June 25, 2019

Sing! Cappella Cantorum Offers One-Day Vocal Camp, Saturday

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash.

The valley-shore chorus of Cappella Cantorum offers a One-Day Vocal Camp on Saturday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 5 Lyme St., Old Lyme. All singers ages 13 and up are welcome to attend.

The camp offers intensive choral practice in group and private lessons that will improve sight reading, ear training and blending in a choral environment.

Learn from accomplished choral leaders Simon Holt, director of the Salt Marsh Opera, Cappella Cantorum and the choir of the Congregational Church of Old Lyme, and Paul Laurence Fletcher, critically acclaimed oratorio and concert soloist.

Lunch will be provided. Cost is $45 for the group session and $55 for the group session plus a private vocal lesson with Mr. Fletcher. The private lessons are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reserve a spot at www.cappellacantorum.org or by calling 860-941-8243.

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Extensive Summer Program Breathes New Life Into Lyme Academy Campus, While Academy’s Future Still Uncertain

File photo of the Chandler Academic Center at Lyme Academy College prior to its affiliation with the University of New Haven.

OLD LYME — The future of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is one of the big, unanswered questions in Old Lyme at the moment.

In July 2014, the University of New Haven (UNH) announced an “affiliation” with what was then Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in a move that was perceived as likely saving the college from possible closure due its critical financial difficulties.  University of New Haven President Stephen Kaplan said at the time, “We are determined to protect and preserve the mission of Lyme Academy College, retaining the unique qualities that appeal to students seeking an arts degree in an idyllic, rural setting that nurtures creativity,”

Just five short years later, in a move that generated both shock and anger, UNH announced it was pulling out from the college saying it would continue its involvement through the end of the 2018-19 academic year and then divest itself of the institution.  The announcement was made in late August 2018 just as the BFA Class of 2022 was days away from starting their studies, leaving those freshmen students registered at a degree-granting college that would not exist past the end of their first year.

Since that announcement back in August 2018, there has been sparse official communication from either UNH or the Lyme Academy College Board of Trustees as to what is happening to the facility.  This has led to rumor and speculation regarding the future of the academy in Old Lyme and beyond.

Lyme Academy College alumna and teacher Kim Monson, who has led efforts to keep the Academy as a fully operational institution.

But all through this period of uncertainty, a group of alumni led by Kimberly Monson, who is both an alumna of the College and now a teacher there, has been fighting hard to keep the Academy (‘college’ has now been dropped from the name) as a going concern.  Monson is passionate about the mission of the academy to which President Kaplan referred, believing in it with a similar conviction to the academy’s founder, the acclaimed sculptor and musician Elisabeth Gordon Chandler.

Elisabeth Gordon Chandler

Chandler, who was one of Monson’s teachers, founded Lyme Academy of Fine Arts back in 1976 because she was determined to preserve the traditional skills of figurative and representational art, which she felt at that time were in danger of disappearing with the explosion of contemporary art. Chandler’s mission was to educate aspiring artists through a rigorous studio curriculum similar to that followed by the Great Masters.

The Academy became a degree-granting college in 1996 and in 2002 added the word ‘college’ to its name, but, all the while, retained its focus on those traditional skills. The curriculum has always included classes in anatomy and perspective, which have become increasingly rare to find in art schools in the past 40 years.

Monson told LymeLine.com this week that she now finally sees a way forward for Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.  The first part of the plan is to “disentangle” itself from UNH, which is no straightforward task.  The 2014 agreement between the two institutions has not been made public and working out who owns what in terms of the facilities, finances, intellectual property and more is believed to be a both ongoing and complex task. That piece has to be concluded for Lyme Academy to stand proud once again as an independent institution, and timing on when the official ‘separation’ will occur is unclear.

The second piece is the employment of a director for the new institution. The position has been advertised and an announcement on the appointee is expected shortly. Monson believes this will be a major step in re-establishing the academy on a firm footing.

The third and final step is the development of an extensive summer program, which hopefully will provide what Monson describes as “a pathway to sustainability.” Monson and her husband, fellow alumnus and College teacher Michael Viera, have created the program, which kicks off May 29, by working long hours and giving it intense commitment while still fulfilling their current College teaching roles.

There are three segments to the summer program, namely Middle School, Pre-College and Adult.

There will be opportunities to paint ‘en plein air’ for all ages from middle school upwards during Lyme Academy’s Summer Program.

Monson explains that the Middle School Academy is a new venture and something she identified as a real need for that age-group. She points out, “Artists took apprentices of middle school age,” so there is no question that students of that age are ready to learn art fundamentals “in a respectful manner” but laced with fun and physical activity.

Over four weeks, four artists will be studied — one per week — in an exciting, exploratory fashion, which will include learning skills in painting, sculpture, pastels, drawing, collage, and storytelling.  Students can enroll in any or all of the week-long programs, which begin July 8 with Edgar Degas, then follow with Michelangelo (July 15 ), Salvador Dali (July 22) and end with Leonardo da Vinci (July 29.)  Timing for the Monday to Friday program is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the fee for each week is $325.

The Pre-College Academy is an experience in which Monson says, “high school students are treated like college students.” and “immerse themselves in intensive workshops” for a week on each topic.  Students will not only expand their portfolios but also gain a significant advantage over their peers when they enter college.

There are eight programs on offer: sculpture, drawing, oil painting, illustration essentials, world building, animation, toy sculpture, and concept building.  Students can register for any number of classes from one to all eight and fees are $350 or $375 depending on the class.

 

Adult classes range from ‘Open Figure Drawing’ on Saturday mornings to ‘Expanding your Encaustic Horizons’ (July 29-31) to ‘Three Dimensional Forms Meet Wax’ (Aug. 1-2). Other programs include an ‘Etching Workshop’ (June 10-14), ‘Sunset Painting’ (Wednesdays, May 29- June 26) and ‘Watercolor’ (Tuesdays, June 18- July 23).

Master Class Workshops include ‘Walking Tour Townscape Painting Workshop with Michael Viera,’ which Monson describes as a “destination week,” takes place Aug. 19-23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Viera, an accomplished and award-winning artist, will lead his students in the footsteps of the Old Lyme Impressionists and ‘paint the town’ This tour will be enhanced by talks from the Old Lyme Historical Society and a visit to the Florence Griswold Museum.

Sculpture by John O’Reilly, who will teach an Animal Sculpture Master Class Workshop this summer at Lyme Academy.

Two more Master Class Workshops are being offered —  ‘Classical Drawing Boot Camp‘ with Rick Lacey (July 15-19), ‘Printmaking’ with Nancy Friese in June, and ‘Animal Sculpture‘ with John O’Reilly (June 24-28).  Both teachers are extremely talented artists with multiple awards between them. Lacey is a graduate of both Lyme-Old Lyme High School and Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. O’ Reilly has a B.F.A. from Columbus College of Art and Design and an M.F.A. from the New York Academy of Art.

‘Helen’ by Rick Lacey, who is teaching a Classical Drawing Boot Camp this summer at Lyme Academy.

Based on the Atelier model, the week-long Classical Drawing Boot Camp, which starts July 15, concentrates the student in lengthy study through direct, focused observation. The morning session is dedicated to the art of cast drawing. Measurements, comparisons and intense analysis emphasize the structure necessary for drawing. The afternoons are dedicated to the study of figure drawing from a life model in a continued pose. Attention is paid to set up and final execution over the course of a week.

Sculpting animals is a time honored tradition to which the Animal Sculpture Master Class (starting June 24) pays homage. The founder of Lyme Academy, Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, began her art career sculpting her beloved dog to cope with her grief after he passed away. Sculpting an animal from direct observation is an invaluable learning opportunity. Comparative anatomy, overall structure and form variations will be explored while choosing the proper gesture or behavior to suit your vision. Workshop participants will sculpt live from a horse or a dog.

Monson urges people considering applying for classes to enroll soon since classes are filling fast. She says with the deep-seated passion of a life-long artist, “People should take time to invest in themselves. They should come learn about their capabilities … learn about what they can do and didn’t know they could do.”

Stressing that all the teachers of these classes are “really good people,” Monson explains this means that not only are they outstanding, established artists, but also that they are dedicated to the Academy and “will put it in its best light.” Many of the teachers, like Monson and Viera, are alumni of the College, the majority of whom have gone on to obtain an MFA at another college. The Middle School Academy is being taught primarily by 2019 graduates of Lyme Academy College.

