October 31, 2014

Con Brio Christmas Concerts – Dec. 13 & 15

Con Brio Choral Society

Con Brio, the shoreline area’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, will present its Christmas Concert on Friday, December 13, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 3pm, at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme. The concert’s featured work this year is Karl Jenkins’ setting of the Gloria. The second half of the program ranges among settings of traditional carols, new carols, and sacred texts of the season. Dr. Stephen Bruce will conduct the concert. Soloist Cynthia Mellon will join the Con Brio Festival Orchestra and Associate Music Director and keyboardist Susan Saltus to create another stunning concert heralding the season.

Con Brio, which performed Jenkins’ popular L’Homme Arme (The Armed Man) a few years back, is delighted to offer for the concert’s featured work a new major composition of Jenkins (2010), The Gloria. Many say Jenkins is the most performed composer in the world today. The Gloria, hymn of praise at Jesus’ birth, has been a part of the Ordinary of the Mass for many centuries. Configured as a major choral work by many composers over the centuries, the Gloria, Jenkins says, offered him an opportunity to explore how other religions perceive the Divine. Jenkins interweaves Mass texts with his own settings of Psalm and other Biblical texts, Hindu, Buddhist, Tasoist and Islamic texts. As is typical of Jenkins’ work, he uses ethnic percussion instruments indigenous to the cultural text he is working with. The result is a magnificent work which moves among traditional and primeval harmonies and rhythms.

The second half of the concert features traditional carols set to new harmonies and rhythms—“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Ding Dong Merrily on High”—and a newer carol, “This Christmas Tide.” Sacred songs include “Angelus ad Pastores,” a twelve part motet by Gabrieli; for this piece the chorus will, as is now traditional, encircle the magnificent space of Christ the King Church. Mozart’s “Magnificat” offers the audience a prelude of our spring concert, which will feature the entire Dominican Vespers of Mozart with Patricia Schuman as soloist. Mark Butler’s enlivening spiritual, “Glory Hallelujah to the New Born King,” and Stroope’s “Winter” round out the concert.

Con Brio’s Christmas Concert has now become a traditional way to open the Christmas Season. Be sure to be part of it.

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

Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme, Conn., December 13, 2013, 8pm and December 15, 2013, 3pm.

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore Wine and Brew Tasting & Auction – Oct. 25

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT. invites you to join us for a Wine and Brew Tasting & Auction on Friday October 25th between 5:30 – & 7:30. Tickets are available for $25 per person. This event will be held at Essex Meadows, 30 Bokum Road, Essex, CT. All proceeds benefit Literacy Volunteers tutoring programs. Event sponsors include Essex Meadows, Centerbrook Package Store, Aztec Technology People and Bailey Murphy & Scarano, LLC. For more info contact 860-399-0280 or email at info@vsliteracy.org

As an accredited affiliate of ProLiteracy America, LVVS is in its third decade of helping people in Valley Shore towns learn to read, write, and speak better English to improve their lives. These services are free of charge to the student and completely confidential. For further information contact the Literacy Volunteers office by calling or visit our website at www.vsliteracy.org.

Essex Savings Bank Rated 5 Stars – Eighteen Consecutive Years

Essex – Essex Savings Bank has once again earned the highest 5-Star rating for strength and stability from BauerFinancial, Inc. of Coral Gables, Florida, the nation’s leading independent bank rating and research firm. Bauer Financial has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks since 1983. No institution can pay BauerFinancial to rate it, nor can an institution choose to be excluded. Essex Savings Bank has proven its commitment to superiority by earning this top rating for 71 consecutive quarters. Fewer than 10% of the nation’s banks can claim this distinction. In order to do so, the Bank has excelled in areas of capital adequacy, delinquent loan levels and profitability to name just a few. Consistently earning BauerFinancial’s highest rating assures customers and the community that Essex Savings Bank is a strong financial institution that will be able to fulfill their banking needs for years to come.

Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Department and subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc, Member FINRA, SIPC. Investments in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and annuities are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not a deposit, have no Bank guarantee and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency.

Lyme Academy College Hosts Opening Reception Tomorrow for Exhibition by Famed Illustrator Tim O’Brien

TIME magazine cover by Tim O'Brien

TIME magazine cover by Tim O’Brien

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is hosting an opening reception for a new exhibition by acclaimed illustrator and portrait painter Tim O’Brien, tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 11. His exhibit, “Portraits and Illustrations: A Retrospective,” will be on show in the College’s Chauncey Stillman Gallery through Jan. 11, 2014.

The reception is free and open to the public from 6 to 8 p.m. All are welcome.

O’Brien’s detailed and imaginative illustrations have been published most notably on the cover of TIME Magazine, as well as magazines such as Rolling Stone, Fortune, Esquire, Business Week, Playboy and the New York Times, to name only a few.

'Hunger Games' motif.

‘Hunger Games’ motif.

His illustrations have been published by every major book publisher and include the book covers of the popular young adult trilogy, The Hunger Games. In 2006, the U.S. Postal Service issued two postage stamps, Judy Garland and Hattie McDaniel, both created by O’Brien.

O’Brien has received multiple awards and recognitions including ones from the Society of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles, Graphis Inc., Print Magazine, Communication Arts Magazine, the Society of Publication Designers, American Illustration, and the Art Director’s Club. He has over a dozen painting in the collection of the National Gallery, Washington, DC, and is a winner of the prestigious Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O’Brien

Currently a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, O’Brien lectures frequently across the country. His numerous speaking engagements have included the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Society of Illustrators, Syracuse University, School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, and CaliforniaCollege of the Arts.

On Friday, Oct. 18, O’Brien will be giving an “Inside My Studio” lecture at Lyme Academy College. A reception will be held at 6 p.m. before O’Brien speaks from 7 to 8 p.m. Reservations are required at $10 per person or $35 for the series of four lectures. Reservations should be made by contacting Ann de Selding at 860.434.3571 ext. 117 oradeselding@lymeacademy.edu

The Tim O’Brien exhibition, “Portraits and Illustrations: A Retrospective” runs from its opening on Oct. 11 through Jan. 11, 2014. The gallery is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the exhibition or Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, contact the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at 860-434-3571, ext. 135 or ologan@lymeacademy.edu

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts continues the academic tradition of figurative and representational fine art while preparing students for a lifetime of contemporary creative practice. The College offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing, Illustration, Painting, and Sculpture (full- and part-time study); Certificates in Painting and Sculpture, a Post-Baccalaureate program; Continuing Education for adults; and a Pre-College Program for students aged 15-18. The College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the National Association of the Schools of Art and Design, and the Connecticut Department of Higher Education. The College is located at 84 Lyme Street, Old Lyme CT 06371.

For more information about the College, call 860-434-5232 or visit www.lymeacademy.edu.

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Lecture Series Begins at Florence Griswold Museum

Michael Patrick Hearn, Oz Scholar and Author

This week the Florence Griswold Museum kicks off Oz for Adults: Multiple Ways to “Read” the American Icon, a series of five lectures as part of the Wee Faerie Village celebration. In addition to the lecture series, Saturday, October 12th the Museum presents its annual Samuel Thorne Lecture with one of America’s men of letters specializing in children’s literature and its illustration.

Wednesday, October 9th at 6:30 pm Mark J. Schenker, PhD, Senior Associate Dean of Yale College and Dean of Academic Affairs kicks off the lecture series with “You Don’t Really Know The Wizard of Oz Unless You’ve Really Read the Novel.” Dr. Schenker will take a look at the many differences between the L. Frank Baum original classic and the later 1939 MGM film.

Thursday, October 10th at 2 pm, Museum Curator Amy Kurtz Lansing presents: “Oz and Old Lyme: A Curator’s Perspective.” Ms. Kurtz Lansing will provide a spirited presentation revealing an alignment between The Wizard of Oz and the Lyme Art Colony. From forging a new chapter in American art history to Dorothy’s overcoming obstacles along the Yellow Brick Road, the histories share intriguing similarities.

The series continues next week with “Deceptions, Lies & Belief in the Land of Oz,” presented by Brian Miller on Wednesday, October 16th at 6:30 pm. “Finding Oz: How L. Frank Baum Discovered the Great American Story” will be presented by noted biographer Evan I. Schwartz on Wednesday, October 23rd at 6:30 pm. “Oz on Film: From Black and White to Technicolor to IMAX 3-D” will be presented on Wednesday, October 30th at 6:30 pm by Jeanine Basinger, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies at Wesleyan University.

Tickets to the Oz for Adults series are $7 for individual lectures or $30 for the series of five. Museum members pay a discounted fee of $5 for one lecture or $20 for the full series. All Oz for Adults lectures take place at the Florence Griswold Museum, 96 Lyme Street. Go to www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call (860) 434-5542 ext 111 to reserve seats.

Michael Patrick Hearn, Oz Scholar and Author

This Saturday, October 12th at 5pm, the Museum presents noted scholar and author Michael Patrick Hearn and “All About Oz: The Annotated Wizard of Oz.” Hearn is heralded as the world’s leading authority on the Wonderful Wizard of Oz text and its author L. Frank Baum. The event will be held at the Fellowship Hall of First Congregational Church of Old Lyme at 2 Ferry Road. As the Museum’s annual Samuel Thorne Memorial Lecture, the event is free but does require reserved seating. Contact the Museum at (860) 434-5542 ext 111 to reserve.

The adult lecture series is part of the Museum’s month-long Wee Faerie Village in the Land of Oz, featuring a walking tour of faerie houses created by 50 artists and designers. A grant by Connecticut Humanities supports the event including the Oz for Adults lecture series. Additional support come from Mr. and Mrs. Donald Joffray, The Platner Family Foundation and in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Connecticut Office of the Arts. An anonymous donor ensures that children 12 and under enjoy the Wee Faerie Village exhibition for free.

Photo caption: Michael Patrick Hearn, Oz Scholar and Author, is the presenter of the annual Samuel Thorne Lecture, this Saturday, October 12th, 5pm at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. Contact the Florence Griswold Museum at (860) 434-5542 ext 111 to reserve seating for this free event.

Letters: ECSI – Thanks to Our Community and Supporters

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To the Editor:

The Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. (ECSI) is the sole provider of Meals On Wheels to homebound seniors in the nine Estuary towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton, Killingworth, Chester, Deep River, and Essex, and the Town of Madison. We also provide noon meals for active seniors in four café sites. Just about every family on the Shoreline knows someone who is either receiving Meals On Wheels or enjoys meals at our café sites.

Like so many other nonprofits, ECSI has budget cuts and has to tighten its belt. Although we get funding from Senior Resources Area Agency on Aging and donations from our clients, the funding does not cover the cost of providing the meals. We could not provide our services without fund raising events. Our latest Autumn on the Dock Wine Tasting and Auction was held on September 21 and was a success again this year. I would like to thank all those generous people who attended the event and opened their wallets to support our seniors. Len DiBella of Luigi’s was our honorary chairman and an eloquent spokesman for our senior nutrition program.

I urge you to support and thank our great sponsors as they donated $23,350 for our senior nutrition program. They are Scranton Financial Group; Fred Cliffe; Middlesex Hospital; Lenny & Joe’s Fish Tale; First Niagara Foundation; Rachel Thomas Real Estate; the Essex Savings Bank; Tri State Maintenance; Reynolds’ Garage & Marine; the Safety Zone; the Clark Group; the Guilford Savings Bank; Claremont Sales Group; Gladeview Rehabilitation & Health Care; Kitchings & Potter, LLC, Home Instead Senior Care, Ceil Printing, and the Wine Cask.

If you know of a senior in need of our nutrition service, or if you would like to volunteer to drive for Meals On Wheels, please call Peg Barrett at 860-388-1611.

Thank you,

Paula C. Ferrara,
Executive Director

Estuary Council of Seniors Inc.

Transportatation: Metro-North Meltdown

Jim Cameron

First of all, despite what some commuters may recently be thinking, the folks who manage and operate Metro-North are not stupid. Inconsiderate and uncommunicative sometimes, but not stupid.

Metro-North managers and employees are railroad professionals, justifiably proud of the 96+% on-time performance they achieve on one of the busiest commuter line in the US. They want to run a world class railroad. But they can only achieve as much as the states of NY and Connecticut fund them to do.

In recent years our legislature gave MNRR $1+ billion to buy badly needed new railcars, a very visible manifestation to commuters that the state was investing in the railroad. But sufficient funding for inspection and repair of the tracks, the catenary and our 100- year-old bridges is still lacking.

New cars are sexy. Giving them safe tracks to run on and wires to power them, not so sexy.

What happened when Con Ed’s back-up feeder cable failed at 5:30 am on Wednesday Sept 25th was not an act of God, but human error. The two agencies knew the main power cable was going to be out of service and calculated, very wrongly, that the single back-up cable would be sufficient.

This raises a number of questions: Did Con Ed monitor that back-up cable for signs it might fail? Was it wise to save $1 million by not constructing a back-up for the back-up? Does Homeland Security know or care that the entire Metro-North and Amtrak Northeast Corridor were depending on this calculation? How many other power sub-stations are in similar danger?

The effects of this outage are many: the inconvenience to 125,000 daily riders, the economic impact on those commuters’ businesses, and longer-term, the economic recovery of our state and nation.

Governor Malloy quickly called this outage just the latest black eye for our state in his efforts to attract businesses to set up shop in the Nutmeg State. Even if they can tolerate our high taxes, do relocating CEO’s really want to rely on Metro-North to get their employees to and from work or fight the perpetual rush-hour crawl on I-95?

I fear some individual commuters may be reaching the tipping point. There are plenty of other New York suburbs with good schools and more reliable transportation. If fed-up Connecticut commuters decide to vote with their feet and move to Westchester or Long Island, they will take their taxes with them. Remember that Fairfield County pays 40% of all state taxes in Connecticut, so anything that makes our neighborhoods less attractive, hurts the entire state.

