Saturday, November 14, 2020

Buy Local For Thanksgiving


Healthy PlanEat is offering a series of Thanksgiving pick up events where you can order food from local farms that use sustainable growing practices. Order today (Saturday, November 14th) through Thursday, November 19th at this link:

And pick up your order at Forest City Farms (1100 River Road, Middletown, CT, 06457) on Sunday, November 22nd from 1 - 3 pm. 

Items available include turkeys, vegetables, meats, oysters, cheeses, herbs, honey, milk, yogurt, egg nog, and maple syrup. 

Happy Thanksgiving from Healthy PlanEat!

Friday, November 13, 2020

Explore Academic Programs at Middlesex Community College

Learn more about MxCC degree and certificate programs during virtual open house week.

Sign up for a virtual open house about any of the program subjects or choose any information session from the weeklong schedule which starts on Monday, November 16. Explore degree or certificate programs ranging from Radiologic Technology to Criminal Justice to Manufacturing and many more. 

Click here to browse the schedule.

The virtual academic program sessions will be led by faculty from each area of study via Webex. Attend as many as you are interested in throughout the week. An Enrollment Services representative will also be available during all sessions to answer questions about admissions, registration, or financial aid.

Middlesex Community College is your way forward!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Water Department Urges Conservation

In case you didn't see the Pipeline newsletter recently published by the Water and Sewer Department and haven't visited their website lately:

Please Conserve Water

In Middletown,  in the in the beginning of October, the reservoirs dipped to 56% capacity prompting the water department to issue a water conservation advisory.

Due to the unusually dry weather that we have encountered this summer, the City of Middletown is asking customers to please conserve water. This is not a mandate but a request. We are asking that everyone limit nonessential water use. This will help us ensure that everyone has all the water they need.

 Suggested measures:

Run washing machines and dishwashers only with full loads

Take shorter showers

Shut the tap off while washing hands, shaving and brushing teeth.

Fix leaky faucets and pipes

 If the capacity of the reservoirs reach a low 50%, the water department may move to mandatory restrictions that will need to be enforced. The scorching summer heat brought record low rainfall and much of the northern and eastern parts of Connecticut are in severe drought, prompting us to ask you to limit water use. At Bradley International Airport, precipitation from June 1 to August 31 totaled 4.42 inches, the lowest level recorded in more than a century of data collection, according to state whether expert Gary Lessor. Hartford had 39 days of summer with a high of at least 90 degrees, the most ever.

Oddfellows events for kids and teens coming up!

Photo by Bill De Kine from Teen Rep October outdoor performance.

Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater in Middletown is offering local young people a variety of opportunities to get involved in the arts over the coming weeks. The upcoming schedule offers something for all age groups from 5 to 20, and includes performance opportunities, classes and lots of fun.

Young performers ages 14 – 20 are invited to join the Teen Repertory Company virtual production of “A Mystery Murdered”, a comic mystery directed by Playhouse Program Manager Jacque Brown. The play will have two rehearsals (December 2 and 3, 6:30 – 8 pm) and a single virtual performance on Friday, December 4 at 6:30 pm. Tuition is $30.

The Junior Repertory Company will be offering 2 in-person classes for ages 12 – 15, each meeting twice. “Spoken Word Night” will be led by Hartford-based performing artist and poet Laugh Sanchez on November 19 and December 17, 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the Playhouse, which is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown. On November 24 and December 8, Carmine Lavieri will be leading “Improv Jams”, also 5:30 – 6:30 pm at the Playhouse. Both classes are limited to 8 participants and will be held in our large, well-ventilated theater; masks and social distancing will be required. Tuition is $15 per class, with discounts for signing up for multiple classes. “Spoken Word” will focus on creating original poetry for performance; “Improv Jam” will be a fast-paced evening of theater improvisation. No experience is necessary for either of the groups, and financial aid is available for anyone who needs it.

Younger students have a series of virtual events and classes to choose from over the coming weeks, starting with “Chill Art Party” with Artemis Omani on Wednesday, November 18, 4:30 – 5:30 pm. “Chill Art Party”, open to ages 6 -11, is a relaxing chance to draw together, listen to music, and share your art work. Markers and drawing pads are available to pick up at the Playhouse.