Regarding the future, Monson says her immediate goal is “to populate the campus” during the summer programs and thus breathe vitality and enthusiasm back into the Academy.  She does not know details of the post-summer plans, but says with conviction, “We deserve to be here because we have so much to offer.”  She believes talks with other institutions are ongoing to see where Lyme Academy might find a synergistic relationship or determine if credits from Lyme Academy might be transferable into a degree-granting institution. Monson also thinks discussions with the Town of Old Lyme are continuing despite the rejection by the Town of the Academy’s application for $90,000 in the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Her unequivocal objective — and that of all the other alumni and board members working hard to find a solution for Lyme Academy once it is separated from UNH — remains “to give it [the Academy] a long-term pathway to success.”

Editor’s Note: Full details of these summer programs including instructors, dates, times, fees, and enrollment information can be found on Lyme Academy’s new website at this link. For further information about these summer programs, contact Kristen Brady by email at kbrady@lymefs.newhaven.edu or telephone at 860-598-5143.

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Musical Masterworks Presents Season Finale Concert This Evening, Tomorrow Afternoon

Cellist Edward Arron

Musical Masterworks will close its 28th season by celebrating the masterpieces of Haydn, Prokofiev and Schubert on Saturday, May 4, at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, May 5, at 3 p.m. at the acoustically perfect First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

This season finale of the 28th season of Music Masterworks features acclaimed husband-wife duo, pianist Gloria Chien and violinist Soovin Kim, who join Edward Arron for a performance of Schubert’s remarkable E-flat Major Trio, one of the great masterpieces from the composer’s final year.

The program will begin with the C Major Trio by ‘Papa’ Haydn, followed by Prokofiev’s F minor Sonata for Violin and Piano.

Individual tickets are available for $40 for adults and $5 for students. Visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

Musical Masterworks returns in October with its 29th season, which will include a celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary featuring his complete quartets during two special three-day concert weekends in March and May 2020.

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Letter from Paris: Picasso’s Early Years on View in Blue … and Pink

Nicole Prévost Logan

In October 1900, Picasso – at age 19 – arrived at the Gare d’Orsay in Paris from Barcelona. So, it is appropriate that the Orsay Museum would host an exhibition about the young Spanish artist.

The blockbuster, which opened in the autumn of 2018, was called “Picasso. Bleu, Rose” and refers to the 1900-1906 years. It is a long overdue theme, never before treated in France.

For several reasons, this period is unique among Picasso’s long career. It reveals the precocious virtuosity of such a young person as a draughtsman;
never again will he express such intense emotions; Harlequin — a main character from the Commedia del’arte — is introduced for the first time and will remain his double throughout his life’s work. The image at right shows “Arlequin with an acrobat” (1905) portrayed as a young and emaciated boy.

Between 1900 and 1904, Picasso made several trips between Spain and Paris, until he settled permanently in the French capital where he rented a studio, along with other artists, in a dilapidated building baptized the Bateau-Lavoir (washhouse.)

He liked to hang around at the tavern of Els Quatre Gats (Four Cats) in Barcelona where he met Catalan friends – such as Santiago Rusinol or Ramon Casos. The exhibit shows hundreds of the small portraits and sketches, sometimes humorous, that he created at full speed.

With a voracious curiosity, he would watch the colorful, loud crowds at cabarets, bordellos, night clubs or caf’concs (cafés with a music hall performance) of Montmartre.

Toulouse Lautrec was his idol.

Like him, Picasso depicted the dejected night-life customers stunned under the effect of absinthe. “Arlequin and his companion” (1901, Pushkin museum, Moscow) shown at left represents a couple totally alienated from each other, sitting at a bistro table, with vacuous expressions on their faces.

The man is Harlequin, dressed in his usual costume with lozenges.

The “Portrait of Gustave Coquiot” (1901, Musee d’art moderne, Paris) at right is emblematic of this garish night life. The collector and art critic is depicted as a well-fed individual, with half naked girls dancing in the background, his mouth snarled in a lecherous grimace, under an insolent mustache.

But those years were lean years for Picasso. Both in Barcelona and in Paris Picasso lived in utter poverty.

This was the height of his “Blue Period” — the color of the bottom of the abyss. Beggars, orphans, the poor — Picasso showed his empathy for all of them.

He would take for models the former prostitutes incarcerated at the Saint Lazare prison in Barcelona, where many were dying of venereal diseases .

One usually links the Blue Period with the death of his close friend Casagemas in 1901 The painting at left of the young Catalan artist on his death bed, (1901, Musee Picasso, Paris) is realistic and shows the bullet wound on his temple after he committed suicide. The feverish multicolor strokes around the candle are reminiscent of van Gogh’s technique.

Abject poverty did not prevent Picasso from leading a lively, bohemian life among artists, poets, writers in the Montmartre district of the French capital, which was the center of the artistic world at that time.

The German art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler immediately discovered the genius of Picasso. Things started looking up when art merchant Ambroise Vollard bought several of his paintings. His melancholy disappeared when he fell passionately in love with Fernande Olivier, one of his many companions whose body and face he kept deconstructing.

The distinction between Blue and Pink Periods is rather artificial. Sadness lingered on through both periods.

Pink became predominant when the artist became interested in the circus world. Several times a week he would go to the cirque Medrano. But unlike other artists like Seurat, Rouault or Matisse, he was not interested in the spectacles per se but rather in what happened backstage and in the miserable existence of the acrobats.

In “Acrobate a la boule,” a frail adolescent is trying to keep his (her) balance on a round ball watched by a heavy set acrobat sitting on a massive cube. Art historians give a deep meaning to the scene, to the contrast between the spiritual world, taking risks, being continually in motion with the stability of life grounded in the earth.

In the summer of 1906, Picasso’s life took a new turn. Being with Fernande on the hillside village of Gozolf, he seemed totally happy, enjoying the sun and inspired by the pink and ochre color of the clay. He discovered the Iberian sculptures of the fifth and sixth centuries BC influenced by Phoenician and Greek cultures as well as 12th century medieval sculptures.

His art seems to be changing course. In “Deux Nus” (1906, MOMA), shown at right, the bodies of the naked women, are deformed, with disproportionate legs and heavy torso. Picasso was ready for another discovery … African art.

Matisse showed him an African statuette in the apartment of Gertrude and Leo Stein. Picasso was stunned.

As a result, after numerous sketches, (the Steins bought most of them when Picasso was still unknown), Picasso produced the ‘Demoiselles d’Avignon’ (1907, MOMA), which remains probably the most important painting of the 20th century.

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.

Nicole Prévost Logan

About the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

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Needleman Appointed to Leadership Roles on Two Key State Senate Committees

State Senator-Elect Norm Needleman (D-33rd)

AREAWIDE — State Senator-Elect Norm Needleman (D-Essex) today announced in a press release that he has been appointed Senate Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee, and Senate Vice Chair of the Banking Committee. 

“The towns in our district have gained a leadership presence in policy development for finance, technology, and energy infrastructure,” said Needleman. “My experience in government and business financial management, and my years of working with major utilities and energy providers directly applies to the work of both committees. I look forward to bringing common sense ideas to these important issues.”

The Energy and Technology Committee formulates policies relating to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, energy-related planning, and technology issues. The committee works closely with energy and technology services and utilities, which include electric utilities and cable TV service.

The Banking Committee develops policies relating to consumer credit and lending, business finance, the Department of Banking, all banks, credit unions, securities sales, fraternal benefit societies and secured and unsecured lending.

Needleman expects additional committee assignments to be announced in the near future. He officially begins his State Senate term on Jan. 9 of the coming year. 

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Norm Needleman (D) Candidate for Senate District #33

Biography

Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman

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

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

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

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

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

What do you think of our leadership in Washington?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q4: Why are you running for this position?

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

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Melissa Ziobron (R) Candidate for Senate District #33

Biography

State Representative (R-34th) Melissa Ziobron

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

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

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

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

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

I voted for and support our President.

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

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

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

Q4: Why are you running for this position?

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

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Matt Pugliese (D) Candidate for House District #23

Biography

Matt Pugliese

Matt Pugliese has spent his career working in the theatre industry, beginning at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  He served as Executive Director at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theatre in Middletown, CT and now as Managing Director/Executive Producer at Connecticut Repertory Theatre. Matt is currently the chair of Old Saybrook’s Economic Development Commission.  In 2012, Matt was named to the Hartford Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list for his professional work and civic involvement. He holds his BA in Theatre and Masters in Public Administration, both from UCONN.  Matt lives in Old Saybrook with his wife Kristen and their two daughters.