And it hurts our house values too. People live in the towns served by Metro-North because they need to rely on those trains to get to high-paying jobs in NYC. When that trust is broken, those towns and their houses become less attractive.

If housing values sag, town taxes will have to go up. The schools will suffer making our towns even less desirable for those leaving the city for the good life in the ‘burbs.

Reliable train service at an affordable price is what makes Fairfield County thrive. When you begin to doubt the ability of the railroad to keep operating, let alone be on time, it may be time to rethink where you live.

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JIM CAMERON has been a Darien resident for 22 years. He is a member of the CT Rail Commuter Council and the Darien RTM. The opinions expressed in this column are only his own. You can reach him at CTRailCommuterCouncil@gmail.com or www.trainweb.org/ct

100 … and Counting: ‘The Good Nurse’ by Charles Graeber

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The amazing Jen Petty Mann continues her book review journey today with her 100th review! So this is a good time to look back on her previous 99 — and if you see her about town or on Facebook (or anywhere else for that matter), take a minute to say a huge thank you to her for always delightful, witty and incisive reviews, which have graced these pages for many years.

The Good Nurse
A True Story of Medicine, Madness and Murder
By Charles Graeber

Two questions. If someone doesn’t see you commit the actual murder but turns a blind eye to the smoking gun are they culpable? If an institutions hands you the gun are they culpable?

Corporate America and organized healthcare have a lot to reckon for with regard to taking health care from personal aid, medicine and bedside reassurance to a money making enterprise with the dollar as God. In doing so they have opened the door to people like Charles Cullen. People with a rage and a desire to hurt others and themselves but lacking the will to walk up to a stranger and shoot them in the face. Murder is murder but a step or so removed may be easier to digest.

Charles Cullen was handed the means to exercise his demons and the means to keep on developing them by a network of people more concerned with personal culpability than the Hippocratic Oath*

The devil’s advocacy aside, there is a murderer who was allowed to operate in a multitude of hospitals with the ultimate outcome being the deaths of hundreds of patients. Human resources ignored or removed evidence of suspicion and likely outright illegal activity to escape responsibility. Subsequently Cullen was free to move on as he chose.

Charles Graeber is the only journalist he would talk to. He is the only man who was given a firsthand view into the dangerously coherent psyche of a mass murderer. Over sixteen years, Charles Cullen murdered up to 300 patients in multiple hospitals. He was investigated, he was terminated, he was promoted and demoted and scrutinized and in every case, until the very end, he was free to go. To acknowledge his crimes was to admit fault in the system. Clearly no one wanted to do THAT.

Graeber meticulously details the sixteen year rampage. He presents a mostly lucid, clever, occasionally compassionate father, son and boyfriend. Many, many people turned a blind eye to something they surely suspected. In frighteningly simple ways, Cullen administered fatal doses of easily stolen medicine to any patient he deemed fit. Possibly his inability to kill himself manifested itself in the murder of hundreds of others.

Graeber does an excellent job analyzing not only the psychotic machinations of Cullen but the horrific culpability of these medical institutions. Criminal on all counts. If it were not for a few brave people who fought tooth and nail to unveil the truth who know how much more Charles Cullen would have done.

An excellent book with a fascinating premise and a very clearly stated summation of event, The Good Nurse is a book you need to read.**

* The Hippocratic Oath( or the updated declaration of Geneva) is an oath historically taken by physicians and other healthcare professionals swearing to practice medicine honestly.There isn’t a legal obligation to take the oath but still as many as 98% of American medical students do.

** and personally, my next illness will be treated by a shaman and a bunch of squirrels out in my yard rather than some of these hospitals. ( I know, I know, im getting letters) sigh.

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Newman Named New Executive Director at Lyme Art Association

The newly-appointed Lyme Art Association Executive Director Joe Newman.

The newly-appointed Lyme Art Association Executive Director Joe Newman.

The Lyme Art Association’s (LAA) Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Joseph F. Newman as Executive Director of the LAA, effective Oct. 1. Newman will be replacing Susan Ballek, who has accepted the position of Director and CEO of the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, CT.

Currently, Newman owns a private firm specializing in American fine art and rare book collection management, and serves as managing partner of Treasure Hill Farm, eastern Connecticut’s 97-acre premier equestrian facility.

Newman was previously responsible for new client development and sales for a major American auction house, as well as a prominent New York City gallery. His fine art career originated in Old Lyme, where he served as director of the Cooley Gallery, responsible for development, sales, and research. Newman received his Bachelor of Arts degrees from Boston College, graduating magna cum laude, and he holds an ALM from Harvard University. Writing as J. F. Newman, he is also the author of The Freeman’s Oath, a novel about the inside world of American rare books and documents.

“For the past two years, Joe Newman has been actively engaged in the Lyme Art Association as a board member, serving on committees dealing with exhibitions planning, development, and the launching of our Second Century Capital Campaign,” says LAA Board President Katherine Simmons. “His enthusiasm and commitment for the mission and values of the LAA, combined with his strong background in the arts and results-oriented style, is a perfect match for the Association’s goals as we embark on our next century of advancing the Lyme tradition of exceptional representational art.”

“The legacy of the Lyme Art Association and its founding artists is extremely important, both for our region and its role in our national art history,” says Newman. “Together with an outstanding and dedicated Board of Directors, I am excited to help lead the LAA and its Second Century Capital Campaign. When complete, the Campaign will strengthen the Association’s standing as an art destination for patrons from throughout the Northeast and beyond, and will improve the LAA’s mission to serve as an educational resource for local artists, schools, and the public. I welcome the community to join us as we embark on an exciting second century.”

The LAA invites its members, friends, and patrons to meet Joe Newman at the Opening Reception of the New England Landscape Invitational Exhibition, to be held on Friday, Oct. 4, from 6 to 8. pm.

The Lyme Art Association was incorporated in 1914 by members of the Lyme Art Colony, which included the American Impressionist masters Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, William Chadwick, and more. These nationally-recognized artists embraced the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as pastoral havens to paint, re-kindle their creative energies, and, via the Association’s celebrated exhibitions, sell their work. Architect Charles A. Platt, designer of the Freer Art Gallery in Washington, D.C and the Lyman Allyn Museum in New London, CT, drafted the plans for the Lyme Art Association Gallery, designed specifically to showcase the art of its founders. The gallery opened in 1921.

Nearly a hundred years later, the Lyme Art Association continues to be a vibrant art center dedicated to producing major exhibitions of representational art in its four light-filled galleries. Annually these exhibitions feature over 2,000 pieces of artwork for exhibition and sale. The Association also offers a busy schedule of affordable art classes, workshops, and lectures. The Lyme Art Association, together with the Florence Griswold Museum, the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, and the Cooley Gallery, helps make Old Lyme the place where American art lives. The Lyme Art Association is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit the LAA online at www.lymeartassociation.org, or contact 860-434-7802 or info@lymeartassociation.org.

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SLDW Hosts Program on ‘Women, Equality & Power,’ Oct. 3

Teresa Younger

Theresa Younger

The Shoreline League of Democratic Women (SLDW) will host a program titled “Women, Equality & Power” with guest speaker Theresa Younger — the executive director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women — on Thursday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. at the Henry Carter Hull Library in Clinton, CT.

There is no admission fee.

Younger will discuss the State of the State for women in Connecticut and beyond. She will cover women’s healthcare, economic security, and other vital issues that impact women and their families.

As Executive Director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), an arm of the General Assembly, Younger ensures the PCSW’s mandate is carried out through policy, strategic planning and operations. Before joining the PCSW, Teresa was the Director of Affiliate Organizational Development at the American Civil Liberties Union National Office, where she assisted affiliates throughout the country with management issues.

She is the first woman and the first African American to have served as executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut.

Younger serves as President of the Board of the Girl Scouts of Connecticut, and sits on the boards of the Universal Health Care Foundation, the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University, and the National Advisory Board on Religious Restrictions to Care.

She was identified by Hartford Business Journal as one of “Eight Remarkable Women in Business,” was named 2012 recipient of Connecticut-NARAL’s Catherine Roraback Award, was among the NAACP’s “100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut” and has continually been recognized for her commitment to civil rights and civil liberties.

The SLDW draws membership from the towns of Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Lyme, Old Lyme, Centerbrook, Essex, Ivoryton, Deep River, Chester, Killingworth, Madison, Guilford and Branford. The SLDW is a social and political fellowship that unites Democratic women along the shoreline, and focuses on issues important to women of all ages.

For more information on the SLDW, email sldworg@gmail.com or contact Kathleen Skoczen at 860-669-7034 or Belinda Jones at 860-399-1147 and visit www.SLDW.org.

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New Board Chairman Elected at Mystic Seaport

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Mystic Seaport announced the election of J. Barclay Collins II as the new chairman of the Museum’s board of trustees. Collins was elected by the Museum’s membership at their annual meeting on Sept. 27. A longtime executive in the energy industry, Collins recently retired as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Hess Corporation.

Prior to joining Hess, he was Vice President and General Counsel of City Investing Company and an attorney with Cravath, Swaine and Moore, the New York law firm. Collins is a passionate advocate for health care, education, and the arts. He serves as the chairman of the board of the United Hospital Fund of New York and is on the board of the New York Botanical Garden among other philanthropies.

An avid sailor, he is a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Shelter Island Yacht Club. Collins earned an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. He has homes in New York, Connecticut, and Florida.

He joined the board at Mystic Seaport in 2008. “We are very excited to have Barclay assume leadership of the board,” President Steve White said. “He brings a level of professional expertise, institutional knowledge, and a passion for our mission that will help us succeed at developing new and exciting ways for the public to explore our collections and understand the importance of our shared maritime heritage.” Collins succeeds Richard Vietor who served as chairman from 2007.

White added his praise for the accomplishments of Vietor, noting his legacy. “The Museum is truly grateful for Richard’s leadership during one of the most challenging periods in the history of the institution. He guided us deftly through a difficult economic environment to not only put Mystic Seaport on sound financial footing, but also to enable us to embark on some of the transformational initiatives critical to the future of Mystic Seaport, including the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan and the construction of a new state-of-the-art exhibition building to transform the north end of our grounds.”

During Vietor’s tenure, the Museum restructured its finances and operations to become a debt-free institution. Vietor oversaw the restoration and launch of the whaleship Charles W. Morgan, the development of a new strategic plan for the institution and its collections, the initial work for the new exhibition hall, and the creation and success of seven America and the Sea Award Galas.

The Museum also welcomed to the board four new trustees in 2013:

  • Grant Cambridge, of Pasadena, CA, is a Senior Vice President and a Portfolio Manager of Capital Group in Los Angeles. In addition to an M.B.A. from Harvard, Cambridge has an M.A. from Suffolk University and a B.A. from Bentley University.
  • Sheila McCurdy, of Middletown, RI, has an extensive background in sailing and is well known in the U.S. racing and cruising communities. She is a graduate of Smith College and holds a M.M.A from the University of Rhode Island.
  • Cayre Michas, of New York City, NY, and Stonington, CT, has long been involved with non-profit and educational institutions and is a Trustee and Secretary for Learning Leaders, Inc. She received her A.B. from Brown University.
  • Waring Partridge of New Haven, CT, is a former senior executive in the telecommunications industry. He is presently the president of the Partridge Family Office. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from Catholic University (U.S.).

Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $24 for adults and $15 for children ages 6-17. Museum members and children 5 and under are admitted free.

For more information, visit www.mysticseaport.org.

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Essex Resident Served on Shore Crew of U.S. Winner of Recent America Cup Race

Essex resident Jason Sanstrom holding the American's Cup after the race

Essex resident Jason Sanstrom holding the American’s Cup after the race

Jason Sanstrom, an Essex resident, played an important role in the recent winning of the America Cup by Oracle Team USA. Jason is the son of Sandy Sanstrom, a Member of the Board of Governors of the Pettipaug Yacht Club in Essex.

The younger Sandstrom, 27, is a specialist in the carbon fiber construction of racing sailboats. Because it is lighter and stronger, carbon fiber construction has become the favorite over fiber glass, in the construction racing, sailboat hulls.

The younger Stanstrom worked not only on this year’s American entry in the 34th America Cup Race, he also worked on the American entry in the 33rd America Cup Race. In this year’s final race the America team, Oracle Team USA, beat out the Emirates Team New Zealand by a mere 44 seconds.

To capture the America’s Cup the U.S. team, funded by Larry Ellison, had first to win seven consecutive races in order to catch up with the New Zealand team. In the final race, initially, the New Zealand boat had a 40 meter lead; however, eventually the wind and the tide favored the Americans in going upwind, which enabled them to win.

The entire cup race lasts barely twenty minutes; the boats are so fast in going around the course.

Author Event at The Kate Benefits Terri Brodeur Cancer Foundation – Oct 27

Big Book Club

The team that launched The Big Book Club Getaway at Mohegan Sun earlier this year is pleased to announce a brand new event on October 27, 2013 at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (“The Kate”). The fabulous line-up of authors includes: Roberta Isleib aka Lucy Burdette, author of the Key West Food Critic murder mysteries, An Appetite for Murder, Death in Four Courses, and Topped Chef; Suzanne Palmieri aka Suzy Hayes, author of The Witch of Little Italy and I’ll Be Seeing You; Brunonia Barry, author of The New York Times and internationally bestselling novel, The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places, and B.A. Shapiro, New York Times bestselling and #1 Indie pick author of The Art Forger. Local authors, Paul Ferrante (Last Ghost at Gettysburg), Sydney Sherman (You are Not Alone), and Eileen Kaplan (Laughter is the Breast Medicine) will also meet guests and sign their books.

Olwen Logan, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and Editor for Lymeline.com, will conduct a lively interview with B.A. Shapiro.

During lunchtime, an art activity will be offered by The Drunken Palette to benefit the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation. http://terribrodeurbreastcancerfoundation.org. A portion of the proceeds from all book sales will also go to TBBCF.

