Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summer Meal Blitz at Russell Library This Friday at 9:00am

Do you want to help to end hunger in Middletown this summer? 
Starting next week, Russell Library will offer free, nutritious meals to kids and teens every weekday through the end of summer. 
From July 5 - August 25, lunch will be served Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri at noon and Wed at 1pm; a snack will be served Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri at 2pm and Wed at 3pm. Anyone 18 years of age and under can grab a bite in our Activity Room at those times.
We need volunteers to spread the word! Join us for a Summer Meals Blitz this Friday, June 30 at 9am in front of the Library. We'll pound the pavement to let the whole City know where hungry youth can get food while school is out. 
Sign up to help out at
For more information about Summer Meals times and locations, visit

Monday, June 26, 2017

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ Oliver!

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week

Gender:  Male
Breed: Domestic Short Hair
Age:5 years old

Hi, I'm Oliver. I had a rough life living on the road but I’m a social guy who enjoys being pet or sharing your lap when you are reading.   I really enjoy just hanging out with people and relaxing by lying in the rays of sunlight.  Since I had such a rough life on the streets, I am looking for someone who will understand that I will need some time to adjust to my new home and be OK with occasionally giving me medicine when my mouth gets inflamed (stomatitis).  I’m a real sweet boy who is ready to soak up all the love someone is ready to give and would be OK sharing my new home with another non-dominant cat. Come meet me and see how sweet I can be!

Phone:   860.344.9043
Watch our TV commercial:

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Multiverse Includes Lost Luggage Universe -- The Colonel Carries On #89

Epigraph: “The play ‘Our American Cousin’ was definitely not worth getting assassinated for. It has stood the test of time in the sense that it was a piece of crap then and it’s a piece of crap now. John Wilkes Booth was an actor and professional pride should have kept him from being anywhere near the theater while that play was on. He should have waited for another opportunity to pop the President, and if none arose, them’s the breaks. It’s that bad a play.” --Harry Grimgorse

Friday, June 23, 2017

Canoe & Kayak Paddle -- June 24, 1 p.m.

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art invites kayakers and canoeists to a “paddle with a purpose” in Middletown’s Floating Meadows – a 1000 acre freshwater tidal marshland -- on Saturday, June 24, from 1- 3 p.m. Paddlers will launch from the City of Middletown’s Phil Salafia Canoe and Kayak Launch at 181 Johnson Street, travel down the Coginchaug River for a short distance to the Mattabesset River, and from there paddle upstream on the slow-moving Mattabesset. The total paddling time will be approximately 2 hours. The area offers abundant scenery and wildlife sightings. Participants will likely see osprey, tree swallows, egrets, herons, turtles, and perhaps the bald eagles that occupy a large nest visible along our route.

The main group activity will be searching for and removing invasive water chestnut plants that choked the waterway last season. In recent years, the growing water chestnut infestation in southern New England has posed an increasing, serious threat to the health of local ponds and coves along the Connecticut River. In 2016, the Jonah Center removed 48 canoes full of plants from the Floating Meadows over the course of 6 work parties. Beyond the June 24 outing, the Jonah Center has scheduled an additional work party on July 8, Saturday, starting at the same location at 1 p.m.

Paddlers need to provide their own boats and lifejackets, as well as water and snacks (if desired). Pre-registration is not required, but participants will be asked to sign a liability waiver and photo use permission slip. There is no fee for this activity, but The Jonah Center welcomes donations of $10 per person to help cover the costs of insurance, supplies, and planning.

For more information, contact John Hall at 860-398-3771.

Political Parties Eager For Candidates

City voters will choose half of the Board of Education and half of the Planning and Zoning Commission this November, and the two major political parties are in the midst of deciding whom to endorse.

Candidates who gain a party endorsement are guaranteed a spot on the ballot, while candidates who do not gain an endorsement can only get on the ballot by collecting enough signatures to force a primary election. This control of ballot access is the most important function of the Democrat and the Republican Town Committees.

Each Town Committee has formed a nominating subcommittee which is interviewing potential candidates, and representatives of each party have told The Eye that they would like to see everyone who is is considering running for either board or commission submit a letter of intent.

