Wednesday, July 31, 2013

25th Children's Circus of Middletown

25th Annual Children's Circus of Middletown:
The Big City Circus

 
The Middletown Commission on the Arts and Middlesex United Way present Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater’s 25th Children’s Circus of Middletown: The Big City Circus.  The one-time-only show will be presented on Friday August 2 at 5 PM at Macdonough School, with a rain date of Saturday, August 3 at 5 PM
The Big City Circus captures the hustle and bustle of city life. Through parades, traffic jams, skyscrapers and pigeons, 150 talented young performers find themselves flung into a chaotic urban sprawl. Featuring fast paced stilted construction sites, lively unicycle market places and an all out acrobatic battle with Godzilla, the Big City Circus aims to bring the sites, sounds, smells and zaniness of the big city to new heights.
 
The Children’s Circus of Middletown is an exceptional community wide program where entire families come together to create this one-of-a-kind spectacle. Director Jason Leinwand, now in his 2nd year as Director, comments often on spirit of community  “In my opinion, this is the essence of what the circus is. It's a place where everyone is welcome to participate. The circus is a place where all of our individual skills are collaged together to create an unbelievable spectacle that everyone can be proud to be a part of. We become a community of artists and over time, one big circus family.”
 
Oddfellows is asking everyone to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Amazing Grace Food Pantry.  Bring a lawn chair and enthusiasm to Macdonough School and enjoy the spectacle.  The 25th Children’s Circus of Middletown: The Big City Circus will perform at 5 PM on August 2 at Macdonough School (66 Spring Street) in Middletown.  Parking is limited to street locations, so carpooling is recommended. The Macdonough School lot is reserved for handicapped and elderly patrons.  Tickets are available at the door and are $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors
 
The Children’s Circus is part of the Middletown Commission on the Arts Kids Arts program.  The circus is made possible by the Middletown Commission on the Arts, the Middlesex United Way, The Middletown Board of Education and Oddfellows Playhouse’s many generous supporters.  For more information, call (860) 347-6143. 
 
Fall 2013 classes, auditions and productions will be announced soon!  Keep an eye on the websitewww.oddfellows.org.  
 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Eli Cannon's Serves Up Benefit for Oddfellows Playhouse


Eli Cannon’s Tap Room spotlights its community spirit with a benefit for Oddfellows Playhouse on Monday evening, August 5 from 5-9pm. Eli’s will have 20+ breweries offering samples of their famed craft beers, as well as several local food trucks on site, including the Nora Cupcake Truck, the Whey Station, Lucky Taco and Vecchitto’s Italian Ice.  

All of the proceeds from the evening will go to Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater.  The evening will kick off Eli Cannon’s annual Beer Gods Festival, a week featuring different celebratory craft beer focused events. 

“Oddfellows Playhouse and the Children's Circus are a vibrant piece of Middletown.  This is a great way to help support a local arts organization that has a huge impact on a lot of children.  It isn't just about us, its about all of us,” said Phil Oullette.

The fest includes unlimited samples from more than 20 craft breweries.  There will also be raffle to raise additional funds. Prizes will include different rare craft microbrew prizes, and a private tasting led by JD Crandall, Eli’s Bar Czar.

Tickets are $20 in advance, and $25 at the door, at Eli Cannon’s Tap Room, 695 Main Street. 

Tonight! Summer Sounds on the South Green/Union Park - Trevor Davis Quintet


For a fine description of tonight's performance, by Richard Kamins, please scroll down this page to Music: Inside and Out (one caveat, the arts2go website is a "dot org" not a "dot com").

The Middletown Commission on the Arts presents their annual Summer Sounds concert series on the City's South Green (Union Park) on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. (rain location is the sanctuary of South Congregational Church, directly across the street from the Green on the corner of Main & Pleasant Streets).

The concerts are free and you are encouraged to bring lawn chairs/blankets. Food and beverages (no alcohol is permitted on public lawns) are allowed and the United Methodist Church and South Congregational Church adjacent to the Green both sell food/beverage items.

Concerts begin at 7 p.m.

The schedule:
July 30 - Trevor Davis Quintet featuring Carolyn Reeves on vocals, Steve Donovan on piano, Michael Asetta on bass, John Smayda on saxophone, and Trevor Davis on drums.
Tre Davis will perform during the break.

Aug. 6 - Phil Rosenthal Four - bluegrass/old-timey music
Aug. 13 - Last Fair Deal - americana/bluegrass
Aug. 20 - Sambaleza - brazilian jazz
Aug. 27 - Elite Syncopation - ragtime/early jazz
Sept. 3 - Middletown Symphonic Band - popular tunes
Sept. 10 - Italian Night w/the Angelo Sapia Band

For more information, call the City Arts Office at 860.638.4510
or visit arts2go.org

How to Daydream Efficiently -- Popcorn by The Colonel #55

Daydreaming, properly done, rests the mind, increases production, and improves interpersonal behavior. "Best practices" daydreaming involves staring into space or at the nearest wall.