Psychic Medium Angelina Diana will speak about spirit communications and perform random readings throughout the audience.

Tickets are $55 each and include a gourmet boxed lunch and dessert sponsored by Bliss Gourmet of Westbrook. Cash bar and themed cocktails available. Books will be available for sale by R.J. Julia Booksellers. Other sponsors include The Day, the Bee and Thistle Inn, Middlesex Hospital, and Barnum Financial Group. The Big Book Club is a creation of LaFrancois Marketing Consultants and Essex Books.

Register at http://www.thebigbookclub.org/register-here/

Stop & Shop Launches Pick-Up Service at East Lyme Store

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The Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. LLC, in partnership with its sister company Peapod, the leading internet grocer, has launched a new Pick-Up facility in East Lyme at its Super Stop & Shop at 248 Flanders Road East Lyme, CT 06333. Shoppers can now order their groceries online for easy pick-up at the store and choose a one-hour pick-up time from morning through evening.

There are no fees associated with the service, no minimum order, and no need to get out of the car – customers can wait as attendants load groceries right into their vehicle.

Pick-up shoppers can also create personal lists, read nutrition information online, sort products rapidly by price or by nutrition criteria and take advantage of thousands of weekly specials. Stop & Shop cardholders can even shop from a list of items they have bought at their local store simply by entering their Stop & Shop card number online. They can also earn Stop & Shop Gas Rewards and A+ School Rewards points on their pick-up orders.

This new service will also be available at Super Stop & Shop, 99 Linwood Avenue Colchester, CT 06415

The combination of shopping online from a computer or smartphone and picking up groceries from a local Stop & Shop is another convenient option to help fit the needs of busy shoppers.

For more details about Pick-Up in Stop & Shop stores, visit www.stopandshop.com/pick-up.

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Fall Foliage Season Kicks off at the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat – Sept. 6 – 29

The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat is ready for autumn with a special seasonal schedule. From Sept. 6-Sept. 29, guests can enjoy train and boat rides Friday-Sunday through the Connecticut River Valley.

During the peak autumn season, Oct. 3 – Oct. 27, the annual Fall Foliage journey will run five days a week, Thursday-Monday. This trip allows guests to travel through the Connecticut River Valley on a 2

Remembering the Night of Broken Glass – CBSRZ – Nov. 10

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Major General Maurice Rose Post 51 Jewish War Veterans will mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht in a special program on Sunday, November 10, at 5:00 p.m. The event will be held at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, 55 E. Kingshighway, in Chester.

Kristallnacht means the “Night of Broken Glass.” On November 9, 1938, in Nazi Germany and in parts of Austria, synagogues, schools, cemeteries, hospitals, and businesses were destroyed and set on fire. The next day, 35,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

In the coordinated attack, 1,000 synagogues were burned (95 in Vienna alone) and 7,000 Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged. Historian Martin Gilbert writes that no event in the history of German Jews between 1933 and 1945 was so widely reported as it was happening, and accounts from foreign journalists working in Germany sent shock waves around the world. The New York Times wrote at the time: “No foreign propagandist bent upon blackening Germany before the world could outdo the tale of burnings and beatings, of blackguardly assaults on defenseless and innocent people, which disgraced that country yesterday.”

The program will highlight German history leading up to the beginning of the Holocaust, as well as life in the U.S. at the time. Kristallnacht was followed by additional economic and political persecution of Jews. It is viewed by historians as part of Nazi Germany’s broader racial policy, and the beginning of the Final Solution and the Holocaust.

A deli dinner will be served at the program. Reservations may be made by sending a check for $18, payable to “JWV Post 51.” Mail to: Kevin Fox, 304 Colt Highway, #30, Farmington CT 06032. The deadline for reservations is October 20.

Con Brio Youth Choir Auditions – Sept. 21 & 28

Con Brio youth choir

CENTERBROOK – The Con Brio Youth Choir in residence at Community Music School will hold auditions with choir director Lisa Feltes on the 21st and 28th of September from 9am to 1pm at Community Music School, 90 Main Street, Centerbrook. This select ensemble for treble voices ages 9 and up will follow a schedule of 8 rehearsals and 2 dress rehearsals with performances at both the Con Brio Holiday Concerts and Community Music School Holiday Concert. Students must commit to all performances and are allowed to miss one rehearsal.

The choir began as a partnership between Con Brio and Community Music School with the goal of assembling young voices to perform John Rutter’s Mass of the Children. This beautiful piece was performed by 25 youth choir members on April 28, 2013 to a wonderfully appreciative audience and the two organizations are pleased to continue the partnership for their 2013 holiday concerts.

Reservations to audition can be made by calling 860-767-0026. Upon acceptance, the tuition is $75. Rehearsals begin Saturday, October 5th, and continue on Saturday mornings (9:30-10:45am) through December 7th. Dress rehearsals for the Con Brio Holiday Concert are 6:30 to 8pm on December 10th and 12th at the Christ the King Church in Old Lyme.

About the Director: Lisa Feltes has been working with children for over 30 years. She has directed the Children’s Choirs at First Congregational Church of Old Lyme for the past 13 years, is director of Saint Nickolas Songsters for Make We Joy, and presently teaches general/vocal music for pre K-8 in the Preston Public Schools. Lisa directed the Con Brio Youth Choir for the spring 2013 concert.

For additional information, please call 860-767-0026 or visit www.community-music-school.org.

Two Key Hirings Make it a New Day at the Old Lyme Inn

Jason Apfelbaum (right) and two of his staff showing off their motivational poker chips in front of the Old Lyme Inn.

Jason Apfelbaum (right) and two of his staff showing off their motivational poker chips in front of the Old Lyme Inn.

Ever since starting his culinary career, Jason Apfelbaum had dreamed of running his own inn. This summer, that dream came true when he was hired to be the new General Manager of the Old Lyme Inn.

“When I saw the ad, I thought of it as the universe calling my name,” said Apfelbaum. “Both the owners [Ken and Chris Kitchings] and I were keen on bringing the Inn to its full potential.”

Apfelbaum is no stranger to the food and beverage business. After earning his Master’s degree in Culinary Arts and Management at the Institute of Culinary Education, he founded his own catering business, Chef & Company, in New York City. His company became very successful, catering 30 to 40 events a day for large companies such as Google, Mercedes-Benz, Nike, Coach, CBS, and NBC.

Later, Apfelbaum lent his talents to the Morgan Hotel Group, redeveloping their food and beverage program. He was responsible for the operations of two full-service restaurants, a nightclub, and a rooftop lounge, generating over a 300% gain in profits for the hotel chain.

After nothing but success in the Big Apple, Apfelbaum was ready to leave it all for a chance to take on the Old Lyme Inn.

Two days after moving to Old Lyme in July, Apfelbaum gathered the staff for a meeting. He showed them a Youtube video of motivational speaker Gian-Paul Gonzalez, whose “All In” speech became the rallying cry for the New York Giants as they made their way to the Super Bowl during the 2011 season. (Click here to view the video.)

“In poker, when you have a great hand, you push your pot all in,” said Apfelbaum, quoting Gonzalez. “I want my staff giving 100 percent — stepping up and bringing the best of themselves every day.”

As Gonzalez did in the video, so Apfelbaum gave each staff member a poker chip and asked them to write their initials on one side and the date on the other. Workers at the Old Lyme Inn have their poker chip on them at all times, symbolizing their full commitment to their customers and to each other. Ask any waiter, chef, or busboy for their chip and they will pull it out of their jacket pocket and show you.

Apfelbaum sees his business model like an inverted triangle. Rather than people working for him, he is working for everyone else, doing what he has to for the Inn.

He told his staff, “I now work for you. What do you need to for this business to be successful.”

Apfelbaum believes that, just like the Giants, everyone at the Old Lyme Inn has to work as a team and support one another. Everyone should be each other’s greatest fan.

“I think everyone should treat everyone else like their grandma,” says Apfelbaum. “If you saw your grandma carrying a heavy bag, you wouldn’t just watch … you would say, ‘Oh Grandma, let me take care of that.’ At the Old Lyme Inn, we need to constantly be asking, ‘What can I do for you?’”

Chef Jacob Ennis

Chef Jacob Ennis

Apfelbaum hopes that this team spirit will make the Inn a place of “inclusive exclusivity.” He wants entering the Inn to have both the comfortable feeling of coming home, and the alluring appeal of going somewhere new.

“I want to forge emotional connections and lasting memories with every customer that walks through the door,” says Apfelbaum. “People will forget what you do and forget what you say, but they will never forget how they feel.”

Apfelbaum promises that everything will be ready by Oct. 1 — and, in keeping with that promise, just yesterday the Inn announced the arrival of a new executive chef, Jacob Ennis. Chef Ennis was previously with Relais & Chateaux at the Five Star / Five Diamond rated White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, and The Horned Dorset Primavera Resort in Rincon, Puerto Rico.

Chef Ennis was named “The Best Chef in the West” by Viva Mayaguez Magazine and the Inn is billing his arrival as a “game changer” for not only the Inn, but the entire community. Apfelbaum explains, “The Inn is now positioned to offer the best hospitality, accommodations, Jazz (at the Sidedoor) and gourmet cuisine.”

He continues, “Chef Ennis’ menus will reflect “farm to table” cuisine that is approachable and close to the source. His passion for cooking is enhanced via all four seasons … taking advantage of what’s readily available and market fresh.”

Apfelbaum concludes, “Great service is a story; it has a beginning, middle and end,” adding, “We need to deliver on all three.”

From now on, the check at the Inn will be dropped with a piece of bright, lime green cotton candy to represent a refreshing, new start. In fact, Apfelbaum insists on calling the Old Lyme Inn the “New Lyme Inn” because, he says with a cheerful smile, “It’s a new day here.”

For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.oldlymeinn.com or call 860-434-2600.

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Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus Gives Concert at ‘The Kate,’ Sept. 29

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The 30 voice Men’s Chorus of Cappella Cantorum returns to the stage at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St. in Old Saybrook, on Sunday, Sept. 29th at 3 p.m.

Music features selections from Phantom of the Opera, a Civil War Medley, gospel, spirituals, and barbershop favorites by The Hill Top Four.  Barry Asch is the conductor with Deborah Lyon as accompanist.

In early October, the Men’s Chorus will conclude their performance schedule in Dennis, Mass., Cape Cod.

Tickets are $16, and may be reserved by calling The Kate at 877-503-1286 or online at www.thekate.org.

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Shoreline Democratic Women Host Season Kick-Off Event Tonight at Saybrook Pavilion

State Representative Diana Urban will be the guest speaker at the SDLW kick-off event, Sept. 6.

State Representative Diana Urban will be the guest speaker at the SLDW
kick-off event, Sept. 6.

The Shoreline League of Democratic Women (SLDW) hosts its 2013-14 Season Kick-off event on Friday, Sept. 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pavilion at Saybrook Point, 150 College Street in Old Saybrook. Special guest speaker will be CT State Representative Diana Urban, 43rd District.

All shoreline Democratic women are welcome to attend this free networking event.

To RSVP, call 860-669-7034 or 860-399-1147, or email:sldworg@gmail.com.

The SLDW draws membership from the towns of Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Lyme, Old Lyme, Centerbrook, Essex, Ivoryton, Deep River, Chester, Killingworth, Madison, Guilford and Branford. Visit their website for more information: www.SLDW.org.

Diana Urban was first elected to the General Assembly in 2000, and is currently serving her fifth term. She is a member of the Legislature’s Environment Committee, and the Program Review and Investigations Committee.  She is Chair of the Select Committee on Children, as well as Co-Chair of the Results Based Accountability Sub Committee of the Appropriations Committee.  She previously served on the Energy and Technology Committee and the Planning and Development Committee.

Urban has significant concerns about both the economy and environment, and is committed to finding and maintaining a balance to encourage sustainable growth within Connecticut.  She wishes to protect the most vulnerable children and provide ample educational opportunities to all children in Connecticut, recognizing the role they will play in the future.

She has been the legislative champion for addressing the “circle of violence” that recognizes that animal abuse too often is a harbinger of domestic abuse and criminal activity.  Urban’s legislative agenda reflects these values and she works closely with constituents and advocacy groups to craft legislation to impact these issues.

For 26 years Urban was employed as an Economics and Political Science professor.  Most recently she taught Micro and Macro Economics, Environmental Studies and Regulation as an Adjunct professor at Three Rivers College and Environmental Conservation at the University of Connecticut Avery Point.  She is currently a Senior Consultant with the Results Leadership Group in Washington DC.

Throughout her tenure in the General Assembly, Urban has led the fight for Results Based Accountability (RBA) in Budgeting in the State of Connecticut  She has also been recognized by Governing Magazine as a National Leader in High Performance Government for her work on RBA and recently the NCSL awarded Connecticut the Con Hogan Award for RBA and Work on Innovation in Government.  She fervently believes that accountability and transparency are essential to good government.

The Shoreline League of Democratic Women is a social and political fellowship that unites Democratic women along the shoreline, and focuses on issues important to women of all ages. Women are encouraged to join the SLDW and participate in the organization’s valuable work in the community.

Participation may be 30 minutes a month, or 30 minutes a year. As a part of the SLDW educational charter, members will be notified of important pending state and national legislation.

For more information on the Shoreline League of Democratic Women, send email to sldworg@gmail.com or contact Kathleen Skoczen at 860-669-7034 or Belinda Jones at 860-399-1147.

For more information about our events and organization, visit our web site at http://www.SLDW.org.

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Country School Welcomes Families to Register for ‘Minds in Motion’ Gifted Student Enrichment Program

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 The Country School hosts Minds in Motion, a student enrichment program featuring interactive, fast-paced, hands-on workshops for students in Kindergarten-8th Grade, on Saturday, Oct. 5, on the school’s 23-acre campus in Madison.  The event will also feature a program for parents and teachers.