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

I believe the biggest challenge facing the state are the unfunded pension liabilities.  This constrains the budget and the available resources the state has to invest in other projects and priorities. Priorities is the key word. Connecticut has revenue challenges, and we want to grow our economy, not raise taxes.  I’m not talking about spending more money, but spending money where it is important.

We need to get Connecticut’s spending under control. I’ve spent my career in the non-profit sector, where we have to run on tight budgets and maximize service delivery.  I value accountability and transparency.  We also need to recognize that the state’s spending goes into the community. We need to look carefully to not increase other problems and stressors through shortsighted cutting.  We need a strategic approach.  I will work with the non-profit organizations find opportunities to maximize service delivery and support those in need of help, at the best cost possible.

We need to commit funding to the pension liabilities.  They have been unfunded over the last 40 years, by leadership on both sides of the aisle.  I do not believe that we can re-open negotiations on contracts from years ago.  Not without taking on additional expenses in legal fees. We have an ethical obligation to keep the agreement that we made.  The state has already made progress in negotiations, with the new Tier IV employees pensions being approximately 80% funded.  I have experience around the table as part of a collective bargaining negotiation team representing theatres in our collective bargaining agreement with Actors Equity Association. I have experience working to build consensus with my own staff, consisting of members of five different unions.  We need leaders with experience to take on this challenge and work to a solution that respects our workers and our state.

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

I’m frustrated with the partisan politics of Washington. The gridlock in Washington is not serving our citizens.  As a parent, I’m disgusted that name calling and unabashed lying have become acceptable tools of leadership and “debate”.  I am proud that Connecticut sends a delegation of Representatives and Senators that work hard both in DC and in their home communities to fight for our communities and our values.

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

We can support workforce development, employee retention and small business growth by prioritizing education, healthcare and paid family leave.  These are initiatives that benefit both business and worker, and make Connecticut regionally competitive with our neighboring states.

I support expanding training programs in our community colleges and trade schools that create a highly skilled and education workforce. We want to prepare our young people for the jobs for the future that will provide a good, living wage. This educated workforce is attractive for business growth and development.  Initiatives including expanding advanced manufacturing training programs in the community college system, partnering with private business to make these programs tuition-free.  I support loan-forgiveness initiatives for college graduates that stay in Connecticut.

Providing high-quality, affordable health care is the most volatile cost for a small business.  It is also one of the most important benefits that workers are seeking in employment. I believe in expanding access to the state’s medicaid program and moving to a single-payer system in Connecticut. This can create stability for both businesses and individuals.

Paid family leave is a benefit that people can use throughout life – whether they are starting their family, taking care of a loved one with an unexpected illness or recovering from their own. Providing paid leave in these situations is a burden on a small business. I’ve myself experienced the stress running a small-business when a staff member needed to use FMLA or left because we were unable to provide these benefits. Paid-family leave would be funded by a small payroll deduction that every employee pays.  It is not an additional cost that small business would need to shoulder. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York all have instituted paid leave systems. We can’t lag behind our neighbors.

Q4: Why are you running for this position?

I’m running for State Representative because I want to serve my community. My wife and I have loved growing up in Connecticut, and we are excited to raise our daughters here.  We need leaders that are going to stand up for good, effective management of our state’s resources, with long-term strategic vision for Connecticut.  We need to protect our environment for future generations, work to reduce income inequality, create a vibrant, strong economy and ensure access to high-quality healthcare.  We need leaders with empathy.  We need leaders that understand the difference between short term wins and long term success.  I want to help Connecticut grow and continue to be a great place to live and work and raise a family. We need leaders that are willing to listen and to learn – and then lead.

I want good governance.  The job of government is to effectively maximize service delivery for our citizens.  I have over a decade of executive leadership experience running non-profit theatre organizations. I ran Oddfellows Playhouse during the recession from 2008 to 2013.  I understand how difficult it is to deliver service to the community while facing decreasing revenues. I have had to make difficult decisions. I have worked hard to keep a staff employed.  We need collaborative leaders that understand communication doesn’t mean talking, it means listening. We need non-partisan leaders that will build relationships, communicate and collaborate to serve our community.

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Devin Carney (R – Incumbent) Candidate for House District #23

Biography

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

Devin Carney is seeking his third term as State Representative for the 23rd District. He currently serves as Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee and also serves on the Environment and Finance Committees. He is co-chair of the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus and co-founder of the Young Legislator’s Caucus.

He serves on the Board of The Kate and Saye Brook Senior Housing and is a member of both the LOL and Old Saybrook Chambers. He was born and raised in Old Saybrook and lives in Old Lyme with his significant other, Lisa. He works as a Realtor in Old Saybrook.

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

Connecticut’s fiscal crisis. Connecticut is currently about $89 billion in debt and there seems to be no end in sight.

The four main reasons we are in so much debt is because of unfunded state employee pension liabilities, unfunded teacher’s retirement costs, benefits and healthcare for state employees, and debt service. Decades of mismanagement and kicking the can down the road have led to this massive debt. These ‘fixed costs’ used to only make up about 12% of the budget, now they make up over 30%, so they are crushing the state budget and taxpayers (debt per person is over $50,000).

Solving it requires collaboration across party lines and across town lines. We have to move all new state employees over to a defined contribution-style of pension plan with benefits that more mirror the private sector. I would eliminate overtime from pension calculations – to me, it’s ridiculous that an employee can make more in retirement than they did in base salary, while employed, because they worked tons of OT in their last three years.

Since I have proposed some changes to state employee benefits, it is only right that our political appointees and politicians give back. I would eliminate benefits for life for political appointees and politicians who serve so little time. I’m shocked that people like UConn president Susan Herbst or former disgraced lottery CEO Ann Noble will be getting six-figure pensions and great healthcare for life – paid for by us – while the average person struggles.

The state must also look at zero-based budgeting and, simply, stop spending so much. We don’t need a $10M toll study, we should sell the XL Center, we shouldn’t be bailing out Hartford, and the list goes on. I am proud to have supported real spending and bonding caps to curb this.

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

I wish our leadership in Washington would work together more – and that includes Democrats and Republicans. Aside from Joe Courtney, our district doesn’t get a lot of attention from our leadership in Washington with the exception of help defeating the federal rail bypass proposal.

When I first got elected, I contacted Joe Courtney to meet with him because I wanted to discuss working together when we could. I even worked with Joe to get a federal bill proposed to allow Connecticut to sell the Westbrook Welcome Center, which is closed and in disrepair (federal law prohibits it due to an archaic provision from the 1950’s).That’s the type of leadership I bring to the table – willing to work with anyone, regardless of party. Unlike my opponent, I have never used Washington-style smear tactics about anyone from the other party – no matter how much I disagree with them. That’s the leadership-style we desperately need in Washington and Hartford. Integrity matters.

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

Connecticut taxpayers have one of the highest tax burdens in the nation and we are losing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to other states. Many homeowners in the 23rd either have residency in another state or are seriously considering it because of taxes. Growth can be realized if Connecticut becomes more affordable.

In order to curb the exodus, Connecticut has to strategically reduce taxes in order to better compete with our neighbors and states to the south. I supported reducing the estate tax and reducing pension/social security taxes, which is a start, but more needs to be reduced. Government needs to partner more with the private sector and non-profits to deliver services. Government needs to eliminate mandates on small towns and schools that are unnecessary and add to property tax burdens. I will not support new taxes and was proud to defeat many of Governor Malloy’s proposals for new taxes, including those on cell phones, restaurants, homes and veterinary services.

In order to get growth, the state has to implement policies that encourage business investment and job creation. State government must step aside, stop picking winners and losers, and let the private sector flex its muscle. Too much government bureaucracy and taxes make Connecticut less desirable for investment. At the same time, Connecticut should be focused on training people for in-demand jobs in new technologies, manufacturing, and healthcare by promoting more public-private development initiatives and high school/college training programs. Connecticut is one of the only states not to recover all of its jobs lost in 2008 and that needs to change.

In terms of infrastructure, the DOT needs to focus on improving I-95, particularly in our region, and making it safer. I’m proud, as Ranking Member of Transportation, to have saved precious infrastructure improvement dollars from being cut.