 “Holiday Crafts”, with Cookie Quinones, is a hands-on chance for kids ages 5 – 8 to create various holiday-themed crafts. It will be held via Zoom on Monday, November 23, 5 – 6 pm, and supplies will be available to pick up at the Playhouse.

On Wednesday, December 2, kids ages 6 – 11 may join Oddfellows Circus Director Allison McDermott for “Circuspalooza”, a chance to learn or practice your circus skills, including juggling, balancing, flower stick, and other cool skills. “Circuspalooza” will be held 4:30 – 5:30 pm, and students may borrow equipment from Oddfellows to use at home.

“Acting for Fun”, with Diamond Wynn, will be offered to ages 8 – 11 on Wednesday, December 9, 4:30 – 5:30 pm. This is a great chance to play theater games and have some fun together.

On Wednesday, December 16 from 5 – 6 pm kids ages 6 – 14 may join Playhouse Hip Hop dance instructor Felicia Goodwine for a “Virtual Holiday Dance Party”. Get ready to work up a sweat dancing with Felicia and friends!

The 2020 season will culminate with a “Holiday Family Paint Night”, led by Lanea Collins, on Monday, December 21, 5 – 6 pm. The virtual session is open to ages 5 – 11 and their families; paint supplies may be picked up at the Playhouse prior to the class.

Tuition for all individual classes is $15 per class, and financial aid is available. It is Oddfellows policy that inability to pay should never stand in the way of participation.

Oddfellows Playhouse will be offering a full 8 week session of classes and performance opportunities for kids starting in January, including Playwriting and Acting classes for teens (culminating in a New Plays Festival), a Junior Rep main stage production, and a mainstage circus theater production with Circophony Teen Circus. Stay posted for the full list of winter programs to be announced in December!

To register for any of the above classes, or for more information, go to, call (860) 347-143, or email

The Oddfellows Playhouse late fall season of classes is made possible thanks to generous support from The Fund for Greater Hartford, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch/Youth Violence Prevention, Connecticut Office of the Arts, Middletown Commission on the Arts, Stare Family Fund, Middletown Youth Services Bureau, Thomas J. Atkins Fund, New England Arts Resilience Fund and generous individual donors.


Friday, November 6, 2020

Storytelling Returns to The Buttonwood Tree


Story City Troupe is online!


November 6, December 4 ...    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm 

We’re now on ZOOM!
Sit back and relax to a fascinating adult style story time!  These tellers are proficient at storytelling and will truly delight and entertain you. Mike Isko emcees the event which has a different theme every month.
The Buttonwood Tree is proud to bring back the amazing tellers of the Story City Troupe for a recurring “Moth Style” storytelling event now online, on FIRST FRIDAYS. Reserve your tickets here!
Story City is a troupe of storytellers based in the Hartford, CT area and mentored by Matt Dicks, one of The Moth’s champion storytellers. Story City Troupe uses The Moth Formula: all are true, personal stories, often funny, sometimes amazing, poignant or ironic and based on a single theme for the evening. The troupe members range in age from their 20’s to their 70’s, proving you can come up with a good story at any age.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll identify!


This group is led by Sue Huggans and welcomes new members. Do you have a story to tell?

 Mike Isko:
Since taking Matthew Dicks beginner storytelling course in 2015, the veteran public defender, married father of two, has been telling stories about his foibles and family. As a member of Sue Huggans’ Story City Troupe you can hear Mike tell stories at The Buttonwood  Tree Art Center in Middletown the first Friday of every month when there is not a global pandemic. He has also told at a number of SpeakUp Story Telling events, at Saul Fussiner Songs and Stories at the Next Door, New Haven and is now thrilled to be a part of the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas.
 Please register using this link and you will be emailed the Zoom information.  ($10)
For more information about Buttonwood events ... see

Monday, November 2, 2020

MxCC Virtual Open House is November 4

campus scene

Learn more about Middlesex Community College at our virtual Open House on Wednesday, November 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. Find out about student activities, tutoring services, the college library, disabilities services, financial aid, advising, career services, and more. You can also participate in breakout sessions featuring academic programs and faculty. 