Minds in Motion, the Connecticut Association for the Gifted’s signature student enrichment program, provides children opportunities to explore areas of interest that are rarely part of the everyday classroom.  While students participate in workshops, parents are invited to attend a thought-provoking keynote address and their own special-interest workshop.

Student workshops will range from ecology to global language, art and music to writing and book publishing.  Workshop faculty include Country School teachers as well as educators from Talcott Mountain Science Center,  Talcott Mountain Academy, the Connecticut Experiential Learning Center, the Summer Institute for the Gifted, Eastern Connecticut State University, Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, Aux 3 Pommes, Cool-Ology, Discovery Toys, Arts Center at Killingworth, School of Rock, Square Ruth Associates, and Oddfellows Playhouse.

To see the full list of offerings and faculty members and to register, visit the Connecticut Association for the Gifted’s website, www.ctgifted.org.  The deadline for registering is Friday, Sept. 20.  Spots will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

For the adult portion of the day, Dr. Laurie Bottiger, Head of School at The Country School, will deliver this year’s keynote address, Full STEAM Ahead: Why an Integrated Curriculum Makes So Much Sense for Children.  Dr. Bottiger will share research in cognitive and social neuroscience showing that integrated science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (or STEAM) activities enhance creativity, problem solving, memory systems, and analytical skills, allowing young learners to find meaning in their school curriculum.

Workshops for parents and teachers include Mindset: The Key to Success for Your Child with Katie Augustyn, MA, CAG Board of Directors; Design Thinking with Amy Leidtke, an artist, industrial designer, and educator at the Rhode Island School of Design who will talk about the importance of design thinking and project-based learning; and a panel of parents of gifted children sharing tools and techniques to advocate for children.

The Minds in Motions event is sponsored by the Summer Institute for the Gifted (www.GiftedStudy.org) and by Cool-ology (www.cool-ology.com).

The Country School, founded in 1955, is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8.  At The Country School, a rigorous academic program is accompanied by a commitment to hands-on learning and discovery and a focus on the whole child.  The Country School prepares students to meet the future with confidence, encouraging them to reach their highest, both in school and in life.

Learn more about The Country School at www.thecountryschool.org or contact communications@thecountryschool.org.  The Country School is located at 231 Opening Hill Road in Madison.

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SLDW Hosts Season Kick-Off Event Friday, Sept. 6, at Saybrook Pavilion, Features State Rep. Urban

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The Shoreline League of Democratic Women (SLDW) hosts its 2013-14 Season Kick-off event on Friday, Sept. 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Pavilion at Saybrook Point, 150 College Street in Old Saybrook. Special guest speaker will be CT State Representative Diana Urban, 43rd District.

All shoreline Democratic women are welcome to attend this free networking event.

To RSVP, call 860-669-7034 or 860-399-1147, or email:sldworg@gmail.com.

The SLDW draws membership from the towns of Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Lyme, Old Lyme, Centerbrook, Essex, Ivoryton, Deep River, Chester, Killingworth, Madison, Guilford and Branford. Visit their website for more information: www.SLDW.org.

Diana Urban was first elected to the General Assembly in 2000, and is currently serving her fifth term. She is a member of the Legislature’s Environment Committee, and the Program Review and Investigations Committee.  She is Chair of the Select Committee on Children, as well as Co-Chair of the Results Based Accountability Sub Committee of the Appropriations Committee.  She previously served on the Energy and Technology Committee and the Planning and Development Committee.

Urban has significant concerns about both the economy and environment, and is committed to finding and maintaining a balance to encourage sustainable growth within Connecticut.  She wishes to protect the most vulnerable children and provide ample educational opportunities to all children in Connecticut, recognizing the role they will play in the future.

She has been the legislative champion for addressing the “circle of violence” that recognizes that animal abuse too often is a harbinger of domestic abuse and criminal activity.  Urban’s legislative agenda reflects these values and she works closely with constituents and advocacy groups to craft legislation to impact these issues.

For 26 years Urban was employed as an Economics and Political Science professor.  Most recently she taught Micro and Macro Economics, Environmental Studies and Regulation as an Adjunct professor at Three Rivers College and Environmental Conservation at the University of Connecticut Avery Point.  She is currently a Senior Consultant with the Results Leadership Group in Washington DC.

Throughout her tenure in the General Assembly, Urban has led the fight for Results Based Accountability (RBA) in Budgeting in the State of Connecticut  She has also been recognized by Governing Magazine as a National Leader in High Performance Government for her work on RBA and recently the NCSL awarded Connecticut the Con Hogan Award for RBA and Work on Innovation in Government.  She fervently believes that accountability and transparency are essential to good government.

The Shoreline League of Democratic Women is a social and political fellowship that unites Democratic women along the shoreline, and focuses on issues important to women of all ages. Women are encouraged to join the SLDW and participate in the organization’s valuable work in the community.

Participation may be 30 minutes a month, or 30 minutes a year. As a part of the SLDW educational charter, members will be notified of important pending state and national legislation.

For more information on the Shoreline League of Democratic Women, send email to sldworg@gmail.com or contact Kathleen Skoczen at 860-669-7034 or Belinda Jones at 860-399-1147.

For more information about our events and organization, visit our web site at http://www.SLDW.org.

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The British Raid on Essex – Free Public Programs at CRM – Aug 21 & 24

Archaeologists from the Mashantucket Pequot Museum survey one of the sites associated with the British Raid along the shore in Old Saybrook.

Archaeologists from the Mashantucket Pequot Museum survey one of the sites associated with the British Raid along the shore in Old Saybrook.

On Wednesday, August 21, from 6 to 7 p.m., and Saturday, August 24, 2013, from 10 to 11 a.m., the Centerbrook Meeting House will host programs presented by the Connecticut River Museum and Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center. Join Connecticut River Museum staff, Dr. Kevin McBride, Director of Research at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, and Jerry Roberts, Battle Site Historian as they share their latest findings from archeological surveys of the British Raid sites in Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, and Essex. This project is supported by a grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. The project goals are to identify and document historical sites associated with the British Raid on Essex.

On April 7, 1814, the British sent 136 marines and sailors up the Connecticut River on a clandestine raid to burn the shipping at Pettipauge (now known as Essex).  They came armed for resistance but found the town unprepared for the surprise attack. After destroying over two dozen ships and heading back down River, the British encountered musket and cannon fire from local and state militia.  Two British were killed and two were wounded from American cannon fire off Ayer’s Point.  Despite a significant build-up of men and weaponry on both sides of the River, the British were able to slip passed the re-enforcements using the cloak of darkness.  This brief but costly raid was part of a prolonged British blockade of Long Island Sound during the War of 1812.

CRM staff, Dr. McBride and his research team, and Historian Jerry Roberts are excited to share new historical and archeological insights from their research and field work.  Questions from property owners and interested public are encouraged.  For more information about the British Raid, please visit www.ctrivermuseum.org. For more information about this program contact the Connecticut River Museum at (860) 767-8269 x 115.

The Trust for Public Land Announces Conservation Opportunity for The Preserve

A vernal pool on the Preserve (photo by Jerome Wilson)

A vernal pool on the Preserve (photo by Jerome Wilson)

Its status in flux for fifteen-years, the largest unprotected coastal forest between New York City and Boston may soon provide hiking, bird watching, and recreational opportunities for public

The Trust for Public Land announced today that it has reached an agreement with River Sound Development, LLC, to purchase 1,000 acres known as The Preserve – the last large unprotected coastal forest between New York City and Boston – for conservation, recreation, and habitat protection.  If the acquisition is successful, the land will be permanently protected from future development and open to the public to enjoy for passive recreational activities such as hiking and wildlife viewing.  The property, which is rich in natural resources and wildlife, will connect to 500 acres of existing town parkland and miles of existing hiking trails.

Alicia Betty, The Trust for Public Land’s Connecticut State Director, said her organization is moving forward with the acquisition and fundraising efforts to raise $10 – $11 million in public and private funds by June, 2014, in order to acquire the property and cover stewardship and costs.

“We are thrilled to be able to present this opportunity to the state of Connecticut’s land conservation community,” Betty said.  “We’ve been able to end 15 years of uncertainty and can now move forward toward protecting this valuable property of regional significance.”

“The work of the Trust for Public Land to secure rights to The Preserve represents a major milestone in our efforts to preserve critical lands in this state,” said Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  “We look forward to partnering with the Trust for Public Land and others to make this purchase a reality and protect this property for the future.”

Located in Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook, CT, The Preserve includes 38 vernal pools and 114 acres of wetlands and more than 3,100 linear feet of watercourses. The dense canopy of forest and the Pequot Swamp Pond act as a refueling stop for many migratory birds, and the many freshwater seeps on the property are home to amphibian species such as the northern dusky salamander, spotted turtles, and box turtles. Bobcats and fisher cats have also been spotted on the property.

In addition to its recreational and habitat resources, The Preserve provides important water quality benefits to residents.  Surface waters on the property drain to 3 different watersheds: the Oyster River, Mud River and Trout Brook, as they make their way to Long Island Sound.  The protection of The Preserve will ensure that stormwater on the site is recharged to local aquifers.  An aquifer protection area is located just east of the Preserve and supplies an average of 200,000 gallons per day of drinking water to Old Saybrook and surrounding communities.

The Preserve is located in the area designated by FEMA’s Hurricane Sandy Impact Analysis as having experienced “high impact” from the Superstorm Sandy. Coastal forests like The Preserve have been losing ground for some time as saltwater gradually moves inland as a result of rising tides and sea levels. The Preserve acts act as a sponge for stormwater, releasing it slowly into the tributaries and rivers that lead to the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound, protecting downstream property owners from flooding.

“This is an immensely positive development, and I commend The Trust for Public Land for their leadership in preserving and protecting this priceless natural resource. As Attorney General, I was proud to fight on behalf of hundreds of Old Saybrook residents and environmental advocates seeking to protect The Preserve from ecologically devastating development. Once lost, forests and habitats such as The Preserve can never be recovered. This is a great day for Old Saybrook, Long Island Sound and Connecticut’s environment,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

“This property is the last of its kind–an intact thousand acre maritime forest, the source waters of three separate watersheds,” said Philip Miller, Representative for the 36th district.  “It is said that water will be to the twenty-first century what oil was to the twentieth.  This will help assure a bright future for this region of Connecticut.”

The Preserve was the subject of development proposals dating back to 1998, including plans to build more than 200 homes and an 18-hole golf course. These plans met with strong opposition and lawsuits from conservation groups and residents.  Over the years, multiple attempts were made to acquire the land for conservation, but an agreement was never reached and efforts to develop the property continued.

“Old Saybrook looks forward to working with The Trust for Public Land towards a successful closing on this property, a closing that economically and environmentally favors The Town of Old Saybrook and the region,” said Carl Fortuna, Old Saybrook First Selectman.  “This property has been at the center of attention, good and bad, for 20 years. It is now time for a resolution. We are optimistic that enough private and public funds can be raised to purchase the property and preserve the Preserve in its natural state. The Town will work cooperatively with all parties in this effort, including the DEEP. Most importantly, I will work for and listen to Old Saybrook’s residents as they decide the future of this parcel.”

Many entities and conservation organizations have come together over the years to defend this natural asset for Connecticut and to create this opportunity.  The collaboration will continue and will be essential to a successful outcome next year.  These entities include:  the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), the Towns of Old Saybrook, Essex, and Westbrook, the Old Saybrook Land Trust, the Essex Land Trust, The Connecticut Fund for the Environment / Save the Sound, The Alliance for Sound Area Planning, Audubon Connecticut, and The Nature Conservancy.

Suellen McCuin, a resident of Essex, neighbor of the Preserve and member of the Alliance for Sound Area Planning, stated, “I am so happy to know that this incredible piece of nature will now be forever available for our family, others in the community and future generations to hike, explore and seek solace.  It is also great news that so many will continue to benefit from the now protected pristine waters that fill our local public and private wells. We are inextricably linked to this forest. As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, ‘Forests are the lungs of our land.’”

Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Learn more at tpl.org.

Local Westbrook Painter, Jeffry Sabol, is in the Big Leagues Among Maritime Artists

Finishing a painting of Bar Harbor, Maine. Ships in the cove will be added.

Finishing a painting of Bar Harbor, Maine. Ships in the cove will be added.

Jeffry Sabol, who lives in Westbrook in a small yellow house with his wife, Janice Quinn, is a nationally recognized painter of maritime subjects. His paintings have been featured at leading maritime art galleries, including the Maritime Gallery at the Mystic Seaport, the Art Expo in New York City, the Sheldon Fine Arts Museum in Newport, RI, and closer to home, the Blue Moon Art Gallery in Guilford.

Sabol’s striking portrayals of sailboats, quietly anchored amidst shimmering shadows of light, can be viewed, and purchased, at the Fresh Ayre Gallery in Old Lyme. The Gallery is located on Halls Road,  next door to the Hideaway Restaurant, across from the Old Lyme shopping center.

A typical Sabol painting of a sailboats at anchor with reflections quivering on the water

A typical Sabol painting of a sailboats at anchor with reflections quivering on the water

Sabol is also a Member of the prestigious American Society of Marine Artists. He also owns a 32 foot Islander sailboat, which he keeps up in Noank, Connecticut.

The artist also shows, by appointment, examples of his superb nautical paintings at his home at 406 Spencer Plain Road in Westbrook. A visit can be arranged by calling 860-399-6444. Interestingly, on the property of Sabol’s present house, there used to be a building where they sold “live” lobsters out the back, which in a sense is nautical.

Sabol Started Out Using Oil Paints

Sabol says that when he started painting seascapes, he used to use oil paints to create his paintings. However, he soon learned that, “Oils take too long to dry,” noting that, “it can take days and even weeks.” Now he has switched to acrylic paint, and he uses it exclusively in creating his pictures. As for acrylic paint he says, “It takes 15 minutes to dry.”