Q4: Why are you running for this position?

I am running for re-election because this state needs proven leaders who will work collaboratively to improve our state’s fiscal situation. There are many issues Connecticut faces, but nearly all of them depend on our fiscal health. I love our district, but I hate seeing what decades of mismanagement and high taxes have done to our state. I’m running because I want our seniors to be able to afford to live here, I want our young people to be able to find jobs here, and I want our quality of life to be the best it can be.

In my four years as State Representative, I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish. I was a leader in defeating the federal rail bypass proposal that would have devastated Old Lyme. I supported policies to curb our opioid epidemic, defeated a mileage tax proposal that would have crushed taxpayers, and worked to grow our tourism economy. In only my second term, I was named Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee, where I have had a seat at the table of one of the most powerful committees in Hartford.

We cannot afford new taxes, more spending on programs we can’t pay for, or more regulations on businesses.  I opposed Governor Malloy’s proposals on all of this. I stood up for small businesses against taxes, I stood up for seniors to reduce costs, I stood up for veterans to improve healthcare, and I stood up for our local education against illogical mandates.

Integrity matters in this election and I have never – nor will I ever – put party politics or special interests over the people I represent. We deserve a positive, collaborative, independent voice in Hartford and that’s what I will continue to bring if elected to another term.

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Christine Palm (D) Candidate for House District #36

Biography

Christine Palm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q4: Why are you running for this position?

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

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

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

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

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

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

No responses received.

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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.

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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.

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‘Con Brio’ Hosts Auditions in Old Saybrook, Aug. 28

AREAWIDE — Do you want the challenge of performing glorious music with 70 other dedicated singers hailing from 11 Towns in the region? Why not consider joining the Con Brio Choral Society, a 70-member auditioned, classical chorus performing under conductor Dr. Stephen Bruce.

Rehearsals are on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Road, Old Saybrook, Ct and will begin on Tues., Sept. 4, for the Dec. 2018 concerts. The program includes the baroque masterpiece Te Deum by Czech composter Jan Zelenka along with other pieces.

Concerts will be on Fri., Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. and on Sun., Dec. 9. The chorus will perform  with the Con Brio Festival Orchestra and professional soloists at Christ the King Church at 1 McCurdy Lane in Old Lyme.

Appearing in these photos of Con Brio singers are faces you may recognize as your friends, neighbors, or colleagues:

From Towns east of the CT River: Top Row: John Noyes, Karl Stofko, Next Row, Pam Ryley, Susie Rahr, Middle Row: Tom Meisenzahl, Marilyn Currier, Helen Charov, Elin Larson, and Con Brio Choral Society Music Director Dr. Stephen Bruce

Bottom Row: Heather Meisenzahl, Abby Bruce

From Old Saybrook: Old Saybrook Photo: Wendy Humes Mill, Elizabeth Ramirez-Medina, Phyllis Gregor, Larry Hamre

From Deep River, Chester: Bottom: Emily May, Alicia Melluzzo; Middle: Amy Winchell, Luther Moen, Rolf Peterson; Top: Dan Bernier, Pauline Hyla, Barbara Quinn, Ivey Gianetti, John Williams

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Healthy Food, Farming is Focus of Child & Family’s ‘Farm to Fork’ Benefit Event, June 16


Traditional plowing methods are used at New Mercies Farm where the June 16 ‘Farm to Fork’ event will be held.

How much do you know about the food you eat?  Do you know where it was grown, or how was it planted, cultivated, and harvested? Were any harmful chemicals used? How healthy was the soil it grew in? Or the water that nourished it?

Farm to Fork: The Sustainable Life is a day spent at a local, family-owned farm learning about sustainable farming, organic practices, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and how all of this works together to provide healthy, clean, and locally grown food to our families, restaurants, schools, markets, and shops. It takes place on Saturday, June 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at New Mercies Farm in Lyme.

Baylee Drown and Ryan Quinn, the owner/operators of New Mercies Farm and the farmers at Upper Pond Farm in Old Lyme, are opening New Mercies Farm to us for this one-of-a-kind experience. Baylee and Quinn are both educated farmers, with degrees in biology, education, and sustainable food systems, and apply that knowledge to their farming practices. But farming is more than a job for them; it’s a way of life.

Drown was raised on a dairy farm in Michigan; and Quinn, a Lyme native, grew up surrounded by farmland. Their goal is to feed their community with healthy, beautiful, and tasty produce and to do this in the most ecologically sustainable way. Baylee and Quinn will share with us how they do this and why, while they discuss such topics as the importance of soil health, natural ways to fight pests, how to combat erosion, and more.

Farm to Fork attendees will tour the farm fields and hoop houses where produce is growing at various stages of development. You’ll see the farm in action — and may even get your hands dirty! Presentations on CSAs, displays on nutrition and organic foods, and planting demonstrations will offer valuable information that you can take with you to use in your own garden or to inform the food choices you make and improve the quality of the food your family consumes.
And for a true “farm to table” experience, attendees at Farm to Fork will also enjoy (included with their ticket) a delicious boxed lunch, creatively catered by Coffee’s Country Market of Old Lyme, which will incorporate ingredients grown at this very farm.
Farm to Fork: The Sustainable Life takes place on Saturday, June 16, from 11am to 3pm, rain or shine.  Advance tickets for Farm to Fork are $45, which includes tours, talks, presentations, and a boxed lunch. 
NOTE: Tickets are limited to 200, and advance purchases are strongly encouraged. Ticket availability cannot be guaranteed on June 16. (Tickets purchased on June 16, IF AVAILABLE, will be priced at $50. Tickets are available now online by visiting http://www.childandfamilyagency.org/event/farmtofork/ and clicking on the Eventbrite link; or download an order form and send a check (made out to Child & Family Agency) to P.O. Box 324, Old Lyme, CT 06371.
Questions?  Email cfa.lolauxiliary@gmail.com.  Follow us on facebook at www.facebook.com/events/2034637750188871/.
Proceeds from Farm to Fork will benefit the programs and projects of Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture children and families to develop their strengths through service, partnership, and advocacy. With offices in New London, Essex, and Groton, and a professional staff of 170, Child & Family Agency is the largest nonprofit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut.
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Enjoy Chester’s Holiday Market on Sundays Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

CHESTER – Local farms and artisans will sell their honey, fish, maple syrup, cheese and more along the sidewalks in the town center while merchants serve food and drink and offer unique holiday gift ideas during the four Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Called Holiday Market, this annual event features food from the vendors in the popular Summer Sunday Market from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. including Upper Pond Farm, Wood-Fired Pizza, the Hay House, Terra Firms Farm, Maple Breeze Farm, Four Mile River, The Local Catch and more.

The Sundays also give merchants a chance to show visitors their specialties.

On Dec. 3, pink flamingos will arrive at Lark.

At Lark, on Nov. 26, it’s 20 percent off all socks; on Dec. 3, pink flamingos will arrive and a new line of cotton clothes will be introduced; Dec. 10: the Sugar Bakery Cupcake Truck will be in front of the store and on Dec. 17: snowball gifts for all customers.

Maple and Main Gallery will have a silent auction for four paintings on each Sunday and will serve cookies and hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes.

‘Old Cottage by the Sea’ will be sold by silent auction at Maple & Main Gallery.

On Nov. 26, from noon to 3 p.m. at Dina Virano’s, author Cynthia Parzych will sign her book, “Connecticut Made.” The following Sunday, knits in alpaca and cashmere will be offered; a nature-inspired tabletop collection will be featured Dec. 10 and on Dec. 17, accessories that sparkle will be highlighted.

Photographer Caryn B. Davis will sign copies of her new photography book “A Connecticut Christmas: Celebrating the Holiday in Classic New England Style” at the Leif Nilsson Spring Street Studio & Gallery from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first three Sundays.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit Homewardboundct.org. that finds homes for rescue dogs.

At the French Hen, scrumptious holiday treats will be served and at Strut Your Mutt on the third Sunday, holiday pictures with Santa will be offered.

And, at downtown businesses, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, shoppers can opt to round up to the nearest dollar on their purchases with the proceeds going to charities of the business’s choice.

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Middlesex Hospital Hospice & Palliative Care to Hold 33rd Annual Remembrance Service Today

AREAWIDE — Middlesex Hospital Hospice and Palliative Care will hold its 33rd annual Service of Remembrance on Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. Doors will open at 1:15 p.m.

