January 31, 2023

No Primaries for Municipal Offices in Chester, Deep River or Essex

Despite caucus contests for some top party nominations, there will be no primaries for positions on the municipal election ballots in Chester, Deep River, or Essex.

Town clerks in the three towns reported Wednesday that no one had filed petitions for the Sept. 13 municipal primary date by the 4 p.m. deadline.  Likewise, no petition candidates emerged for any of the top municipal petitions by the Wednesday deadline.
There were contests for party nominations in Deep River and Essex. In Deep River, former selectman and Democratic Town committee endorsed candidate Russell Marth was edged for the board of selectmen nomination at the July 20 Democratic caucus by planning and zoning commission member Angus McDonald Jr. McDonald defeated Marth at the caucus on an 18-15 paper ballot vote, but Marth, who served a single term on the board of selectmen from 2007-2009 after winning election in 2007 as the nominee of the Deep River Independent Party, decided not to contest MacDonald in a primary.

There will be no contests Nov. 8 for the board of selectmen in Deep River, with Democratic First Selectman Richard Smith uncontested for a record 12th term.  Incumbent Republican Selectman David Oliveria is seeking a second term and McDonald is on the ballot as Smith’s Democratic running-mate.

In Essex, Democratic Selectman Norman Needleman and running-mate Stacia Libby will face off in the Nov. 8 election with Republican nominee Bruce MacMillian and one-term Republican Selectman Joel Marzi. Democratic First Selectman Phil Miller, in office since 2003, is not seeking re-election.

Needleman and Libby, a former Republican, were challenged at the July 25 Essex Democratic Town Committee endorsement session by Anthony Chirico and Linda Savitsky, but Chirico and Savitsky pledged that evening not to wage a primary after Needleman and Libby won the committee endorsement. MacMillian was challenged at the July 20 Republican caucus by Leigh Rankin, but Rankin pledged not to wage a primary after MacMillan won the caucus on a 36-24 paper ballot vote.

In Chester, Democrat Edmund Meehan is competing for the open first selectman seat with Andrew Landsman, running as the nominee of the Chester Common Ground Party. There is a Nov. 8 contest for board of selectmen between Incumbent Democratic Selectman Lawrence Sypher, incumbent Republican Selectman Tom Englert, and Glen Ryer, running as the selectman nominee of the Chester Common Ground Party.

Chester Republicans did not nominate a candidate for first selectman to succeed three-term Republican-turned Independent First Selectman Tom Marsh, who resigned Aug. 1 to become town manager in Windsor, Vt. Republicans had nominated only a partial Nov. 8 election slate at the July 25 caucus, and indicated they would seek to fill out their slate with additional candidates nominated through a primary petition. But Town Clerk Debra Calamari reported there were no petitions filed for additional Republican candidates by the Wednesday deadline.

CRM educators to lead a guided evening paddle in Pratt Cove Preserve

Essex, CT —  On Tuesday, August 16 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, the public is invited to join Connecticut River Museum educators on a guided paddle in Deep River’s Pratt Cove Preserve.  Bring your own canoe or kayak and explore this rare freshwater tidal marsh, recognized for its exceptional environmental importance.

Guides will discuss the natural and cultural history of the Cove and help identify the abundant wildlife that visit or call it home. Paddlers can also get an up close look at the wild rice that grows in the cove and is just becoming harvestable.

The fee is $5 per person, Museum members are free and pre-registration is required.  For more detailed information and driving directions, call 860-767-8269 or go to Museum’s website at www.ctrivermuseum.org .

The Connecticut River Museum is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the Connecticut River and surrounding valley region.

Local Artist Marian Dock Art Exhibition and Sale at Deep River Library

Example of artwork to be sold at Dec. 5 art sale

Marian Dock, longtime Essex resident, passed away Aug. 30 at the age of 99.  Marian and her late husband, Albert, were founding members of the Connecticut River Museum and owners of Fore Fathers Antiques.  Education was a recurring theme in Marian Dock’s life; so it was when she planned her estate she designated a portion be devoted to help further education. The Deep River Public Library was chosen as the venue for the final showing—and sale—of her oeuvre.  The opening of the memorial showing—more than 30 works—of the Marian Dock Collection will be on Sunday Dec. 5 from 3 till 6 pm, in the Community Room of the Library.