The use of quick drying acrylic paint is now basic to Sobol’s painting process. Quick drying acrylic paint allows him to add layer after of layer of clear and tinted surfaces to his paintings. These surfaces, one on top of the other, enhance the paintings, giving them a greater depth and sheen.

Positive and Negative Spaces in a Painting

Sabol points out that in painting a group of ships at anchor, a favorite topic of his, that there are both positive and negative spaces in the painting. “The positive spaces are those which hold the subject of the picture,” such as ships at anchor, he says.

The negative spaces are the empty parts of the painting, above and below the ships, which can be used to enhance and heighten the items in the positive spaces. Glimmering light, flickering over waves below the ships’ hulls, is an example of negative space, contributing to the positive space of the ships themselves.

As Sabol puts it, “The negative space in a painting is used to bring out the positive space, which is the subject of the picture.” He also says, “I concentrate on reflections in my paintings,” which of course fill the negative spaces of his paintings.

Sabol’s Path to Painting

Sabol did not start out as maritime painter. After graduating from college, he originally wanted to be an architect. However, he says that he quit these studies, “because there was too much sitting down.” After that he worked for a construction company and for awhile as a commercial fisherman.

Now, as a prolific painter Sabol also doing a lot of sitting. (It takes him at least 30 hours or more to create a single painting.) Now, however, since he is older, he does not mind it so much.

Again, the artist is delighted to show his painters to visitors at his home in Westbrook. It is located off Essex Road (Route 153), on Spencer Plain Road (Route 166) just past the YMCA and the Connecticut State Police station. The house number is “406.”

Having a final word, Sabol’s wife, Janice, has this to say. “I never have to decorate the walls of our house,” she says. “It’s like living in a gallery.”

Sabol's wife, Janice Quinn, and the artist Sabol with a work in progress in background

Sabol’s wife, Janice Quinn, and the artist Sabol with a work in progress in background

Old Saybrook Farmers Market Offers Crafts, Music, Fresh and Local Foods

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Since 1998 the Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market has offered Connecticut grown or made products and produce to an appreciative crowd, growing from two vendors in the first season to 24 in 2013.

Open every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Oct. 30, vendors supply an abundance of high quality produce picked only hours before the market opens, along with breads and bakery items baked fresh that day.

Also available are organic and pesticide free fruits and vegetables, local honey, free range eggs, beef, pork and fish, award-winning jams, relishes, guacamole, salsa, pesto, specialty sauces, hummus and more – all hand made with local ingredients.

Live music is always a special attraction at the Old Saybrook Farmers Market.

Live music is always a special attraction at the Old Saybrook Farmers Market.

There’s more than just food at the Old Saybrook Farmer’s Market.  Fine crafted items such as hand woven linens, hand dyed yarn, local wool, hand made clothes, bags, soaps, pottery, a variety of plants and flowers and more, are valuable additions to this market.

On Saturdays, grab a cup of fresh roasted coffee and a delicious bakery item or a hand scooped Italian ice while relaxing and enjoying live music performed by artists such as Glenn Roth, an innovative fingerstyle guitarist and folk artist Geoff Kaufman to name a few.

There are demonstrations scheduled from the local martial arts studio Middlesex Tang Soo and other craftsmen and women.  Check the website for more details at www.oldsaybrookfarmersmarket.com.

Old Saybrook Farmers Market is certified by the Connecticut Department of Agriculture and guarantees that everything sold at the market is Connecticut Grown
or made.

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Simple, Real Food: Summer Delights

Amanda Cushman

Amanda Cushman

Summer produce is here and with it come many requests for how to use up all this gorgeous fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Amanda Cushman is back with some mouth-watering recipes for our readers.

She notes that something she recommends in all her cooking classes is to make sauces, pestos and vegetable fritters, and try freezing them, commenting, “Then you can enjoy later in the year when you have a hankering for fresh basil, zucchini or mint.”

Here are some delicious recipes to utilize  the abundant produce of summer. They are, in order:

Feta Pesto
Simple Tomato Sauce
Papaya-Lime Salsa
Minted Zucchini Fritters with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Pesto_205KB

Feta Pesto

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 large bunch basil washed, dried, stems removed

8 oz. feta cheese

3 Tb. toasted pine nuts

Fresh pepper, to taste

Procedure

  1. Place the garlic in a processor and chop finely. Add the basil, feta, nuts and pepper and blend well. Add a small amount of water to produce a smooth sauce. Transfer to a container and freeze or serve at room temperature.

Simple Tomato Sauce

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 Tb. olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

Salt, pepper

1/3 cup torn basil leaves

10 to 15 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

1/3 cup red wine (optional)

2 tsp. sugar or 2 small carrots, peeled, diced

Procedure

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic until softened about 5 to 6 minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, basil, tomatoes, wine and sugar or carrots and cook over low heat until thickened slightly about 45 minutes. Season to taste and puree if desired. Freeze in plastic containers or use on pasta, grilled fish, chicken or as a sauce for vegetables.

Papaya-Lime Salsa

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 small ripe papaya, mango or half a pineapple

1/2 red pepper, finely diced

3 scallions, very thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1/2 English cucumber, seeded, diced

2 limes or lemons juiced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

1 Tb. chopped cilantro

2 Tb. chopped mint

Salt, pepper, to taste

Procedure

1. Peel the papayas and remove seeds, finely dice. Combine the papaya and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir and taste for seasoning. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

zucchini_frittersMinted Zucchini Fritters with Lemon Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 pound zucchini, coarsely grated

Salt

3 scallions, minced

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1/2 to ¾ cup plain breadcrumbs

3 Tb. chopped mint

½ cup chopped Italian parsley

1 egg, lightly beaten

Fresh pepper

Vegetable oil for cooking

Sauce:

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

3 Tb. lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tb. chopped mint

Salt, pepper

Procedure

1        Place the zucchini in a colander and toss with 2 tsp. of salt. Place over a plate and weigh down with a heavy can, drain for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator. Squeeze out all the excess water.

2        Add the zucchini to a medium bowl with the scallions, cheese, breadcrumbs, mint, parsley, egg and fresh pepper. Using slightly moistened hands, form the zucchini mixture into 12 balls. Flatten them to make a ¾ inch patty. Test one out in a small skillet for seasoning. Re-season with salt and pepper if needed.

3        Heat a 2 1/2 -inches of oil in a medium saucepan and fry the patties until golden on both sides about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain and sprinkle with salt.

4        Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, lemon, garlic, mint, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir and taste for seasoning. Serve the patties warm or room temperature with the yogurt sauce.

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Thursday’s ‘Summer Nights at Harkness,’ Featuring Duke Ellington, Moved to the Garde

The Duke Ellington band will perform at the Garde in New London on Thursday.

The Duke Ellington band will perform at the Garde in New London on Thursday.

Old Lyme resident Frank Bombaci, Sr., President of Bring Our Music Back, Inc., presents the final concert in the “Summer Nights at Harkness” series on Thursday evening.  The concert, which features Duke Ellington, has been moved to the Garde Arts Center in New London due to the inclement weather expected.

The “Night at the Opera” concert, which had been planned for Aug. 15, has now been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.  Tickets from that night are now welcome at the Duke Ellington concert.

Doors open Thursday at 5 p.m.

The performance schedule is as follows:

6 – 6:45 p.m.  The Real Ambassadors (Youth Performance)

15 intermission

7 – 7:45 p.m.- String of Pearls

8 – 8:45 p.m.  The Duke Ellington Orchestra

20 minute intermission

9:05 – 9:50 p.m. -The Duke Ellington Orchestra 

Shoreline Web News LLC, owner of LymeLine.com, is proud to be a sponsor of “Summer Nights at Harkness.”

The Duke Ellington Orchestra is perhaps the greatest of all Jazz bands.  The group stayed together for over 50 years, recording and writing some of America’s greatest music.  Artistically the era of “swing” and of the big bands was dominated by the orchestra of Edward “Duke” Ellington, the first great composer (and self-arranger and one of the most prolific in the entire history of music) of jazz music.
Ellington’s reputation has increased since his death, with thematic re-packaging’s of his signature music often becoming best-sellers.  Posthumous recognition of his work includes a special award citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Bring Our Music Back, Inc is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the enrichment of life and healing through music in support of aspiring musicians, programs and services within our communities.  The initiative of their concerts is to give burgeoning talent a voice and venue with national recording artists while providing a platform to raise funds to give back to music initiatives within the community.  This is Music with Purpose.

Concert tickets are $25 in advance; $35 at the door and ticket packages for all concerts are available.  Group sales rates are offered  for 15 or more.

To purchase tickets, visit www.bringourmusicback.org, call 860-434-1882 or stop by The Bowerbird or Songbird Cafe in Old Lyme.

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Estuary Council Seeks New Executive Director

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The Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc, in Old Saybrook is seeking an Executive Director. They are looking for a proven leader with a passion for working with older people, with fund development, marketing and finance experience. Excellent communication skills, including networking, public speaking and the ability to work well with volunteers are also required. The full-time position reports to the Board of Directors.

A Bachelors’ Degree is preferred and prior executive experience in non-profit or business sectors would be helpful. Computer literacy is necessary.

Interested applicants should e-mail a cover letter and resume by October 1 to: Sharon Howell, Chair of Search Committee at Execsearch92@gmail.com

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The Pratt House, A Treasure Trove of Essex History

Pratt House on West Avenue is the third house down from Essex Town Hall

Pratt House on West Avenue is the third house down from Essex Town Hall

Essex residents, as well as other local history buffs, owe it to themselves to visit the Pratt House, an authentic survivor of over 300 years of local history.  Located directly on West Avenue, three doors down from Essex Town Hall, the Pratt House has ample space for parking on its spacious side lawn.

Furthermore, admission to the Pratt House is free, as are the lectures of knowledgeable docents, who are on hand to enhance the visitor’s experience.

Co-Docent Coordinators (l to r), Mary Ann Pleva and Bette Taylor

Co-Docent Coordinators (l to r), Mary Ann Pleva and Bette Taylor

The Pratt House is open to visitors from the months of June to September, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Also, private appointments to see the Pratt House can be arranged by calling 860-767-0681

The Pratt House Through the Years

The Pratt family’s connection with the Town of Essex began in 1648 when William Pratt came down from Hartford to survey vacant land in an area that was called Potapoug. Potapoug at the time encompassed what are now the towns of Essex, Deep River and Chester.

William Pratt was born in England, and he came to the American colonies in 1637 to serve as a lieutenant in the Pequot War, which was being waged against the Pequot Indians. After the war William Pratt decided to stay in the colonies, and he, ultimately, moved to the Saybrook Colony and became a farmer.

William Pratt’s genealogy continues with the birth of his son, John Pratt, who when he grew up, became the first in a long line of blacksmiths in the Saybrook colony. John Pratt also bought land that was to become a part of Essex, and he deeded this land on his death to his own son, John Pratt, Jr.

In 1701 John Pratt, Jr., built the first homestead on the property that his father had given him, and this property is now the site of the present day Pratt House.

Additions to the original 1701 structure were made by members of the Pratt family in 1732 and 1750, and the final structure of the Pratt House, as it is today, was completed in 1800.

In 1852 the Town of Essex was jurisdictionally severed from Old Saybrook and  was incorporated as its own town, according to a State of Connecticut plaque in Essex’ Main Street town park. This meant that Essex was no longer under the town government of Old Saybrook.

Pratt Family Had Many Occupations 

Throughout the years the owners of the Pratt House besides being blacksmiths also became, “farmers, soldiers, ship captains and a manufacturer,” according to Essex Historical Society materials.

Old four poster bed, note the chamber pot

Old four poster bed, note the chamber pot

Then in 1915 members of the Pratt family sold the Pratt House to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Griswold. However, in a sense the house still remained in the Pratt family, because Mrs. Griswold’s maiden name was Susannah Pratt, whose father was Elias Pratt.

An original fireplace at Pratt House that at one time provided the only heat

An original fireplace at Pratt House that at one time provided the only heat

After the Pratt House property had been purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Griswold, the main house was converted into a rental property with individual rooms in the house being rented out to various tenants.

Next in 1953 the Pratt House was willed to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, which turned it into a museum. Then, In 1985 ownership of the property was transferred to the successor organization, the Essex Historical Society.

The Pratt House Today

The furnishings in the present day Pratt House, according to Pratt House materials, “reflect a mixture of styles, including William and Mary, Queen Ann, Chippendale and Hepplewhite. None of the furnishings are original to the house but are similar to items listed in Pratt family inventories.”

Continuing, it is noted that, “Functional furniture would have been kept in the family and handed down from one generation to the next, so it is in keeping with the family’s actions that rooms are furnished in more than one style of furniture.”

In addition to the Pratt House’s museum space, there is a private renter in the back portion of the building. On the property  there is also a  reconstructed barn which holds materials belonging to the Essex Historical Society. Finally, way in the back of the two acre property, there is an old fashioned outhouse building, still standing.

Pratt House visitors, Ann Good, Oakland, CA; Patti Klaje, Hamden, CT; and Kristen Pallord, Houston, TX

Pratt House visitors, Ann Good, Oakland, CA; Patti Klaje, Hamden, CT; and Kristen Pallord, Houston, TX

Talking Transportation: Saving Money on Metro-North

Jim Cameron

Jim Cameron

Whether you’re a daily commuter, an occasional day-tripper or have friends visiting from out of town this summer, everyone can save money when you go into NYC on Metro-North by following this time-tested advice:

TRANSITCHEK:  See if your employer subscribes to this great service, which allows workers to buy up to $245 per month in transit using pre-tax dollars.  If you’re in the upper tax brackets, that’s a huge savings on commutation.  A recent survey shows that 45% of all New York City companies offer TransitChek which can be used on trains, subways and even ferries.

