Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MxCC Professor Publishes On Freedom’s Shores, the Final Novel in the Cuban Family Saga, The Unbroken Circle

The gripping trilogy of the León family, freedom fighters living under Fidel Castro’s regime in the 1960s, is now complete with the release of the historical novel On Freedom’s Shores by Middlesex Community College Professor Victor Triay.  The last book, which is available at, tells the tale of the León children who fled Castro’s Communist Cuba after the Bay of Pigs invasion as unaccompanied minors.  The children first land in Miami but quickly end up in New York City where their lives take a series of unexpected turns.
The Unbroken Circle trilogy is the story of the fictional León family, whose peaceful, middle class existence is swept suddenly into a tempest of warfare, betrayal, and separation during the early years of the Cuban Revolution. In The Struggle Begins (2013), Goyo León, a devoted teacher and family man, is recruited into the anti-Castro underground after his father is killed at the hands of Castro’s henchmen. Unbeknownst to Goyo, his young cousins have also secretly joined the anti-Communist resistance. With the three cousins becoming more deeply involved in the pro-democracy struggle every day, tensions rise as the stakes for their homeland reach an all-time high.

In the second installment, Freedom Betrayed (2013), the three cousins participate in the Bay of Pigs invasion and battle Fidel Castro’s war machine. Their effort to rid their homeland of totalitarianism and establish democratic government fails when the invaders are betrayed by their American allies. As Castro finds himself unimpeded in his quest to bring Cuba under Communist rule, hundreds of thousands of Cubans flee and seek sanctuary in the United States

A Cuban American born and raised in Miami, Victor Triay, Ph.D., has written extensively about Fidel Castro and the Communist takeover of the island nation. He has published three academic, non-fiction books on Cuban exile history: Fleeing Castro: Operation Pedro Pan and the Cuban Children's Program (1999), the first book ever written about an exodus of over 14,000 unaccompanied child refugees from Castro’s Cuba and the program established in the United States to provide them care; Bay of Pigs : An Oral History of Brigade 2506 (2001), which won the 2001 Samuel Proctor Oral History Prize from the Florida Historical Society; and The Cuban Revolution: Years of Promise (2005, with Teo A. Babun). These books, along with his historical novels, are inspired by his community’s experience as Cuban exiles.

“I grew up hearing the stories of relatives and family friends who fought against Communism and for freedom, and I always hoped to tell a version of their story in a compelling way,” Triay said.  “These novels have given me that opportunity and I am grateful for the many readers who are drawn to the León saga and this part of American history.”

Professor Triay, who teaches United States History, Western Civilization, and World Civilization at MxCC, will take part in book signings and readings at MxCC and other local venues this spring.

Christmas Past

Main-Street-Grandma Baby 
(February 2014 photo)

Christmastime on Main Street, 2014

Main Street Rides


Season of Giving & Taking

Friday, December 12, 2014

This Weekend at The Buttonwood Tree

An Evening with the Samadi-Keene Duo

December 13 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm $15 General Admission $8 for Students
The Samadi-Keene Duo return to the Buttonwood Tree to present an exciting program of music written specifically for the classical guitar, mandolin, and piano. Come listen to the music of Classical Vienna, 20th century fantasias, as well as works by living composers!
Kristin Samadi, piano – Dan Keene, guitar & mandolin

Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”

December 14 @ 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Performed live by Peter Loffredo accompanied by John Cappaletti on piano.
For more, click below!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Friends of Russell Library Book Sale

The Friends of Russell Library monthly book sale will take place Friday, December 12 from 9 to 6, Saturday, December 13 from 9 to 5, and Sunday, December 14 from 1 to 4 in the children’s activity room of the library at 123 Broad Street. Newer fiction is available along with books in many non-fiction categories:  cookbooks, travel books, books on religion, history, home and hobbies, and biographies.  Many books are suitable for gift-giving, including a selection from last month's sale of our best books.  Children’s picture books and books for young adults are for sale, and there are many CD’s, DVD’s, and recorded books.  All proceeds from the sale go towards library programs and materials. 

Candlelight Christmas Concert at First Church, on Sunday afternoon

Annual Candlelight
Christmas Concert
December 14, 2014
at 4 p.m.

First Church of Christ,
Congregational (UCC)
190 Court Street

You are invited to attend our Annual Candlelight Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 14, at 4:00 o'clock p.m. Hear the joyous sounds of our Celebration Singers, Heart and Hand Bell Choir, and Senior Choir. Listen and be inspired by special holiday readings; and join in the congregational singing of traditional carols!

The concert is free and open to all; donations are gratefully accepted. First Church is handicapped accessible. Lots of free parking nearby.

Final Voter Turnout In 2014 Election

The Secretary of the State has released her final numbers on our most recent election. In general, voter turnout is higher in small towns, and lower in large cities.

The graph at the right plots the percentage turnout against the number of registered voters.

Middletown had a large turnout, relative to the number of registered voters, 64.4% of 22,142 voters cast a ballot.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Phone Scam Alert. Windows Virus?