The service is nondenominational and will honor the memory of those who died from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017 while receiving care under the Hospital’s Hospice and Palliative Care Program.

Anyone can attend this event, which will be held in the auditorium of Mercy High School in Middletown.

For more information, call 860-358-8852.

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Children’s Tree Montessori School Hosts Family Fall Festival Today

On Saturday, Oct. 14, the Children’s Tree Montessori School at 96 Essex Rd., Old Saybrook, hosts a Family Fall Festival from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with pumpkin painting, face painting, music and fun activities.

Admission is free and all are welcome.

Rain date is Oct. 15.

For more information, visit www.childrenstree.org  or call 860-388-3536.

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It’s ‘First Friday’ Next Friday in Chester, June 1!

‘Around the Mark’ by Vanessa Piche. The opening for her solo show, ‘Summer Tides’ is on First Friday, June 2, in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery.

CHESTER – Live music, homemade vin d’orange, a revamped store and restaurant, pottery show, new jewelry collections, sale on spring and summer scarves, cosmopolitans, wine tastings, French Fizz cocktails and art openings are all part of First Friday, June 2, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Homemade vin d’orange and orange-thyme cookies are being offered at the Perfect Pear while the former Elle Design, now Harvest Moon, will reveal its newly renovated space with a mixed media art opening, live music and wine tasting.

There are changes at Good Elephant, too, which has moved upstairs under new ownership while L&E has returned to the downstairs space and is celebrating by serving First Friday French Fizz cocktails. Complimentary bar snacks at the bar from 5 to 6:30.

The opening reception for a solo show of oil paintings of New England scenes by Rhode Island artist Vanessa Piche is being featured in Maple and Main’s Stone Gallery from 5:30 to 8 p.m. There will be wine and food. View the Spring exhibit and “Little Gems’ show of 8×8 paintings.

At Leif Nilsson Spring Street Gallery, listen to Arrowhead play and view the Nilsson & Newton show which closes after this weekend.

A “Dive into Summer” party is taking place at French Hen with the launching of a jewelry line from Spain, 10 percent off all Simon Pearce pieces and the serving of mini sparkling cosmopolitans.

Lark is offering spring/summer scarves for $15 each and serving drinks and “something tasty” while BlackKat Leather is featuring a display of pottery by Julie Bonilla of Studio B Pottery in Haddam and serving wine.

Favorite rose wines will be served in a wine tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Chester Package store.

Dina Varano collects beach and river stones to incorporate into her jewelry – her newest collection will be unveiled First Friday; wine will be served.

If you are a member of the Chester Historical Society or join by Friday evening, you are invited the society’s opening reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Chester Museum at the Mill.. Enjoy the Society’s summer-long exhibit: “Postcards and Three Notables.” Food and drink and a 10 percent discount in the gift shop are being offered.

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US Coast Guard in New Haven Hosts Open House, May 20

The US Coast Guard at 120 Woodward Ave. in New Haven hosts an Open House on Saturday, May 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Niko’s Snow Blankets the Region

A winter wonderland. Photo by Jerome Wilson.

AREAWIDE — Winter Storm Niko pounded the Tri-Town region yesterday dropping some 12 inches of heavy, wet snow, thus creating some challenging snow-clearing.  It also created some picture-perfect snow scenes like the one captured above.

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Handweavers’ Guild of CT Presents “Weavers’ Haven” in New Haven Through April 30

AREAWIDE — “Weavers’ Haven,” the Juried 2017 Biennial Show of the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut will opened April 1, at the River Street Gallery at Fairhaven Furniture, 72 Blatchley Avenue in New Haven, CT. Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.

The show offers a creative, colorful and masterful wonderland of original handwoven works of all kinds from the practical to the artistic created by handweavers from across the state.  Works by a number of handweavers from the Tri-Town area are featured in the show.  Admission is free.

The opening reception and awards ceremony were held Saturday, April 1, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Demonstration Day will take place on Saturday, April 8, from 11 to 3 p.m. The show will be open through April 28.

Hand spinners demonstrate their craft.

Founded in 1948, the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut invites handweavers, spinners and other fiber artists from all levels of experience to exchange ideas and share knowledge, to encourage and educate, to stimulate creativity and to challenge their abilities in fiber art techniques.

For more information about the show, visit the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut website or contact Barbara Smith at 860.608.9708 or smith.assoc1@gmail.com

About the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut: The Guild meets five times a year on the third Saturday of the month, bimonthly from September through May. All meetings are held at the Congregational Church of South Glastonbury, located at the intersection of Main & High Streets in South Glastonbury, CT. For more information, visit the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut website

About River Street Gallery at Fairhaven Furniture: In 2003, Fairhaven Furniture renovated a former workspace in our building into an expansive, loft-like showroom… and a gallery was born. River Street Gallery showcases fine art and craft by regional artists in combination with high-quality, artisan-made furniture in a warm and welcoming environment.  For more information, visit their website.

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Two New Exhibitions on Show at Lyme Art Association

‘Sentinels’ is one of the signature paintings of the 25th Annual Associated Artist Show on view at the Lyme Art Association.

The opening reception for two exhibitions at the Lyme Art Association (LAA) will be held this afternoon, Sunday, Jan. 29, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the LAA, 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Conn.  All are welcome and admission is free.

The  25th Annual Associate Artist Show and Sale of landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture by Associate Artist members is currently on view in the Association’s front galleries, and runs through March 10.  Pulled and Pressed, which showcases hand-pulled prints by LAA members of all levels and members of Stonington Printmakers Society as invited guests, is on display in the Goodman gallery, and also runs through March 10.

“The Annual Associate Artist Show and Sale highlights the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members. This exhibition includes a variety of subjects, media, and styles: paintings or sculptures that capture the range of human emotion, the beauty and grandeur of the Connecticut landscape, or the personal objects and surroundings of everyday life,” states Jocelyn Zallinger, LAA’s Gallery Manager.

The juror of selection and prizes is Patricia Shippee of Old Lyme. Shippee is an accredited senior member of the American Society of Appraisers.  Her expertise has been acquired through her corporate business experience, her studies in art history, and as a collector, gallery owner, curator.

“The Pulled and Pressed show in the Goodman Gallery celebrates the beauty of original contemporary representational hand-made prints.” Juror Helen Cantrell, an Old Lyme resident, is a painter and printmaker, an artist member of Boston Printmakers, the Center for Contemporary Printmaking in Norwalk, and the Silvermine Guild of Artists in New Canaan.

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community.

The LAA is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm, or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org.

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Join a ‘Raptors Field Trip’ With Essex Land Trust, Feb. 4

Eyeing the sky for eagles, hawks and owls on last year’s Essex Land Trust birding trip.

ESSEX — Eagles, hawks and owls: Essex Land Trust is offering an outing to search for birds of prey that winter in our region on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 1 to 5:30 p.m.  The trip will be led by Jim Denham of the Essex Land Trust and Andrew Griswold of the Connecticut Audubon Society.

Meet at the Essex Town Hall Parking Lot. Bring a snack and beverage, binoculars and warm clothes.

Two vans are available to seat the first 15 people who sign up. To reserve, please contact Judy Saunders at: judith.saunders@comcast.net by Jan. 31. Inclement weather cancels.

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Honoring Our Veterans Today

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Ceremonies honoring our veterans will be held in Region 4 schools today.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

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Learn All About Adoption at ‘Adoption Fair’ to be Held in Southbury, Nov. 5

AREAWIDE — Have you or someone you know been considering starting or expanding your family?

There are many children who absolutely deserve and want to be a part of a loving family.

Invest a few hours of your time and let the Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Coalition Team show you how the adoption process works; all of the support available both pre- and post-adoption; and the rewards of adoption and starting or growing your family.

The Foster, Adoptive and Kinship Coalition Team is bringing together adoption agencies from across Connecticut, the Department of Children and Families, the Heart Gallery and other organizations involved in adoption support services so Connecticut families can learn more about the process of becoming an adoptive parent.

Attend this National Adoption Month Adoption Fair in Southbury on Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at United Church of Christ, 283 Main St North. Representatives from adoption agencies from Connecticut and Massachusetts will be hosting information tables where you can ask questions, pick up information and mingle. There will be speakers representing domestic, international and foster-to-adopt throughout the day.

Refreshments will be available.