GO OFF-PEAK: If you can arrive at Grand Central weekdays after 10 am and can avoid the 4 pm – 8 pm peak return hours, you can save 25%.  Off-peak’s also in effect on weekends and holidays.  Your train may be less crowded, too.  These tickets are good for 60 days after purchase.

BUY TICKETS IN ADVANCE: Buy your ticket on the train and you’ll pay the conductor a $5.75 – $6.50 “service charge”… a mistake you’ll make only once!  (Seniors: don’t worry, you’re exempt and can buy on-board anytime without penalty). There are ticket machines at most stations, but the cheapest tickets are those bought online.  And go for the ten-trip tickets (Peak or Off-Peak) to save an additional 15%.  They can be shared among passengers and are good for six months.

KIDS, FAMILY & SENIOR FARES:           Buy tickets for your kids (ages 5 – 11) in advance and save 50% over adult fares.  Or pay $1 per kid on board (up to four kids traveling with an adult, but not in morning peak hours).  Seniors, the disabled and those on Medicare get 50% off the one way peak fare.  But you must have proper ID and you can’t go in the morning rush hours.

FREE STATION PARKING: Even stations that require parking permits usually offer free parking after 5 pm, on nights and weekends.  Check with your local town.

CHEAPER STATION PARKING:  Don’t waste money parking at comparatively “expensive” station garages like South Norwalk ($ 10 per day) or Stamford ($10 for 8 hours, M-F).  Instead, park at the day-lots in Darien or Noroton Heights for just $3.  But be sure to buy a scratch-off ticket in advance.

Once you’re in the city, you can save even more money.

METROCARDS:  Forget about the old subway tokens.  These nifty cards can be bought at most stations (even combined with your Metro-North ticket) and offer some incredible deals:  put $5 on a card (bought with cash, credit or debit card) and you get a 5% bonus.  Swipe your card to ride the subway and you’ll get a free transfer to a connecting bus.  You can buy unlimited ride MetroCards for a week ($30) or a month ($112).  There’s now even an ExpressPay MetroCard the refills itself like an EZ-Pass.

IS IT CHEAPER TO DRIVE?:  Despite being a mass transit advocate, I’m the first to admit that there may be times when it’s truly cheaper to drive to Manhattan than take the train, especially with three or more passengers.  You can avoid bridge tolls by taking the Major Deegan to the Willis / Third Ave. bridge, but I can’t help you with the traffic you’ll have to endure.  Check out www.bestparking.com to find a great list of parking lots and their rates close to your destination.   Or drive to Shea Stadium and take the # 7 subway from there.

The bottom line is that it isn’t cheap going into “the city”.  But with a little planning and some insider tips, you can still save money.  Enjoy!

JIM CAMERON has been a commuter out of Darien for 19 years.  He is Past-Chairman of the CT Metro-North / Shore Line East Rail Commuter Council, and a member of the Coastal Corridor TIA and the Darien RTM.  You can reach him at Cameron06820@gmail.com or www.trainweb.org/ct

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‘Summer Nights at Harkness’ Opens Thursday

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Old Lyme resident Frank Bombaci, Sr., President of Bring Our Music Back, Inc., presents “Summer Nights at Harkness” in July and August. Five performances are being hosted on Thursdays starting this Thursday, July 18, through August 15 at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford — an especially exciting year for the park since it is celebrating its centennial in 2013.

Shoreline Web News LLC, owner of LymeLine.com, is proud to be a sponsor of “Summer Nights at Harkness.”

The program of concerts this year is:

Thursday, July 18: Coasters and Platters

The hits of three beloved groups whose songs were at the top of the charts for years will be performed by top tribute entertainers Harkness Memorial State Park! Come and enjoy Larry Marshak’s Tribute to The Platters, Marvelettes and Coasters with opening performances by The Dubs.

Check out the YouTube Videos - The Marvelettes  The Platters,  Cornell Gunter’s Coasters

Thursday, July 25: An Evening with Judy Collins

Judy Collins has thrilled audiences worldwide with her unique blend of interpretative folk songs and contemporary themes.  Her impressive career has spanned more than 50 years. Collins has continued an impressive musical career with an extensive catalog from every decade throughout the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and up to the present.  Collins, now 71, is still writing, performing, and nurturing fresh talent.  She continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart.

Wednesday, July 31: Leon Russell

Leon Russell is a music legend and perhaps the most accomplished and versatile musician in the history of rock ‘n roll.  In his distinguished and unique 50 -year-career, he has played on, arranged, written and/or produced some of the best records in popular music.  He is an American musician and songwriter, who has recorded as a session musiciansideman, and maintained a solo career in music. Russell has played on pop, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, standards, gospel, and surf records and continues to write songs, record, and delight audiences on his non-stop tour across the U.S.
Dancing
Thursday, August 8:  The Duke Ellington Orchestra

The Duke Ellington Orchestra is perhaps the greatest of all Jazz bands.  The group stayed together for over 50 years, recording and writing some of America’s greatest music. Artistically the era of “swing” and of the big bands was dominated by the orchestra of Edward “Duke” Ellington, the first great composer (and self-arranger and one of the most prolific in the entire history of music) of jazz music.  Ellington’s reputation has increased since his death, with thematic re-packaging’s of his signature music often becoming best-sellers.  Posthumous recognition of his work includes a special award citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Thursday, August 15:  Opera Under the Stars” Season Finale
with Carl Tanner, international tenor
Connecticut Lyric Opera
Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra with Adrian Sylveen, conductor and Special guest, Jurate Svedaite, soprano, Connecticut Lyric Opera

Carl Tanner’s career has taken him all over the world performing with various orchestral/oratorio repertoire with numerous symphony orchestras from St. Louis, Atlanta and the New York Metropolitan Opera  to Germany, Paris and Japan.  For the first time ever, Tanner perfoms at Harkness under the magic of moonlit skies with  Connecticut Lyric Opera’s Leading Soprano, Jurate Svedaite and the Connecticut Virtuoso Chamber Orchestra. Together on stage, this evening will truly be a night of opera “under the stars.”

Concerts are held from 6 to 10 p.m.  All parking fees have been waived.  Doors open at 5 p.m. for traditional picnicking.  The Bee and Thistle Inn of Old Lyme is sponsoring the Best Picnic awards.

is working with the community to bring music back to Harkness Memorial Park the way it used to be … in his words, “Simple, professionally produced, wonderful mid-week music, all about family, friends and community enjoying the beauty of al fresco music in one of Connecticut’s state treasures, Harkness Memorial State Park.”

The goal of “Summer Nights at Harkness” is to stage community-involved events for the whole family to enjoy while picnicking in the park on a summers night.

Bring Our Music Back, Inc is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the enrichment of life and healing through music in support of aspiring musicians, programs and services within our communities.  The initiative of their concerts is to give burgeoning talent a voice and venue with national recording artists while providing a platform to raise funds to give back to music initiatives within the community.  This is Music with Purpose.

Concert tickets are $25 in advance; $35 at the door and ticket packages for all concerts are available.  Group sales rates are offered  for 15 or more.

To purchase tickets, visit www.bringourmusicback.org, call 860-434-1882 or stop by The Bowerbird or Songbird Cafe in Old Lyme.

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State Department of Transportation Announces $1 Hike in Fares for Chester and Rocky Hill River Ferries and Another Increase in 2014

ferry 2CHESTER— The state Department of Transportation has announced a $1 increase in fares for the Chester-Hadlyme and Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Connecticut river ferries. Fares will increase July 8 from the current $3 to $4 for vehicles, and from $1 to $2 for walk-on passengers and bicyclists. The fare for vehicles and passengers will be $5 on weekends, Saturdays and Sundays.

The plan announced by DOT Commissioner James Redeker also calls for another fare increase in 2014, when fares for vehicles will increase to $5 on weekdays and $6 on weekends. The cost for a 20-ticket discount coupon book will also increase from the current $40 to $50. In 2014, the cost for a discount coupon book would increase to $60.

The increase, which is the first hike in ferry fares since 2003, is less than a proposed $6 doubling of the fare that was announced by DOT in the spring. The proposed doubling of fares drew objections from area elected officials, including first selectmen and legislators. About 60 residents turned out at the Chester Meeting House for a May 22 informational meeting ion the fare increase, with many residents suggesting they could accept a smaller than the proposed jump to $6.

Talking Transportation: The July Gas Tax Increase

Jim CameronThis week marks the 30th anniversary of the Mianus River Bridge collapse, which killed three people.  That accident on I-95 in Greenwich was attributed to years of neglected inspections and maintenance, the inevitable result of penny-pinching in Hartford.

Will the recent Metro-North crash (which injured 76 passengers) also be tied to long-postponed repairs?

Last week, the CDOT’s Commissioner testified before US Senator Blumenthal that Connecticut has spent $3.2 billion in the last decade on the New Haven rail line, while Amtrak spent just $64 million.  And all that spending still couldn’t prevent the May 17 derailment.

But Commissioner James Redeker also said there’s another $4.5 billion needed to bring the line into a “state of good repair” in the short term.  That includes work on the catenary and replacement of four movable bridges, some of them 100+ years old.  Layer on top of this $130 million to meet the federal mandate for PTC (Positive Train Control), and you can see the problem.

Where’s the money to come from? 

Well, it will come from you and me.  On July 1st we will all start paying an additional 4 cents per gallon for gasoline, tax money that will go into the Special Transportation Fund (STF), supposedly to be spent on rails and roads.

But remember that it was Governor Malloy who (again) balanced this year’s state budget by raiding $110 million from that STF, something that, as a candidate, he swore he would never do.  Voters will decide if that makes Malloy a hypocrite… or just a pragmatist.  Either way, future Governors won’t be able to do it again as the legislature has voted to put the STF into an untouchable “lock box” starting in 2015, after the next election.

Over the past decade various lawmakers and Governors have stolen a billion dollars from the STF.  So not only are we about $4.5 billion short on needed funds for rail repairs, but the STF has been treated like a petty cash box and drained it at will.

How sad it is when we have to balance our state’s budget by taking money targeted for keeping our rails and highways safe… not to mention starting a state-wide Keno game, basically a “tax” on those ignorant enough to play it (with odds of about 9 million to one of winning the jackpot).

Kudos to Senator Blumenthal for pushing safety as a top priority.  Maybe he can also get Amtrak to start paying its fair share for running trains over our (state-owned and maintained) tracks.

But it’s not just our rails that are in bad shape.  This week the group Transportation for America released its annual report on the deterioration of US highway bridges:  one in nine of those bridges is structurally deficient and in need of repair or replacement.  In Connecticut, that number has grown, not declined, since last year.

Yet, our DOT is still moving forward with a half-billion dollar rebuild of the structurally sound Waterbury “mix-master” where Route 8 crosses I-84.  Why?

So, next time you’re filling your tank with the priciest gasoline in the Northeast, pick-up a Keno ticket.  You might have a better chance of winning there than ever seeing your taxes spent on improving transportation safety.

JIM CAMERON has been a Darien resident for 22 years.  He is Chairman of the CT Metro-North / Shore Line East Rail Commuter Council, and a member of the Coastal Corridor TIA and the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at jim@mediatrainer.tv  or www.trainweb.org/ct

Intake for White Elephant Sale Continues Today

And they're off!  When the church bell rings at 9 a.m. on July 12, this will again be the scene.

And they’re off! When the church bell rings at 9 a.m. on July 12, this will again be the scene.

There is no intake for the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme’s annual White Elephant Sale today – intake continues tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  There is also an evening intake on Tuesday, July 2, from 6 to 8 p.m.  Intake continues daily from tomorrow through Saturday, July 6, so clear out your basement, your closets, your sheds — even your office!

Take this opportunity to relieve yourself of the accumulated clutter in your life while also helping to raise significant funds for local, regional, national and international missions and charities.

Click here for intake details, i.e., what’s accepted at intake and what’s not!

Each year the annual White Elephant Sale (WES) takes place on a Friday and Saturday in early July.  This is its 77th successive year and is one of the main events on both the town and church calendars.

Garage and rummage sales are regular events, but few can match the size and color of this one.  The sale items are organized into some 20 departments that fill the church buildings and every available space on the lawn.

The sale is sponsored by the Ladies Benevolent Society (LBS) of the First Congregational Church and raises money for missions and good works both locally and through out the world.  Beneficiaries run the gamut from food pantries, health organizations, family support centers, children’s programs, world relief, housing and many many more.

Now so large,the sale has not only become a community event but also one that many visitors plan their vacations around so as to attend or work the WES.  In fact, many donations and a number of workers are from non-church members.  All 200 or so volunteers pitch in for two weeks collecting, sorting, pricing and organizing items awaiting the big day — Friday morning when the crowds anxiously gather outside the ropes surrounding the church.

When the clock in the bell tower strikes 9 a.m., the ropes come down and the shoppers run for their favorite departments looking for those hidden treasures.  There is lunch and soda to refresh the shoppers so they can repeat the same process again on Saturday morning, but then the prices are all discounted 50 percent.

Click to view a video of a recent sale on Youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xgdr_mumBxo

For further information, call the church office at 860-434-8686, option 5.

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Meet the Artists at the Inn at ‘Bee Inspired’ Event

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Today between 5 and 8 p.m., enjoy complimentary wine and cheese and tour the Bee and Thistle’s dining and guest rooms to meet the artists whose work now fills the Inn’s spaces.

The artists who will be present include Adrien Broom, Pola Esther, Brian Keith Stephens, Thomas Caleb Goggans, Elizabeth Weiss, Jacques Pepin along with artists from The Cooley Gallery and Diane Birdsall Gallery.

See tourmaline gemstone objects d’art, jewelry, and Simon Pearce hand blown glass from the E.F. Watermelon Gallery, now on display in the common areas.

View the striking outdoor art installations by Michael McLaughlin and beautiful shell sculptures by Chandler Davis, which dot the beautiful grounds surrounding the Inn.