Click here for more information. MxCC is your way forward! 

MxCC logo

Saturday, October 31, 2020





This is very important for those of you voting by Absentee Ballots for the November 3rd Election. After you drop off your absentee ballot in the ballot boxes or sent it through the U.S. Mail please call the Town Clerk Ashley Flynn-Natale to ensure that her office received your ballot & it was recorded. Her phone number is 860-344-3459 & email her at Please do not take for granted that your ballot was received and documented. If you value your vote, please call Town Clerk Ashley Flynn-Natale or email her to check on the status of your absentee ballot today. Please see The Middletown Press article written by Cassandra Day titled "Middletown clerk ‘overwhelmed’ by 6,000-plus absentee ballots." Here is the link to the article


If you don't check on your absentee ballot your vote may not get counted and you will lose your right to vote in this year’s election.


Friday, October 30, 2020

Abrams Spending Heavily on Facebook Advertisements

Wesleyan students are tracking the spending by candidates for the State Senate on Facebook advertisements as part of a class. Overall, Republican and Democrat candidates are spending approximately the same amount, averaging nearly $3500 per candidate between September 6 and October 17. 

But spending by individual candidates varies significantly.

Incumbent State Senator Mary Abrams, who represents about half of our city, leads all candidates in her spending, with $9,424. Her opponent, Len Suzio, is one of the highest Republican spender, at $4,363 in the same period. Their race is considered a very competitive one. 

Our other State Senator, Matt Lesser, is being outspent on Facebook by his opponent, Richie Ruglio. Ruglio has spent $4,039, while Lesser has spent only half of that, $1,932.

This work has been done by Domenique Monserrat, Andrew Kushnir, and Natasha Wong, as part of a class taught by Logan Dancey and Erika Franklin Fowler

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Election Day 2020! Vote November 3rd.


City’s Voters will be asked to decide the fate of the $55 million infrastructure project for the November 3rd election.  


Mayor Florsheim said earlier that this project is “specifically oriented towards economic development and growing the tax base beyond where it is today.” He clarified his response with “this project will allow more businesses and residents to come into town and do well, increasing the amount of revenue coming into the city and allowing us to hopefully lower the tax rate.”  


How will it be done?  Mayor Florsheim said that it would add “significant more parking to downtown, which has been a longstanding need both for businesses and for us to be able to add more housing; it will bring the city hall site and the arcade site onto the tax rolls, bringing in potentially millions in new revenue.” According to Mayor Florsheim this project will enable the city to start the process of “moving forward on the riverfront, which we also hope will bring more people and business into Middletown. It also continues our investment in roads and public spaces, both of which are key factors in attracting businesses and residents. “ 


Will people’s taxes increase as a result of this project? Mayor Florsheim responded with “One of the main goals of this is to lower taxes in the long run. The only tool we have in our local toolbox to reduce taxes is to grow the tax base, which this project does in a significant way. “ Mayor Florsheim went onto say “I firmly believe that the only way to meaningfully get our tax rate under control is to bring in the type of economic vibrancy that these projects provide.”  


Joseph Samolis, the Director of Planning, Conservation & Development stated “I will say, if the City is going to authorize and borrow money, this is a good time to consider it, with rate at 1% or even lower, the interest paid on the bond is minimal.”  Also, if this project wins on November 3rd“there is no guarantee that the City will utilize the total amount of 55 Million dollars authorized” because of a state Urban Act Grant the city applied for “that would ultimate reduce the total need to be bonded by that amount. We are hoping to hear this month or next month if we receive this money” according to Samolis. 


Why Move City Hall?  Samolis said this about the City Hall lot “over the past 9 years, we have dealt with approximately 4 major developers that we have been working with to do a mixed use development at the old arcade site (parking garage behind Police Dept), and all of these developers really like the City Hall location and preferred it over the arcade location.”  According to Mayor Florsheim “The key factors about it that make it particularly attractive and valuable: large site, easy access to public parking and downtown amenities, views of the riverfront, and visibility from Route 9.”   


