

Share