From a reader:
We just got a call at home from iTec Alert, 888.893.9341, whose rep said they'd gotten reports that one of our Windows computers was infected with a virus. First, we have only Macs, and second I looked them up and they're running a well known and potentially dangerous scam:

I called M'town police, who said a couple of other folks had also let them know that they too had gotten similar calls, so iTec may be targeting our area.

Monday, December 8, 2014

MPD Response To March And Die-In, "No Injuries, No Arrests"

Press Release from the MPD.
Early this morning the Middletown Police Department received a tip that Wesleyan Students would be organizing a march that would “secretly” include a “die-in” at the intersection of Main Street and Washington Street. This was to occur at rush hour. The president of Wesleyan also posted a blog supporting the march.

The Middletown Police Department then reached out to Wesleyan and the student organizing the march. We attempted to negotiate with that student to change the location of the march. She refused stating that the reason for the march was to “inconvenience people”.

After learning this, the Middletown Police Department determined that the best course of action was to shut down the intersection to avoid any accidents, we also advised the Board of Education and EMS to use alternate routes during the march.

There were approximately 300 students that participated in the march. The march was peaceful and respectful. Some students thanked us for keeping them safe during the march. The most anyone did in a negative way was to shake a sign near the officers.

The students cleared the intersection after occupying it for approximately eleven minutes. We then followed the students back to Wesleyan property to ensure their safety.

Several minutes later about half of the students started marching back toward Main Street and Washington Street. The students were advised that they could not occupy the intersection again. The students were allowed to march on the sidewalk and to use the crosswalk. We assisted them in the crosswalk. The students were cooperative.

There were no injuries reported during the incident and no one was arrested.

Copy of e-mail sent to the police department by a concerned citizen:

“Thought you guys might want to be informed of this. Planned for Monday, 12/8. From an email distributed to Wes students:
"Amazing work tonight! This email will lay out the logistics of tomorrow. All of this information is sensitive and important, so please read carefully! For those who were not able to attend the meeting tonight, our march starts at Exley Science Center (265 Church Street) at 3:00 PM.

The route is as follows: Exley --> Olin --> College Row (Albritton, Judd, North College/South College) --> Through Usdan --> Through the CFA --> XHouse/Center of American Studies --> Towards Washington St. & Main Street intersection

From there we will stage the die-in. White allies will be holding hands around those performing the die-in in the street (enough allies to occupy the four crosswalks, enclosing those who are dying in). There are no restrictions on who can die-in because regardless there are power in numbers, but there needs to be enough white allies creating a circle holding hands around those dying in (for it to function properly). The die-in will last for 11 minutes (significant of the 11 times Eric Gardner said that he could not breathe).

*DO NOT ADVERTISE THE DIE-IN!* (When you spread the word, spread the word about the March solely...pamphlets will be passed out regarding why we are doing this, national/local demands, information regarding your rights as a protestor, etc.). But, let me reiterate, we are not publicizing the die-in, we are strictly publicizing the March."”

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cat Tales Fundraiser Event: Arrigoni Winery 12/19/14

Cat Tales Fundraiser Event!

Come on over to Arrigoni Winery & Gift Shop to do some Holiday shopping, enjoy delicious wines and help raise money to support Cat Tales! There will also be live music by Don Z. to get you into the Christmas spirit.

Arrigoni will contribute $4 for every bottle purchased and $1 
for every glass of wine purchased that night!!

Where: Arrigoni Winery, 1287 Portland-Cobalt Rd.
, Portland, CT
When: Friday Dec 19, 2014 - 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Tickets: $10 per person

Tickets are on sale now - $10 per ticket - Checks (payable to Cat Tales) or Cash only. 

Mail to: 
Cat Tales, Inc. 
PO Box 901, 
Middletown, CT 06457

To purchase tickets or to inquire with questions, please contact the Event Coordinator - 

Purchasing a ticket will not only help raise money for Cat Tales, it will also get you a tasting of 5 delicious wines and an Arrigoni souvenir wineglass to take home!!

Cat Tales Needs Your Help in a couple ways... Find out more here!!

Cat Tales is a Non-Profit, All Feline Rescue, a 501(c)(3) Organization Since 1999

We are in desperate need of individuals to help construct feral cat shelters for our managed colonies, before it gets too cold!!  

If you are handy with building things, or would like to consider Donating to help pay for the materials/supplies needed to construct, please call or email us!!  


Seeking Homes for Feline Foster Care

Cat Tales Non-Profit Rescue, a 501(c)(3) Organization Since 1999, is seeking Foster Care Volunteers provide temporary housing cats and kittens. 

You'll prepare the animal for adoption and prevent overcrowding in our shelter. Cat Tales provides food, supplies, and medications, and pays for all vet care.

As a Foster, you should be comfortable with: 
• Daily feeding, play, and attention
• Administering medicationss
• Following special dietary plans
• Handling the cat into and out of a carrier
• Transporting cats to veterinary appointments
Contact Cat Tales at 860-344-9043 or, subject line: FOSTER