Republicans interested in running for office should send an email to Bill Wilson, the Chair of the Republican Town Committee:, or RTC, PO Box 1121, Middletown, by July 9th. The full town committee will vote on endorsements at its July 19th meeting.

Democrats interested in running for office should send an email to Democratic Town Committee, currently chaired by Sal Nesci: Letters of intent should be received by June 28th, at 6PM. The full town committee will vote on endorsements at its July 20th meeting.

This year the following will be on the ballot:
  • Planning and Zoning Commission, regular commissioner. 3 positions open.
    Because of State rules that restrict the minimum number of commissioners from the minority party, only 1 Democrat could be seated, while up to 3 Republicans could be seated (of the 4 regular commissioner seats not up for election until 2019, 3 are currently held by Democrats and 1 is held by a Republican).
  • Planning and Zoning Commission, alternate commissioner. 1 position open.
    Because of State minority representation rules, this seat can only be filled with a Republican (both of the 2 alternate commissioner seats not up for election until 2019 are currently held by Democrats).
  • Board of Education. 4 positions open.
    Because of State minority representation rules, only 2 Democrats can be seated, while up to 4 Republicans could be seated (of the 5 Board of Education seats not up for election until 2019, 4 are currently held by Democrats).
Each party plans to endorse the maximum number of candidates for each position. This can sometimes make it hard to recruit candidates, especially for the Democratic Party, when the minority party representation rules preclude someone actually being seated.  Sometimes the parties submit names of party loyalists who are not interested in serving. Other times the parties submit names of people interested and capable of serving, knowing that vacancies frequently occur on Planning and Zoning or Board of Education, and the person appointed to fill a vacancy is customarily someone who was on the ballot in the previous election.  In addition, persons who have been on the ballot this year will have a substantial advantage in the 2019 election, when there will be 4 vacancies on Planning and Zoning, and 5 on the Board of Education.

Disclosure:  The author is currently Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and is seeking an endorsement from the Democratic Town Committee to run for re-election. Four years ago he unsuccessfully sought a party endorsement, and gained ballot access through the primary process.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Concert on the Farm This Weekend (Updated)

Seats are still available this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday at the Gastler Farm (on the Durham/Middlefield borderline) for the Kalmia Garden Farmhouse Concert

The series is in its fourth season and features young musicians, all of whom recently graduated from prestigious music programs at schools such as Yale, Rice, and Juilliard.  They have been in residency on the farm for the past few months and finish their stay with two weekends of concerts, two different programs. This weekend, various combinations of the resident ensemble will perform music composed by Schubert, Schumann, Shostakovich, and Xenakis.  These musicians include Tim Krippner (piano), Max Geissler (cello), Will Overcash (violin), Dian Zhanf (violin), and Kalmia Foundation originator and artistic director Leah Gastler (viola, pictured below).

Concerts are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. as well as Sunday at 3 p.m.  If you arrive at least an hour before the concert, you will get a guided tour of the delightful gardens. To purchase tickets, you can call 860-349-8415 or email To find out more about the farm, the concert series, and the Kalmia Foundation, go to  

(UPDATE Friday):

We just arrived home from the concert. The music was delightful, the musicians engaging, and the surroundings comfortable and quite impressive.  Due to the absence of violinist Dian Zhanf, the program for the weekend ha been altered.  The three string players opened the concert with "Serenade (Trio) in C major, Opus 10" by Ernst von Dohnanyi (1877-1960), the Hungarian-born composer who spent the last 11 years of life living and teaching in the United States.  Next up was "Trio No. 1 in C minor, Opus 8" for violin, cello, and piano composed by Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) when he was 17 years old.  After a short break, all four musicians returned to perform the "Piano Quartet in E-flat major, K.493" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791).  A joyous piece of music, the musicians had a delightful time negotiating the occasional flurry of notes, especially the knuckle-busting phrases pianist Krippner had to play - he did so with aplomb!

Tickets are still available for Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.  Classical music comes alive in this lovely setting and the musicians not only love to perform, they also love to inform so that the music is not as mysterious.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ CHARLIE!!