There will also be fun interactive art activities presented by The Drunken Palette, now with two locations in Westbrook and New London, CT.  Musical entertainment and bar and restaurant specials will also be offered.
Click here to register for a VIP Tour of the Inn.

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Summer Children’s Shows At The Ivoryton Playhouse

Allynn Gooen will perform at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 19.

Allynn Gooen will perform at the Ivoryton Playhouse on July 19.

The Ivoryton Playhouse continues the tradition of Friday morning children’s shows with some familiar stories and some new.

July 12th   Sammy & the Magical Sandbox and The Wizard of Wallaby Wallow – Presented by Queen Bee Puppetry, Devora Reiss takes us on a magical journey with her bright and cheerful puppets that are sure to make you smile!

July 19th Allynn Gooen’s Goowin’s Balloowins – Enjoy a truly unique performance by madcap balloon artist Allynn Gooen, who will fill the stage with extraordinary balloon creations as he leads the story of Snow White And The Eight Dwarfs, The Wizard Of Oz, The Story Of Purim, (or any of a large variety of stories) in which children from the audience will star. Traditionally, clowns and magicians twist balloons into creatures for kids, but not Allynn Gooen. He uses balloons to turn the kids into creatures! Goowin’s Balloowins will capture the imagination of children and adults alike.

July 26th Casey Carle’s Bubblemania  – Back by popular demand!   Casey Carle performs tricky undulations, manipulations and juggling with bubbles.   An extremely unique program combining high energy entertainment with artistic achievement, BubbleMania is loaded with visual comedy, quick wit, big band swing music and the untamed, often unbelievable qualities and beauty of spherical liquids. Casey’s creations grow from intricate and imaginative bubble artforms to “trapping” people inside bubbles!  This is a bubble show to keep the 5 to 75 year-olds mesmerized.

Aug 16th  Ivoryton Playhouse Intern Company presents A Little Bit of Magic -  This charming play touches upon how special we are.  Do-Nothing Dale, a little picked-upon wizard, wants to know what her little bit of magic is.  On her journey to find out, she meets people like the laughing Coco the Clown and the singing Marilyn Melody, and she finds that she’s just as special as everyone else in the world.  Bright musical numbers add sparkle to the story.

All performances are at 11am. Tickets are $12 and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  Book early to avoid disappointment. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

It’s All New at the Old “Bee”

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An excerpt from a love letter from Mark Twain to his wife, Olivia, is painted on the wall of this newly renovated room in the historic Bee and Thistle Inn.

The historic Bee and Thistle Inn has been transformed to retain the integrity of the historic landmark built in 1756, whilst also providing a link to the past and nurturing artists of the present.

Guest rooms have been redecorated and each feature work by a different local artist including Adrien Broom, Pola Esther, Brian Keith Stephens, Thomas Caleb Goggans, Elizabeth Weiss, Jacques Pepin and featured artists from The Cooley Gallery and the Diane Birdsall Gallery.

Tourmaline gemstone objects d’art and Simon Pearce hand blown glass from the E.F. Watermelon Gallery are on display in the common areas.  Striking outdoor art installations by Michael McLaughlin and beautiful shell sculptures by Chandler Davis dot the picturesque grounds surrounding the Inn.

Innkeepers Linnea and David Rufo are continuing to forge the trail that the historical figure, Florence Griswold, envisioned in the mid 1800s.  Miss Florence was the daughter of a successful ship captain; the Griswold family lived in the mansion right next door to the current Bee and Thistle Inn, which was then the residence of Judge William Noyes and his family.  The Griswold family’s fortune reversed during the Civil War, and the resourceful Florence transformed the home into a boarding house.  Artists began to visit and the Lyme Art Colony was born.

Now Miss Florence’s mansion houses the renowned Florence Griswold Museum and both the four-year, nationally accredited school, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and the renowned Lyme Art Association are only a few steps away.

Formerly from the Berkshires and New York City, Linnea Rufo has had her roots planted in the hospitality industry for over 30 years as a chef, event planner and hostess.  The couple purchased the property in 2006 and began the painstaking process of transforming the inn, which now features a modern, artistic interior decor.

Artists from the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan have started to frequent the Bee and Thistle on weekends, enjoying the artistic guest rooms.  One recently refurbished room is reminiscent of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 honeymoon suite at the five-star Amsterdam Hilton where they held their “Bed-In-For-Peace.”  Instead of song lyrics scripted on the walls, The Bee has painted an excerpt from a love letter from Mark Twain to his wife, Olivia.

In April, Courtney Love stayed at the Bee and Thistle during the opening of her first formal art exhibition at the Lyman Allen Art Museum, which came to New London from Fred Torres Collaborations in Chelsea, N.Y.C.

The  “Bee Inspired” Art Night is planned for this coming Thursday, June 27, from 5 to 8 p.m.  Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the Bee and Thistle’s dining and guest rooms to meet the artists whose work fills the Inn’s spaces, both inside and outdoors.  There will be interactive activities and musical entertainment, along with complimentary wine and cheese.

Chef Kristofer Rowe’s kitchen is a hive of activity, in which he uses only the freshest local and seasonal ingredients to produce his award-winning, Zagat-rated menu.  The new lounge, completed in March, has a contemporary flair with a relaxed feel evoking style and comfort.

No longer just a place for anniversary dinners, the Bee and Thisle is now a great stop for drinks and appetizers.  ”Bee Happy” Hours on Tuesday through Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. offer complimentary appetizers, $4 beers, $5 glasses of wine, $6 specialty drinks and the Inn’s famous Bantam half plates.

Thursday night’s “Bee Indulged” three course dinners including a complimentary bottle of wine are affordable at just $75 for two people.  Lunch is served on Fridays and Saturdays both inside and outdoors.

“Early Bee” specials with a 5 p.m. dinner reservation also on Fridays and Saturdays offer one half price entrée with the purchase of another entrée presenting a pleasant opportunity for theater-goers before evening shows and after matinees at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Ivoryton Playhouse, Goodspeed Theater and Garde Arts Center.

“Bee Laid-Back” on Sunday afternoons … drinks and appetizers are served outside, and local musicians whose careers are just beginning to burgeon will perform for guests.

“Bee Spirited” Petanque (or “lawn bowling”) is a group activity on the Inn’s beautifully landscaped back lawn, which is offered monthly from late spring through early fall.  Groups of friends can come together for some friendly competition followed by food and drinks.

The Bee and Thistle is still a perfect location for a New England wedding.  Couples can make the Inn their home and enjoy exclusive use of the property for garden nuptials against a sunset canvas on five acres along the Lieutenant River vista.  Choices include dinner with dancing and service for 200 guests on the south lawn, or an intimate gathering that includes dining fireside.

The Bee and Thistle Inn is located at 100 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371.  For more information, visit www.beeandthistleinn.com, telephone: 860.434.1667, email: Innkeeper@BeeandThistleInn.com

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‘Stay & Play’ Hosts Free Day Fundraiser Tomorrow, Benefits Soup Kitchens

All these slides open tomorrow -- entry by canned good donation for Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries.

All these slides open tomorrow — entry by canned good donation for Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries.

Stay and Play is celebrating the reopening of its popular summer outdoors water slides tomorrow with a Slide into Summer food-raiser for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries (SSKP).  Instead of an admission fee, the center is accepting donations of non-perishable food for the regional soup kitchen.

The SSKP provides approximately 900,000 meals worth of food each year to families in the Connecticut shoreline towns of Lyme and Old Lyme along with Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme,  Killingworth, Westbrook and Deep River.

“Being a part of the community is important to us,” says Roger Rose, Stay and Play owner and founder, who started the food-raiser tradition to kick off last year’s water slide season.  “We’re excited that summer is finally here, but warmer weather doesn’t reduce the needs that people in this region have for food.”

girlTomorrow, instead of the standard admission of $9, or one punch per child on Stay and Play’s popular Play Pass, donation of non-perishable food to the Soup Kitchens will give families with children under the age of 13 access to the center’s outdoor waterslides, the Play Room for kids up to age 7 or the Game Room for the older kids.

The Saturday reopening activities include Live Music by BossGuitar featuring Stay and Play Dads Jonathan Kehew of Corner Music and Chris Billeau of Connecticut River Concierge, and hula hooping with Professional Hooper Maia Bingham of Every Body Hoops.  JAMSS restaurant of Old Saybrook will be selling their delicious food, in addition to Stay and Play’s nutritious snacks, beverages and summer ice cream treats.

This is the fourth year for the seasonal water slides, which are available for private birthday parties as well as being open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., weather permitting.   The four lanes of splashing fun are set up daily in a fenced in area, with a shaded area for kids and adults.  There is no standing water in the slides, a safety factor for children. There are slides for both larger and smaller children, plus a splash area and water tables for tots.

“Since the slides are all about getting wet, we provide indoor bathrooms for changing,” says Rose.   “Or, just show up in your swim wear and remember to bring dry clothes to change into for the inside activities.”

indoorsStay and Play has continued to expand since opening its original Play Room in 2008 for children under 7.  The Play Room, pictured right, features slides, padded flooring and bouncy toys in a clean space to run, jump and play.

Kids can enjoy healthy light snacks in the School Bus Café, a real school bus repurposed for the Play Room.  For adults, Rose stocks Bean and Leaf roasted gourmet coffee and signature wraps from Tissa’s and other Old Saybrook eateries.

In January 2012, Stay and Play launched its Game Room for children under 13, with games ranging from foosball, air hockey and skeeball to bumper pool and shuffleboard tables, as well as Nok-Hockey and basketball hoops.  Younger children also can enjoy the Game Room, with parental supervision.   Parents of older children can take a break on the overstuffed sofas in the Play Room or join in the fun in the Game Room.   A new LEGO pit in the Game Room is proving to be very popular.

More than 800 area residents volunteer to help prepare warm meals and deliver food through the SSKP.  They serve meals seven days a week, rotating daily between eight different locations in the shoreline region.  Grocery distributions to people in need are made at 5 locations on four days of the week.  The SKKP, which relies on donations and food purchased from area wholesalers and food banks, calculates that a pound of food in Connecticut costs $1.50, on average.  See shorelinesoupkitchens.org .  Monetary donations to SSKP also will be accepted.

Stay and Play is open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, admission is $9 per child, no charge for adults, Play Passes are available, as are reduced rates on weekdays after 3 pm.  All of the facilities are available for parties, including private, after-hour events for children and adults.

Waterslide status will be posted online at www.stayandplayllc.com or “Like” Stay and Play on Facebook for updates.

For more information, call Stay at Play at 860-395-4446.

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Maple and Main Gallery Supports Horse Rescue Project – Special Exhibit Opens June 29

Curly by Bivenne Harvey Staiger

Curly by Bivenne Staiger

CHESTER – Clover, Belle, Nicky, Curly and dozens of other draft horses were headed to a fate as dog food when they were saved and brought back to health by Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue in Haddam Neck.

The effort now has champions in the artists in the watercolor class at Maple and Main Gallery in Chester. These advance students along with their instructor Bivenne Staiger learned of the organization from fellow student and horse lover JoAnna Chapin and have been painting the horses ever since.

Their work will be shown in a special exhibit Saturday, June 29 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the gallery when wine and food will be served. Fifty percent of the proceeds of the sale of the original paintings and limited edition prints will be donated by the artists to Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue.

Maple and Main, located at One Maple Street, is open Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11 am to 6 p.m.; Friday, 11 am to 7 pm and Sunday, 11 am to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit www.mapleandmaingallery.com or www.ctdraftrescue.com.

Nicky by JoAnna Chapin

Nicky by JoAnna Chapin

Social Connections Offers Host of Activities for Singles Through August

Social Connections is a social club for singles in Connecticut with non-profit 501(c) status from the IRS.  The Club’s goal is to give singles the opportunity to meet new people, have fun, and network.  Read a listing of all the group’s varied activities through August.

JULY 14  (Sunday) SINGLES BLOCK ISLAND DAY TRIP.  Come join a fun day and lunch on the island.  Meet at the ferry at 2 Ferry Street, New London at 8 a.m. for high-speed ferry, round trip ticket $45.  To reserve seat, call ferry at 855-256-2547.  For information, call Gail at 860-582-8229 or 860-434-6426.  Sponsored by Social Connections.

JULY 21  (Sunday) SINGLES WALK & LUNCH at the Dinosaur State Park, 400 West Street, Rocky Hill at 11:00 am.  There is an exceptional display of early Jurassic fossil tracks plus many other artifacts from over 200 million years ago.  Attendees will go into the exhibit center first, admission $6.  Then walk on the more than two miles of nature trails and finally go to lunch at a nearby restaurant.  For information, call Gail 860-582-8229.  Sponsored by Social Connections.

JULY 26  (Friday) SINGLES DINNER EVENING at Dakota’s, 1489 Silas Deane Highway, Rocky Hill at 6:30 pm.  This will be a fun night and an opportunity to meet old and new friends.  They have delicious food and a nice atmosphere.  Come for a fun evening.  To reserve, call Gail at 860-582-8229.  Sponsored by Social Connections.

AUGUST 9  (Friday) SINGLES HAPPY HOUR at La Boca’s Mexican Restaurant, 337 Main Street, Middletown starting at 5 p.m.  Come after work in the lounge for a great time and mingle with old and new friends.  It’s a nice way to end the work week.  There is no charge.  For information, call Gail 860-582-8229.  Sponsored by Social Connections.

AUGUST 17  (Saturday) SINGLES SUMMER BEACH PARTY at Gail Fuller’s beach cottage at 46 Swan Avenue, Sound View, Old Lyme starting at 2 p.m.  This is always a great time.  You can visit, hang out, or walk on beach.  For the picnic, bring a salad, side dish, or dessert.  Admission $10.  To reserve, call Gail in Bristol 860-582-8229 or Old Lyme 860-434-6426.  Sponsored by Social Connections.