Marian grew up in New York City, where she received her primary and secondary education in the public school system.  She graduated from Pratt Institute, continued her education at New York University, which awarded her a Bachelor’s Degree, then received her Masters in art from Columbia University.  In the 1950’s Marian wrote a children’s show, “Time for Art with Marian Dock,” then staged (as well as produced and directed) the play, with herself in the starring role, at her former public school.

During her years in Essex Marian indulged her artistic endeavors and painted prolifically.  Her work was shown at the Essex Art Association and was included in the annual “Choices” show mounted by the Shoreline Alliance of the Arts.  Her works include local landscapes (which are identified), florals and abstracts, executed in acrylic, oil and watercolor. 

 The collection will remain on display and for sale throughout December.  Proceeds will fund educational programs at the library.   Contact Peggy Maraschiello at RiverWind Antiques, (860) 526-3047 for more information.

Ye Olde English Christmas Faire Weekend at Deep River

Deep River Congregational Church will be hosting a “Ye Olde English Faire” weekend Dec. 3 through Dec. 5, including Dessert by Candlelight, a Christmas Faire, and a Festival of Christmas Music.

On Friday Dec. 3 enjoy Dessert by Candlelight for $6 at the 6:00 p.m. sitting or the 7:30 p.m. sitting.   On Saturday Dec. 4 do your Christmas shopping in decorated booths  filled with homemade decorations, candy, pies ,cakes, wreaths, toys, games, knitted and crocheted items, and much ,much more.  Stop by the Country Kitchen and take home some seafood bisque or loaves of bread.  Visit the Reindeer Restaurant for breakfast or lunch.

On Sunday Dec. 5 enjoy a Festival of Christmas Music at 6 p.m. featuring Bil Groth.  Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 children 6-12, and free for children under 6.

For further information, check out our church website:  www.deepriverchurch.org or email the church at office.drcc@snet.net . To order tickets for the Dessert by Candlelight or Concert, call (860-526-5045) or stop in at the church office Monday – Friday, 9:00 – 2:00.

Deep River Town Meeting Approves Formation of Community Health Committee

DEEP RIVER— Voters at a town meeting Monday approved the formation of a new Community Health Committee that will help coordinate visiting nurse services and manage the charitable fund that was held by the former Deep River Public Health Nursing Agency.

About 25 residents turned out for the town meeting, approving the ordinance establishing the committee on a unanimous voice vote after less than 30 minutes of discussion. Voters also rescinded a March 1975 town meeting ordinance that designated the Deep River Public Health Nurses as the coordinator of visiting nurse services in town.
Concerned about rising costs, voters had discontinued town funding for the separate visiting nurse service in a May 18 referendum. The board of selectmen designated the Centerbrook-based Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley Inc.  to coordinate visiting nurse services for uninsured and underinsured town residents beginning on July 1.

The status of the Memorial Fund, a charitable fund that had been controlled by the directors of now-disbanded  Deep River Public Nurses board of directors, was an unresolved issue after the July 1 change. The board of selectmen developed the plan for the community health committee after a July 22 hearing with guidance from local Judge of Probate, Patricia Damon, and a lawyer from the state Attorney General’s office, which regulates the operation of charitable funds.

The ordinance approved Monday gives the community health committee authority to manage the Memorial Fund as a “special segregated town fund for charitable purposes,” and to develop eligibility criteria for disbursements from the fund. First Selectman Richard Smith said the fund, which currently contains about $72,000, would be managed consistent with the expectations of the doners,” to provide special assistance to needy town residents.”

The ordinance also designates the community health committee as the town’s liaison to Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley, with three of the five committee members also serving as members of the VNLV board of directors. The five-member committee will be appointed by the board of selectmen for two-year terms.