For more information, call Annie C Courtney Foundation and ask for Deb Kelleher at 475.235.2184.

For general information, visit www.anniec.org

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First Church, Middletown, Welcomes All to Christmas Candlelight Concert, Dec. 11

christmas-candlesOn Sunday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m., First Church (UCC) in Middletown will host a Candlelight Christmas Concert.  The concert is free and open to the public (donations appreciated).  The concert will feature classical, and modern Gospel and spiritual selections from the church’s choirs, bell choir, and the Court Street quartet; as well as Christmas readings and carol singing.
A reception will follow the concert.
First Church in Middletown is at 190 Court Street; there is plenty of free parking nearby.
For additional information about First Church services or programs, call the church’s office manager at 860-346-6657.
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Sales Tax Free Week Ends Tomorrow

AREAWIDE — It’s August, which means Connecticut’s annual “Tax-Free Week” is just around the corner.

The annual sales tax holiday week — during which most individual clothing and footwear items costing less than $100 are exempt from state sales tax — will run from Aug. 21-27.

This is the 16th consecutive year in which the state has held the tax holiday week, which always coincides with back-to-school shopping.

“The tax holiday has become a staple of Connecticut’s back-to-school shopping season,” Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan said in a statement. “Many retailers schedule sales … ”

Click here to read the full article by Cara Rosner, which was published Aug. 16 on CTNewsJunkie.com — a member of the Independent Media Network LLC (IMN) of which Shoreline Web News LLC, owner of LymeLine.com, is also a member.

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Three Wood-fired Pizza Pop-Up Dinner Events at Stonewell Farm, Sept. 16-18

KILLINGWORTH — Chef Paul Barron and Weekend Kitchen team up with Stonewell Farm to host three evenings of farm-to-table dining on Friday, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m., plus Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18, both at 5:30 p.m.

Gather some friends and enjoy a glass of wine, great food featuring artisanal pizzas prepared in Stonewell Farm’s wood-fired oven, and live acoustic guitar in an outdoor setting. To cap it off, the evening will conclude with a bonfire in the stone firepit. (Guests are encouraged to BYOB).

Hosts, Andrew Pighills and Michelle Becker, are award-winning garden designers and prior to the meal, will provide tours of the extensive gardens including perennial borders, an espaliered orchard, and the organic kitchen and herb gardens from which much of your meal will be sourced.

The prix-fixe menu includes appetizers, organic salad from Stonewell Farm, unlimited artisanal wood-fired pizzas highlighting locally sourced ingredients with a glass of wine accompaniment, and a dessert made with local, seasonal fruits. Tickets are $75 per person.

For more information and/or to make a reservation, visit this link.

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Summer Reading Book Discussion Open for John Winthrop Students, July 14

dark gameREGION 4 – All John Winthrop students, from Chester, Deep River and Essex, are encouraged to sign up for the book discussion at Chester Public Library on Thursday, July 14, to earn credit for their school’s summer reading requirement.

The group will discuss The Dark Game: True Spy Stories from Invisible Ink to CIA Moles by Paul B. Janeczko.

Students can pick up a copy of the book, while they are available, at the circulation desk at the library to read in advance of the discussion. The discussion will be held at 5 p.m. at the library on July 14. Refreshments will be served.

Preregistration is required and space is limited. Students’ required “notes” will be completed at the discussion.

Chester Library is at 21 West Main Street (Rte. 148) in Chester. Phone number, 860-526-0018.

 

 

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Learn How to Tie Flies & Fly Fish at Chester Library, June 25

fish artCHESTER – On Saturday June 25, from 10 a.m. to noon, the Chester Library will present a free workshop on the craft of fly tying and how to fly fish for ages 10 to 15.

The instructors will be Chester resident John Merola and Old Lyme resident Mark Lewchik. John and Mark have both been fly fishing and fly tying since around the age of ten; they are considerably older now! They bring over 80 years of combined experience to the table at this event.

Attendees will learn about the materials and tools of fly tying and then be given the opportunity to tie a fly or two themselves. Next, the group will learn about the basic equipment required for fly fishing with an emphasis on fishing for panfish and trout. Finally, the group will go to the library lawn and learn how to fly cast.

Space is limited to 10 people, so preregister is required. Call the library at 860-526-0018. 

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Protect Yourself from Fraud! Learn More This Friday

635525179562655616-aarp-fraud-watchAREAWIDE – Senator Art Linares, Senator Paul Formica, Representative Devin Carney will present an AARP Fraud Protection Forum at Estuary Council of Seniors, 220 Main St., Old Saybrook, on Friday, June 24, from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network has been invited to present “The Con Artist’s Playbook.” All are welcome.
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“Friend Raising” Reception in Essex for HOPE Partnership, Wednesday

hope
AREAWIDE –
HOPE Partnership, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing affordable housing options on the shoreline and lower Middlesex County, is hosting a free reception on Wednesday, March 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the River Valley Junction Gallery at Essex Steam Train.

The reception, which is HOPE’s annual “FRIEND Raiser,” is sponsored by Page Taft and Essex Steam Train. The event will include a cocktail hour, complete with appetizers, beer and wine, and is free to all who wish to attend.

HOPE is inviting all interested members of the community to come together and learn about HOPE’s mission to develop affordable housing options along the shoreline.  Executive Director Lauren Ashe noted, ”The issue of the need for affordable housing is often surrounded by myths, which we work to dispel.  Residents in need of affordable housing may be working full time but unable to make ends meet for their family or they may be young adults who wish to stay or return to the area where they grew up.   This evening is about friendship, partnership and educating the community while enjoying a glass of wine and refreshments at an amazing venue.”

Anyone interested in attending can RSVP to Loretta@HOPE-CT.org or by calling 860-388-9513. More information about HOPE at http://www.hope-ct.org/

Editor’s note: Founded in April 2004, HOPE Partnership is a non-profit organization committed to advocating and developing affordable housing opportunities to support families living and working in southern Middlesex County and surrounding towns.  HOPE’s purpose is to advocate for and create high-quality rental housing targeted to people earning between 50% and 80% of the local median income.

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Needleman Purchases New Home Site at Foxboro Point for $1.375 Million

Needleman’s new home will be immediately to the right of the iconic windmill on Foxboro Point.

Needleman’s new home will be immediately to the right of the iconic windmill on Foxboro Point.

ESSEX — Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman has purchased a site for a new home on Foxboro Point for $1,375,000.  The First Selectman’s property is located immediately to the right of the iconic windmill at Foxboro Point.

In discussing his purchase, Needleman estimated that it will take, “a couple of years,” before he can move into a new home on his Foxboro Point property.

Needleman presently lives in the Book Hill Woods area of Essex.

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Tara Maloney, Country School Alumna, Delivers Elmore Leadership Talk

Tara Maloney speaks with Country School students

Tara Maloney speaks with Country School students

MADISON – Tara Maloney, a Madison resident and junior at Hopkins School, visited The Country School recently to speak about her experiences at the School for Ethics and Global Leadership in Washington, D.C. Maloney’s lecture came as part of the Country School’s Elmore Leadership Speaker Series.

A 2013 graduate of The Country School, Maloney was one of 24 students from across the country selected to attend the semester-long program at the School for Ethics and Global Leadership. The school’s mission – “to provide intellectually motivated high school juniors who represent the diversity of the United States with the best possible opportunity to shape themselves into ethical leaders who create positive change in our world” – mirrors the mission of the Elmore Leadership program.

A school-wide initiative at the coeducational, preschool-8th grade independent school in Madison, the Elmore Leadership Program was created to develop students into civic-minded citizens who are prepared to become tomorrow’s leaders. Through a carefully crafted series of activities, programs, and experiences, Country School students are taught strong motivational and analytical skills. They learn the power of teamwork, collaboration, empathetic listening and appreciative inquiry by taking turns leading and letting others lead.

Inviting outside speakers to campus is also an essential component of the Elmore Leadership program, providing students opportunities to be inspired by real-world stories of leadership and decision-making.

The Elmore Leadership Program is named for longtime Country School trustee Robert W. Elmore, a lawyer, educator and organizational development consultant who focused on issues related to listening and leadership.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child. Signature programs such as Elmore Leadership, Public Speaking, STEAM and Outdoor Education help prepare students for success in high school and beyond. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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Chester Plant Sale to Benefit Land Trust and Library, May 14

flower pots 2 web

CHESTER – Chester Land Trust and Chester Public Library are teaming up to sponsor a Plant Sale on Saturday, May 14, featuring locally grown and native plants.