AUGUST 25  (Sunday) SINGLES WALK and LUNCH in Boardwalk area at Baptist Lane, Niantic at 11 am.  Walk along the ocean’s edge and listen to the waves.  Come for a lovely Sunday morning walk and then lunch.  No charge for walk.  For information, call Gail 860-434-6426 or 860-582-8229.  Sponsored by Social Connections.

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All Singers Welcome for SummerSing of Lauridsen’s ‘Lux Aeterna’

Enjoy an evening of singing next Monday, June 24, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Old Saybrook at the season’s second of six SummerSings co-sponsored by Cappella Cantorum and the Con Brio Choral Society.

Mark Singleton of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus will lead the group in an informal read-through of  ”Lux Aeterna” by Morten Lauridsen, beginning with registration at 7 p.m. and singing at 7:30 p.m.  All singers are welcome.

An $8 fee includes a borrowed score for the evening if needed.

The church is located at 56 Great Hammock Rd. and is air conditioned.  Parking is available at St. Paul’s or at the Valley Shore Assembly of God at 36 Great Hammock Rd.

For more information, call 860-767-9409 or 203-245-6947.

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Old Saybrook Summer Stroll 2013 to be Held June 28

OS Summer Stroll

The annual Main Street Business Association’s SUMMER STROLL will be Friday, June 28 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm on Main Street in Old Saybrook. 

Main Street merchants will be open to celebrate the beginning of summer with lots of fun activities for the whole family.  The Roaming Railroad will be back for rides up and down Main Street.  There will be children’s amusements on the Town Green and a DJ sponsored by Old Saybrook Youth and Family Services in front of Liberty Bank. 

Hadlyme Public Hall Annual Meeting Votes to Oppose Doubling Ferry Fares, Launches Petition Drive

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The Hadlyme Public Hall Association has started a petition drive against the Connecticut River ferries fare increase.

On Saturday May 4, members attending the annual meeting of the Hadlyme Public Hall Association voted unanimously to oppose the proposal by Connecticut  Department of Transportation (DOT) to double the Connecticut River ferry fares to $6 and agreed to launch a petition drive opposing the fare increase.

The Association immediately initiated the petition drive by creating an on-line petition at SignOn.org.  Click here to add your name to the petition.

Paper petitions will also be circulated throughout the communities served by the two Connecticut River ferries — the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry and the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry.

All the petitions will be presented to the state DOT officials who will be making the decision on whether to raise the fares and by how much.

The position adopted by the members at the meeting states that the Association opposes the state’s proposal to double the fares and instead urges the state to give serious consider to other alternatives that could increase revenues, including:

– Increasing posted fare prices but provide a discount for cars with Connecticut license plates.

– Institute a system of On-peak & Off-peak pricing (similar to that used by commuter railroads) that would charge higher fares on weekends and holidays when there are usually long lines of cars waiting to ride the ferries.

– Increase hours of operation on weekends and holidays to take advantage of generating more fares when ridership demand is the highest.

– In addition to the current discount ticket books, offer a flat “annual pass” fare with a sticker to place on cars to identify those who have purchased the pass.

– Working with state tourism and parks agencies, aggressively promote both Connecticut River ferries to tourists and visitors.

Connecticut DOT will be holding public hearings on the proposed fare increases on May 20 and 22.

Hadlyme Hall Association President Curt Michael urged all those conerned about or affected by the proposed fare increase to sign the petition and to attend the public hearings.

Click here for more info on the fare increase proposal and the public hearings

Hadlyme Public Hall Association is a century-old not-for-profit community organization whose membership is open to all. Its current membership represents more 140 households in Hadlyme and the surrounding area.
For more information about the Association and its historic public hall, visit www.hadlymehall. com

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Former Lyme-Old Lyme High School Principal Takes Top Job in Old Saybrook

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Jan Guarino, the newly-appointed Old Saybrook Public Schools Superintendent.

Jan Guarino, who served as principal at Lyme-Old Lyme High School for six years from 2003 to 2009, has been appointed superintendent of Old Saybrook Public Schools.  Guarino is currently assistant school superintendent for personnel at Wallingford Public Schools, the position to which she moved when she left Region 18.

Guarino, who was known as Guarino-Rhone during her tenure at Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools, will start her job in Old Saybrook on July 1 of this year.

Click to read a more detailed story on Guarino’s appointment written by Eric Vo and published in MyRecordJournal.com on April 24.

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Letter: Linares’s Vote Against Gun Control, Contrary to Majority of Constituent’s Wishes, Requires Explanation

To The Editor:

I write to thank LymeLine, ValleyNewsNow and OldSaybrookNow for their coverage of Senator Linares’s recent vote against the gun control law enacted by the Connecticut Legislature with broad bipartisan support following the Newtown massacre.

Mr. Linares’s constituents have a right to know the reasons for his opposition, given the undeniable support in his district for child safety, the strong endorsement of the bill across party lines, and the uncertainty as to what credible alternative Mr. Linares is offering.

However, while the coverage of Senator Linares’s “no” vote is helpful, it was not altogether satisfying.  The article reports that Mr. Linares issued a statement which “concluded the bill does not address the most important problems”.  But it does not tell us how Mr. Linares reached that conclusion or what measures he would advocate instead.

Senator Linares reportedly said that he decided to vote against the gun law “after talking to many residents of the 33rd district”.  If Mr. Linares means to suggest that his vote reflects the majority of his constituents’ views, I would guess that claim is almost certainly preposterous. To my knowledge, Mr. Linares never conducted a hearing on the issue in his district, and the extensive testimony he heard as a member of the Newtown Task Force led other legislators to broad bipartisan support for the measure.  The true basis of Mr. Linares’s position remains a mystery.

Mr. Linares’s official website sheds no light on the matter either.  As of today, April 19 – over two weeks after the bill’s enactment – Mr. Linares’s web site does not even mention his vote, let alone carry the statement described by the Valley News.  Instead, when one consults the web site’s “in the news” section, one learns that in the aftermath of the legislation, Mr. Linares spent his time commending kindergartners for helping others, extolling the Haddam Shad Museum, and “high fiving” intermediate school students on tour of the State capitol.

One need not begrudge Senator Linares his “feel good” press releases or his energetic attempts to have them covered in the  local press, no matter how modest the content. (See, for example, the 10 or so articles appearing in ValleyNewsNow since mid January extensively covering among other things Mr. Linares participation in various meetings, his tours of local factories, and even his attendance at someone else’s press conference)  But they are not a substitute for keeping his district informed of what he is actually doing in Hartford and why.

The public’s right to know our representatives positions is not a partisan issue.  It applies left, right and center. Again, the  Newtown legislation is being cited as a model of bipartisan cooperation worthy of emulation at the national level. Residents of the 33rd District, whether they be Republican, Democrats, or Independents, deserve to understand why Mr. Linares took an outlier position on this historic legislation

Sincerely,

David Harfst,
Essex.

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Rossini’s Version of “Cinderella” at The Kate – May 12

Salt Marsh Opera will present Gioachino Rossini’s (1792-1868) version of “Cinderella,” which he called “La Cenerentola” on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 12th at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 2:00 p.m., 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook.  This one-hour opera will be sung in English, and is perfect for families.  Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children under fourteen.  Call The Kate Box Office at 877-503-1286.

“Give me a laundry list and I will set it to music,” boasted Rossini, who composed “La Cenerentola” at the age of twenty-four.  He was also a famous wit and bon viveur.

Rossini practically gave up composing for the last thirty years of his life, except for some late piano pieces called “Sins of Old Age.”  They have titles such as “Radishes,” “Gherkins” and “Butter.”

History in Motion Parade, Celebrating Clinton’s 350 years of History – May 4

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Cyclists taking part in the first Clinton BikeFest last year (photo bu Andrea Reu)

Dust off your bicycles, lace up your walking shoes, hitch up the wagon, or saddle the horse – it’s just a few days ’til Clinton’s History in Motion parade! Come as Abraham Pierson, Jared Eliot, George Washington (did he really sleep here?!), or come as yourself. It’s all part of Clinton’s colorful history. Help us reach our goal of 350+ people marching 350 years of Clinton’s history down Main Street. Register now!’

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Henry Tarryk, seen here driving his horse and carriage, will be taking part in the parade

For registration forms and more information, go to bikeandpedestrianalliance.wordpress.com.
When: Saturday, May 4th, check-in begins at 9:30 am, parade begins at 11 am.

Where: Start at Post Office Square, end at Clinton Town Beach

Parking: Town Hall and public parking behind Main Street businesses

Registration Fee: students/children $1, adults $3

Organized by: Bike & Pedestrian Alliance of Clinton (BPAC)

Contact: Debbie Lundgren, 860-669-1077, lundgren10@comcast.net

Lyme Academy College Hosts ‘Salsa Night’ at the Old Lyme Inn, April 25

hotsalsadancing-netStep front, step back and sway at the Salsa Night being hosted by Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts on Thursday, April 25, at the Old Lyme Inn from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.   This will be one of the first events to be held in the Old Lyme Inn’s soon-to-be-opened Jazz Club.

Join us at this Cuban-themed reception to get yourself in the mood for the College’s major fundraiser of the year to be held Saturday, June 1, when Miami comes to Old Lyme in the form of “ArtsBall Miami: Art & Attitude.”

Get in the Miami groove with salsa rhythms and tropical treats as professional dancers show off their moves … or teach you how to develop yours!  No prior salsa dancing experience is required and it will certainly be a great skill to have on hand for the ArtsBall Miami!

Dancers from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Old Saybrook will not only be helping us learn the steps but they are also donating a $15 gift certificate to each guest towards a further lesson at their studios.

The Old Lyme Inn will be open for dinner after the event should you wish to stay a little longer at this delightful location.

Reservations are required and limited to 50 guests, so reserve your seat now.  Tickets are $35 per person and include mojitos, sangria and Cuban-style hors d’oeuvres.  A cash bar will also available.

Reservations can be made by calling Ann de Selding at 860.434.3571 ext. 117 or emailing her at adeselding@lymeacademy.edu. Deadline is April 18, 2013.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts continues the academic tradition of figurative and representational fine art while preparing students for a lifetime of contemporary creative practice. The College offers the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing, Illustration, Painting, and Sculpture (full- and part-time study); Certificates in Painting and Sculpture, a Post-Baccalaureate program; Continuing Education for adults; and a Pre-College Program for students aged 15-18.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the National Association of the Schools of Art and Design, and the Connecticut Department of Higher Education.

The College is located at 84 Lyme Street, Old Lyme CT 06371.  For more information, call 860-434-5232 or visit www.lymeacademy.edu 

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Talking Transportation: Cruise Ships: The Devils on The Deep Blue Sea

Jim CameronIn the eight years I’ve been writing this column I’ve never found a reason to write about cruise ships, one of my favorite ways to travel.

Since my Dad took me as a passenger on freighters through the Caribbean when I was a kid right up to our now-annual cruises to the same area, I’ve always loved the high seas.  There’s nothing easier than driving to the pier in New York City, hopping on board and kicking back for a week.

A few years ago my fascination with cruising brought me to a great book, “Devils on the Deep Blue Sea” by Kristoffer Garin which detailed the formative years of the cruise industry, especially the start-up of Carnival Cruise Lines in 1972.  It was a rough start, but today Carnival owns 10 cruise lines (almost half the cruise ships in the world) including Cunard, Holland America, Costa, P&O, Princess and Seabourn.  At one point they even had their own airline ferrying passengers to Miami and San Juan, their biggest embarkation ports.

By segmenting the cruise market, just as hotels do, they offer everything from singles-filled party cruises to upscale trans-Atlantic “crossings” on the Queen Mary 2 (which is where I was while reading Garin’s book in 2006).

But more recently Carnival’s had some very bad PR.  Last year it was crash of the Costa Concordia in Italy (whose Captain abandoned ship).  Then, the February stranding of the 4,000-person Triumph for days in the Gulf of Mexico (without power, food or sanitation) was just the latest in a series of engineering problems.  Last week another ship, Fascination, failed a Center for Disease Control (CDC) health inspection, the fourth of their ships to do so this year alone.

Last week demand for cabins was so low that Carnival was offering cruises for $38 a night per person … less than the cost at Motel 6.   And that price includes all meals (assuming those CDC inspections don’t hurt your appetite).

Admittedly, this is a weak time of year for cruising, but Carnival knows it’s always best to sail with a full ship and make money on the booze and ship excursions.

In my view, the real problem isn’t Carnival or its ships’ safety, but the fact that they pay no taxes … and yet, depend on the US Coast Guard for their numerous rescues.

Micky Arison, son of the founder of Carnival (and owner of the Miami Heat), is the richest man in Florida.  Last year Carnival brought in $15.3 billion in revenues.  But they paid just 0.6% in US, state, local and international taxes last year while socking taxpayers for millions in US Coast Guard expenses for 90 different rescue missions in the last five years.

Senator Jay Rockefeller says Arison is a “cheater… treacherous and wrong” and wrote him asking to do the right thing and pay-up.  Carnival declined the invitation, prompting Rockefeller (the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee) to call their response “shameful”.

Shameful, perhaps.  But perfectly legal and the result, even Rockefeller admits, of sloppiness by Congress.  So, expect some grandstanding, a few hearings and maybe some face-saving philanthropy by Arison.   But don’t expect many changes in the cruise industry, especially in higher fares that reflect the true cost of being a “devil on the deep blue seas”.

JIM CAMERON has been a commuter out of Darien for 22 years.  He is Chairman of the CT Metro-North / Shore Line East Rail Commuter Council, and a member of the Coastal Corridor TIA and the Darien RTM.  You can reach him at CTRailCommuterCouncil@gmail.com or www.trainweb.org/ct .  For a full collection of “Talking Transportation” columns, see www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com

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