If the referendum passes how soon would the City move into the former Citizens’ Bank Building on Main Street? According to Mr. Samolis it would take the city approximately two to three years.  Samolis stated “The current owner has tenants in some of the 1980’s building and those leases continue to 2023. At the same time, the City would need to do some upgrades to the building….”  


How long would the project take to complete? Both Mayor Florsheim & Mr. Samolis both agreed it would take about ten years to complete. Samolis stated “it will take the better part of 10 years to probably spend the money associated with the grant. Specifically, the $15,000,000 for Road improvements takes time for the Public Works Dept. to design and engineer road improvements, build and then construct.” 


For information about this project please see

You may contact Mayor Florsheim at 860-344-3401 & email Mayor@MiddletownCT.Gov. Mr. Samolis phone 860-638-4840 & email is joseph.Samolis@MiddletownCT.Gov 


If you support this proposal or oppose it please vote on November 3rd.  The most important issue that will be on the ballot will not be this question but rather the offices of President & Vice President of these United States of America.  When President Ronald Reagan campaigned for this office in 1980, he asked “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”  Is the nation better off now than it was four years ago?  Please consider these questions when you vote for President and Vice President either by absentee ballot or in person by November 3rd.  Polls open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. 


Enjoy the video.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Buttonwood Tree Offers Personal Development Workshop on Saturdays and So Much More



Align With Source workshops to help you understand the bigger picture ...
Understand your Self and learn how to cope better ...
Have greater inner peace and more.

Tune in online, Saturdays 10:30 - noon ending with a guided meditation.
Email: for link and more info

This week's topic:

'Re-Membering Your Light Within'

Your Light is your ALL. Take this time to recall it, re-member, & reflect it in every sense, so you may use it in attaining your true potential. We must each one do our bit in aiding our world into a Higher Consciousness, but we must do this first for Self. You are one of our world's great Souls who chose to assist Earth & Humanity in the ascension to the 5th Dimension. This brings great growth, wisdom & rewards. You are to be commended for being here. Begin creating now!


Our weekly spiritual meetings offer a special place where you will find many answers that help unlock hidden truths & your direction. These meetings are open to all, by invitation, so do feel free to invite your friends, if you wish. Email me with their Email ID or Cell Number to request an invitation. 


“As our world moves into a higher frequency, the 5th Dimension, our series of ongoing workshops offer guidance in understanding events and making the required shifts within ourselves. These are wonderful times and opportunities to create a beautiful new world on a higher level, one of love, truth and integrity, serving ALL.”


About Annaita

Annaita Gandhy is an intuitive Spiritual Guide & Healer, who shares her experience and wisdom to bring awareness of the Light within each. Committed to the Light, she is here to lift humanity to a higher level of consciousness and serves through her many spiritual workshops, meditations, teaching and personal healing sessions, drawing on her extensive training and experience during her life in India. She lives in Middletown, CT and is accessible to all those who desire to heal and claim their Divinity.

Safely participate, listen, grow and learn ... online over the Zoom platform:

Mondays: Anything Goes Open Mic  (6:30-9:30pm)

Tuesdays: Laughter Yoga  (6-7pm)

Thursdays: Bob Gotta's Acoustic Open Mic   (6:30-9pm)

Thursdays: Tree Roots Drum Circle AT Harbor Park  (4:30-6:30pm)

Reiki classes by arrangement

See more at

Jonah Center Endorses 21st Century Infrastructure Development Bond Question On Nov. 3rd Ballot


On Nov. 3, Middletown voters will decide whether to authorize the city to borrow funds for a variety of long- term infrastructure projects. No final decisions on these projects have been made, but the referendum asks voters to authorize the borrowing that will be necessary for them.

The Jonah Center Board of Directors recommends a "yes" vote on the ballot question (see below).

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Buy Local Food, Be Healthy, Make Our Community A Better Place

Forest City Farms in Middletown has boosted the inventory it is offering through Healthy PlanEat.  Here’s the link to order or get the newsletter

Place Your Order: Fridays 8 am through Tuesdays at 5 pm; Pick Up on Thursdays from 4 - 6:30 p.m. at 1100 River Road, Middletown. (Go east on Silver St. past the post office to River Road, and then go a bit further on River Road.)