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week 


Gender:  Male

Breed:  Domestic Short Hair

Color:  Orange / Buff

Age: 1 year old

  Hi, I'm Charlie! I'm a young guy and I was found as a stray. I must have had a home once because I am so friendly and outgoing. I am very affectionate and love to be petted. I will am a cuddle bug and am just the sweetest boy you'll meet! I love everyone. I'd love to come home with you! Would you let me? 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

One Thing All Liars Have in Common -- The Colonel Carries On #88

By Oliver Wendell Watson, judge and sidekick, and Waclaw Prndl, automatic shift driving instructor

Epigraph: “The storms come and go, the waves crash overhead, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling.” --George R.R. Martin

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1809-1890)

Karr is best remembered for "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose,” literally “the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing,” but usually translated as “the more things change, the more they stay [or remain] the same.”

That may seem banal, like “it is what it is,” but it may be profound. I can’t make up my mind, which is perhaps why I esteem more highly another of his aphorisms, about the movement to abolish capital punishment: "je veux bien que messieurs les assassins commencent" (“let the gentlemen who do the murders take the first step”).

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Car Show Fills Street With Pedestrians

Main Street welcomed walkers again, for the city's annual celebration of vintage and exotic automobiles.  It was a beautiful evening, and the city was full of car enthusiasts and others out for a stroll.

A few more pictures below the jump.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Readers Theater presents 100 Saints You Should Know at Russell Library

100 SAINTS YOU SHOULD KNOW by Kate Fodor will be presented this Thursday, June 15, at 7:00pm in the Hubbard Room of the Russell Library.

Kate Fodor's achingly truthful drama discerns the faint outlines of hope in a universe of lost connections.

'When Father Matthew takes a leave of absence after questionable photographs are found in the parish rectory, he retreats to the dubious care of his passive-aggressive mother. But God’s restless children won’t leave the young priest alone, and pretty soon he’s ministering to a sexually confused grocer’s son, the single mother who cleans the rectory and her hilariously angry daughter. But who is Matthew to advise on lust and salvation when he can’t even bear to pray?' 
-- Charlotte Stoudt, Culture Monster


Matthew . . . . . . . . . Andrew Wilcox

Theresa . . . . . . . . . .Joan Duquette

Abby . . . . . . . . . . . . Emily Barbi

Colleen .. . . . . . . . . .Dawn Maselli

Garrett . . . . . . . . . .  Mason RIce

Narrator . . . . . . . . . .Richard Kamins
Directed by Anne Cassady and Richard Kamins.

Funded by the Middletown Commission on the Arts and The Friends of the Russell Library

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Films on Foss Back This Summer

Films on Foss, a student developed and operated community movies series, is returning for its third summer by offering four free movies to the Middletown community. The offerings are below and linked to their Facebook event page:

June 24th: The Sandlot​ (joined by a Hartford Yard Goats mascot)

August 5th: The Princess Bride (2016's fan vote winner)

For more information and weather updates you can visit or find Youth Services on Facebook / Twitter.

What is Films on Foss?
The Mayoral Youth Cabinet in partnership with the City of Middletown and Wesleyan University is bringing back our wildly successful movie series called "Films on Foss". The students wanted to provide a FREE event where multiple generations could come together and build community and both the City of Middletown and Wesleyan stepped up to the plate to make this a reality. Just as the name states, the films are show on campus at Foss Hill, just off Wyllys Ave (for GPS purposes you can enter 45 Wyllys Ave, Middletown, CT 06459). A community picnic which includes food trucks starts at 7PM and the movie starts around 8:30PM. 

The Mayoral Youth Cabinet is a group of teens dedicated to improving their community and building youth voice. They serve as a bridge between city leaders and youth and are engaged in various empowerment projects in conjunction with Middletown Youth Services.

Questions around the event can be directed to YSB staff at 860-854-6030. 

Thursday: Strawberry Shortcake Nirvana

The Third Congregational Church Ladies Aid Society is putting on their annual strawberry festival this Thursday.

Best homemade shortcake, topped by local berries and real whipped cream!

11AM until they're all eaten (about 4PM)
Third Congregational Church, 94 Miner Street