Chester residents are dividing their perennials, digging up their tree seedlings, and potting up extra houseplants to donate to the sale, and Ballek’s in East Haddam is contributing native perennials and mixed vegetable flats. An abundance of clay flowerpots have been donated as well.

All donated plants will be sold at very reasonable prices, with all proceeds from the sale benefiting the Land Trust and the Chester Library.

The sale will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Carini Preserve on Water St. (Rte. 154), next to the public parking lot at 20 Water Street. Master gardeners will be on hand to answer your plant care questions. More information is available at the library (860-526-0018).

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The Country School Hosts Screening of “Most Likely to Succeed” and Panel Discussion

MADISON – The Country School welcomed 200 educators, parents, and students to campus for a screening of Most Likely to Succeed, the thought-provoking film about the future of education. A panel discussion after the screening featured Tom Scarice, Superintendent of the Madison Public Schools; Douglas Lyons, Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools; and Laura Pappano, an award-winning journalist who has written widely about school reform. John Fixx, Head of School at The Country School, moderated the discussion.

Most Likely to Succeed, directed by Greg Whitely, examines the current educational system in the United States and considers the ways it may need to change if it is to prepare the current generation of students for success in the future. The film screening and panel discussion, which were free and open to the public, came as part of The Country School’s Teacher Institute – Partnering with Parents series. As a community dedicated to teaching and learning, The Country School is committed to offering educational opportunities not only to students, but to parents, teachers, and the broader public.

The Country School, celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus in Madison. The Country School is committed to active hands-on learning and a curriculum that focuses on the whole child. In addition to vigorous academics, The Country School is committed to a vital arts program, strong offerings in physical education, and challenging opportunities for growth. Signature programs include STEAM, Elmore Leadership, Public Speaking, and Outdoor Education. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

 

The panel discussion featured (L-R) Douglas Lyons, Laura Pappano, Tom Scarice and John Fixx

The panel discussion featured (L-R) Douglas Lyons, Laura Pappano, Tom Scarice and John Fixx

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Old Saybrook High School Hosts 4th Annual Electronics Drive, April 30

CaptureOld Saybrook High School Ecology Club will host its 4th Annual Electronics Drive on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Old Saybrook High School.

Help support the environment as well as local organizations that support young mothers and fathers within the shoreline by donating your old/used electronics and metal recyclables. All donated items will be recycled and redeemed for diapers, formula and other baby needs to help support local single mothers and fathers in the area.

The following items will be accepted:

1.  Electronics of any kind including computers, laptops/desktops, tablets, all computer-related gear, old/outdated household appliances (big & small), cell phones, etc.

2. Wires, cables, cords of any kind (i.e.,cell phone chargers, extension cords, computer cables, etc.)

3. Non-working lawnmowers & motors of any kind (i.e., blowers, scooters, generators, saws, vacuums, etc.)

4. Lead batteries of any kind (car, truck, boat, power-wheels)

5.  Appliances of any kind (washer, dryer, microwave, stove, AC units, humidifiers)

6. Odds & ends of metal items (chairs, aluminum, copper, iron, file cabinets–all bulk metal)

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Reynolds Subaru 6th Annual Pet Adoption Event, April 9

subaru 2LYME – Reynolds Subaru and Boats is holding its sixth annual Adopt a Pet event Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We all are looking for the common goal of saving these homeless animals and giving them wonderful lives,” said Hayden Reynolds. “Our past events have brought together the public in more ways than one to help achieve this goal and we are grateful for our customers, community and sponsors who are passionate about helping animals.”

At last year’s event many pets found their new homes and Reynolds Subaru is on a mission to double that this year.

The event will take place at Reynolds Subaru, 264 Hamburg Road, Lyme. There will be complimentary food, refreshments, raffles, and, of course, pets looking for their forever home.

For more information on this event follow www.facebook.com/ReynoldsSubaru or call 860-434-0028.

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Tri-Town Youth Services Hosts New Toddler Play Groups Through March

TRI-TOWN — Calling all toddlers!

Tri-Town Youth Services at 56 High St. in Deep River offers play groups led by Parent Resource Coordinator Allison Abramson.  The groups offer a mixture of free play, music, art, and story time.  Caregivers have a chance to chat with each other and browse the parent resource library.

Both groups run on Wednesdays from Jan. 6 through March 9.  Outstanding Ones meets from 11 to 11:30 a.m. with a cost of $45 for tri-town residents and $55 for non-residents.  Terrific Twos meets from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. with a cost of $60 for Tri-Town residents and $70 for non-residents.  Register at www.tritownys.org or call Tri-Town at 860-526-3600.

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex. The organization coordinates and provides resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.  Discover programs and information for families, as well as opportunities for community collaboration at www.tritownys.org

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Chester Business Raises Funds for Shoreline Soup Kitchens

Shoreline Soup Kitchens logoAREAWIDE – On Friday, Feb. 5, Roto Frank of America, Inc. will present a check for $2,867 to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries. The presentation will be made by Chris Dimou, President and CEO of Roto Frank of America, Inc., and Sue LeMire, HR/General Accounting Manager. The donation will enable the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries to provide enough food for more than 7,350 meals.

The funds were raised during an employee campaign that ran from February to December 2015. After identifying five local charities, employees voted to select the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries as the recipient of their campaign efforts in 2015.

Employees voluntarily elected to make donations via payroll deduction as well as supporting a variety of fundraising events such as bake sales, pancake breakfasts and raffles. In addition to the money raised by Roto Frank employees, the organization also collected and donated more than 300 pounds of canned goods and pasta.

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries provides food for families in need through its pantries located in Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton, Old Lyme and East Lyme and meal sites in Centerbrook, Essex, Deep River, Chester, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton and Old Lyme.

Founded in 1979, Roto Frank of America, Inc. is a Chester-based manufacturer of window and door hardware. For more information, visit www.rotohardware.com.

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Families Invited to Purim Spiel and Carnival, March 20

AREAWIDE – Join in the fun at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) at the annual kids Purim Spiel and Carnival on Sunday, March 20, from 10 a.m. until noon. Kids are welcome to come in costume (Queen Esther, Haman or anything of their choosing) and be part of the Costume Parade.  Admission and games are free.  Lunch is available for purchase and the proceeds will benefit the Youth Group Program.  This is a perfect activity for families with children up to age 12.

CBSRZ is a reform synagogue located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester. For more information, contact the office at 860-526-8920.  Visit the website at www.cbsrz.org and visit on Facebook at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek.

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Addams Family on Stage at Valley Regional, March 11-13

REGION 4 – They’re creepy and they’re kooky!  This year’s musical, The Addams Family, will be performed the weekend of Friday, March 11, through Sunday, March 13, at Valley Regional High School in Deep River. The cast, crew and pit are putting the finishing touches on staging, lights and songs as they prepare for opening night. Ingrid Walsh, director, comments, “I’m just speechless and so proud of how much and how far the cast has dared to go to join the Addams Family.

From the dancing and singing to the elaborate scenery, props, makeup and costumes, this is one show that is not to be missed. There are sure to be feelings of nostalgia for those who grew up watching this iconic show.

Performances are offered on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. Tickets are $12 each for all shows, except the Saturday matinee ($10). They can be purchased at Celebrations, The Wheatmarket, Elephant Crossing, Toys Ahoy and Valley Regional. Those with questions can call the school at 860-526-5328 and speak with Tina Stoddard.

Starring in The Addams Family at Valley Regional: front row (L-R): Jonny Leffingwell, Miranda Holland, Nathan Russo and Maggie Walsh; back: James D’Amico, Zane Bouregy, Mitch Conrad and Annie Brown. Photo by Joseph’s Photography

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Valley Regional Presents “The Addams Family,” March 11-13

addams family artREGION 4 — Valley Regional Musical Productions will present a new musical comedy, “The Addams Family,” on the weekend of March 11-13 at Valley Regional High School in Deep River.

The musical is based on the characters drawn and made famous by Charles Addams.

Rehearsals have already begun under the direction of Ingrid Walsh. “The Addams Family” features a cast of 73 and a crew of 30 with an additional nine students in the music pit.

Four shows will be presented: Friday, March 11, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 12, at 1 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 13, at 1 p.m.

Tickets for all seats are $12 except for the Saturday matinee, which will be $10. Tickets will be available beginning Jan. 31 at the school, Celebrations, Elephant Crossing, Toys Ahoy, and The Wheatmarket.

“The Addams Family” cast members (L-R): front: Miranda Holland, Nathan Russo; second row: Maggie Walsh, Connor Riordan, James D’Amico, Annie Brown, Jonny Leffingwell; back: Dilan Rojas, Jennifer Roberts, and Mitch Conrad

“The Addams Family” cast members (L-R): front: Miranda Holland, Nathan Russo; second row: Maggie Walsh, Connor Riordan, James D’Amico, Annie Brown, Jonny Leffingwell; back: Dilan Rojas, Jennifer Roberts, and Mitch Conrad

The Valley Regional Musical Program (VRMP) has been under the direction of Ingrid Walsh since 1998 and has been recognized by the Connecticut High School Music Theatre Awards multiple times for such awards as Outstanding Hair and Makeup, Outstanding Sound Design, and Outstanding Actress, among others.

The VRMP won awards for Outstanding Production of the Year in 2012 for “Titanic” as well as Outstanding Chorus in 2012 and 2013. Last year VRMP was honored with the inaugural “The Future of Theatre Award,” recognizing its success in producing the new musical show, “Band Geeks.”

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US Navy Concert Band Performs in New London, March 10

The US Navy Concert Band will give a free concert at the Coast Guard Academy on March 10.

The US Navy Concert Band will give a free concert at the Coast Guard Academy on March 10.

AREAWIDE – The U.S. Navy Concert Band is stopping in New London, one of 23 cities in five states, to perform during its 2016 tour. This is one of the Navy’s signature outreach programs.

The Navy Concert Band performance is scheduled for Thursday, March 10, at 8 p.m. at Leamy Concert Hall, at the Coast Guard Academy, 15 Mohegan Avenue, New London.

The Navy Concert Band, the premier wind ensemble of the U.S. Navy, presents a wide array of marches, patriotic selections, orchestral transcriptions and modern wind ensemble repertoire. As the original ensemble of the Navy Band, the Concert Band has been performing public concerts and participating in high-profile events for nearly 90 years.

One of the U.S. Navy Band’s primary responsibilities involves touring the country. All of the band’s primary performing units embark each year on concert tours throughout specified regions of the country, allowing the band to reach out to audiences in areas of the country that do not have opportunities to see the Navy’s premier musical ensembles on a regular basis. The concerts are family-friendly events, meant to be entertaining to veterans, families, individuals and those interested in joining the Navy.

All Navy Band performances are free and open to the public. No tickets are required. For other dates and other cities where the Navy Concert Band is performing, check the Navy Band website here.

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From Blues to Classical Guitar: Four Collomore Concerts at Chester Meeting House This Fall 

Robbie Collomore SeriesCHESTER — For its 42nd season, the Robbie Collomore Music Series will offer all four of its concerts in the fall, between Sept. 27 and Nov. 29. As always, the Collomore Committee, chaired by Martin Nadel, has chosen a mix of music genres for the season. All four concerts will be on Sundays at 5 p.m. in the Chester Meeting House.

Beginning the season, on Sept. 27, is the Barbara and Edmund Delaney Young Artists Concert. Cellist Julia Bruskin debuted with the Boston Symphony at age 17 and now performs as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and internationally as a soloist. She will perform in Chester with her husband, Aaron Wunsch, an internationally known pianist and a member of the Juilliard piano faculty.

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton takes center stage on Oct. 18.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Paxton, age 26, is “virtually the only music-maker of his generation—playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ‘30s.”

The Hot Club of Detroit, a jazz ensemble specializing in the Gypsy jazz sound made famous by guitarist Django Reinhardt, performs on Nov. 8, followed on Nov. 29 by classical guitarist Jorge Caballero. He is the youngest musician and the only guitarist to win the Naumburg International Competition, one of the most prestigious and coveted awards given to performers of any instrument.

Buy a season subscription and save money, plus you’ll be certain you will have a seat even when the concert is sold out. A subscription to all four concerts is just $72 (that’s four concerts for the price of three). Individual concert tickets cost $24. For students from elementary through graduate school, a subscription is $15. A student ticket for just one concert is $5. Tickets can be purchased online at www.collomoreconcerts.org using PayPal. All ticket-holders are invited to stay for a reception after the concert to meet the performers. For more information, check the website or call 860-526-5162.

Photo: Check your calendars and order your season subscription for this year’s Collomore Concerts! All the info is on the website.

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RiverQuest Offers ‘Fishes of Lower CT River’ Sunset Cruise This Evening

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Have you ever wondered what is happening under the surface of the Connecticut River? What fish are there and when?  And what is being done to protect the fish and their habitat?

RiverQuest receives questions like these about the fish that inhabit our part of the Connecticut River on every cruise it runs.  RiverQuest is hosting a Sunset Cruise on Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. with Fisheries Biologist Steve Gephard, which presents an opportunity to have all these questions answered.

Gephard is a supervising fisheries biologist with the State of Connecticut, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Inland Fisheries Division.  He is in charge of the Division’s Diadromous (fish that migrate between fresh water and salt water) Fish  Program and its Habitat Conservation Program. He has over 35 years of experience with diadromous fish species and fish passage projects.

This will be a relaxing, informational cruise departing from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam, on which guests are invited to bring a picnic, favorite beverage and any “fishy” questions they have.

RiverQuest will depart from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam at 6 p.m.  The cost per person is $30. To learn more about this informative cruise and reserve a spot via on-line booking, visit ctriverquest.com or call 860-662-0577.

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Carney, Formica to Hold Legislative Wrap-up Tonight in Old Lyme

State Rep. Devin Carney

State Rep. Devin Carney

AREAWIDE — State Representatives Devin Carney (R-23) and Paul Formica (R-20) invite residents to attend a second legislative wrap-up on Monday, July 27.

Legislators will be available to discuss the laws that passed during the legislative session and how these measures will affect area businesses and residents.

Everyone is welcome and the event is free of charge.

The Old Lyme Legislative Update will feature Senator Formica and Representative Devin Carney on Monday, July 27, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, 2 Library Ln, Old Lyme.

Visit www.RepCarney.com for more information and updates.

Editor’s Note:  The 23rd General Assembly District includes the Town of Old Saybrook.

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CT Early Music Festival Continues Tonight with Bach Program in New London

CT Early Music FestivalAREAWIDE — Music and drama have been linked since Antiquity, when Greek drama evolved from choruses that recited poetry. This year’s Connecticut Early Music Festival program explores music’s relationship to the theatrical modes of tragedy and comedy. From the music of the commedia dell’arte to dramatic and comic moments in Beethoven’s violin sonatas, this year’s concerts demonstrate works of music as works of theater.

The festival offers three pairs of concerts over the first three weekends in June. The Saturday, June 20 concert is at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and the Sunday, June 14 concert was at the La Grua Center in Stonington; all the remaining concerts are at Evans Hall in Connecticut College.

Tickets can be ordered online at this link.

The full program for the final concerts this weekend is as follows:

Week Three

The Baltimore Consort
MUSICK’S SILVER SOUND: HEAVENLY
HARMONY AND EARTHLY DELIGHT
IN THE BRITISH ISLES, FRANCE, AND SPAIN
Saturday, June 20 – 7:30 p.m.
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

The Baltimore Consort has delighted audiences on both sides of the Atlantic for 35 years. Its mixed ensemble of viols, recorders, plucked-string instruments, and voice could be called “Shakespeare’s Stage Band.” In this spirit, the ensemble performs existing and new arrangements of tunes popular in Shakespeare’s time from England and Continental Europe.

Connecticut Early Music Ensemble
TRAGEDY AND COMEDY IN BACH’S CANTATAS
Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen (BWV 12) and
Hercules auf dem Scheidewege (BWV 213)
Sunday, June 21 – 5 p.m.
Evans Hall, Connecticut College, New London
Pre-Concert talk by Dr. Eric Rice – 4 p.m.
All are welcome to attend a reception after the performance

These two cantatas by J.S. Bach both contain ravishing music that the composer saw fit to use in later compositions: BWV 12, a meditation on the afflictions Christians have to endure, became the Crucifixus of the Mass in B Minor, and BWV 213, a dramma per musica written for the birthday of the crown prince of Saxony, was recast as part of the Christmas Oratorio.

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