Proper daydreaming is organic, like drooling. One good time for daydreaming (or drooling) is seven seconds into one of the 91% of conversations that become boring at just that point. A bad time is during your Presidential inauguration address.


Good places for daydreaming are bathrooms and under your desk. Bad places are in line to order lunch, on public transportation (especially standing in front of subway doors), and behind the wheel of your car when two lanes are merging into one near a construction site.


Good subjects for daydreaming are public heroics, sex with people who are better-looking than you are, and delivering your Presidential inaugural address. Less productive subjects are road-tripping with celebrities and -- counter-intuitively --  winning the lottery.


One old reliable is winning the lottery and immediately quitting your job after making a very strong speech to management and flying through the office on a dragon that believes your coworkers have stolen her dragon things and hidden them inside large items of office property, which she rips open beyond any repair.


If you are a striver for virtue, daydream about being a better person or about good things happening to your loved ones.


If you are even more selfless, you can daydream about the big old questions that perennially bedevil humanity:


☻ What kind of snack food will the aliens prefer when they invade and take over?


☻ If we all turned into puppets, would our conversations still be rich in nuance and subtlety?


☻ If someone invented a machine that could read the thoughts of trees, what would we learn? Can trees teach us better daydreaming?


☻ Will mutating feral boars spare the big upcoming wedding?


Less good subjects for daydreaming are donating blood, knitting, volunteering for Wheels on Meals, and standing in front of the Empire State Building for 24 consecutive hours with an open guitar case on the ground in front of you as you repeat “Meh ... meh ... meh”  while dangling your participles.


Revenge daydreams are two-edged swords. They don’t build character, but you can get a bit of your own back. Try staring at a wall at home and laughing. It freaks out the dog and cat. Sauce for the goose.


In conclusion, make this one of your affirmations: “I am daydreaming my way to a better life for me and a better world for all.” Vivian did that and soon won the Ms. Pickled Beets pageant. Ignatz didn’t do it, and now spends his days and nights in front of the Empire State Building, repeating “Meh ... meh ... meh” and dangling his participles.   
_________________________________________

Tip of The Colonel's hat to Jon Methven, author of the novel “This Is Your Captain Speaking”

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Music Inside & Out

South Green/Union Park looks very pleasant in this picture but too empty for a Tuesday night.  This week (7/30), the Park sound fill with people to enjoy the sounds of the Trevor Davis Jazz Quintet with guest vocalist Carolyn Reeves.  Mr. Davis is well-known around this area not only as a successful commercial real estate person but also as a patron of the arts. He's also a fine jazz drummer who plays in various spots around town.  For this night, he's joined by the fine bassist Mike Asetta as well as Steve Donovan (keyboards) and John Smayda (saxophones) plus Ms. Reeves, a local singer/songwriter who's going to moving to the Left Coast fairly soon. During the intermission, Tre Davis, the drummer's son, will sing and play piano.  Bring your lawn chairs, a libation or 2 and a sweater because the long-range forecast calls for clear skies and cooler temps.  The event is, as always, free and open to the public.  For more information, go to arts2go.org, the on-line presence of the Middletown Commission on the Arts, sponsor of the weekly Summer Sounds Concert series.

The weather also looks promising for the 4th concert in the Wednesday Wadsworth Mansion Concert Series, held on the spacious back lawn of the the Long Hill Estate, 421 Wadsworth Street. The concert, originally scheduled to be the 5th and final show of the summer, is actually a "first" for the series - Quartetto Vivo is the first chamber music ensemble to play outdoors in the series, now in its 11th season. Not sure of the program for this Wednesday but a quick look at their website - www.quartettovivo.com - displays a repertoire that ranges from Bach to Haydn to Zappa and plenty of stops in-between.  The Estate grounds open at 5:30 p.m. and the music starts at 6:30. For more information about the Music at the Mansion series, go to www.wadsworthmansion.com.

Thursday evening August 1, The Russell Library, 123 Broad Street, presents Indra Rios-Moore, who performs under her first name in concert at 7 p.m. in The Hubbard Room.  Indra, born in New York City to a Puerto Rican mother and African American mother, attended Smith College where she studied, among other subjects, classical vocal music.  She now lives in Denmark with her husband, saxophonist Benjamin Traerup.  When they first moved back to Traerup's homeland, they joined forces with bassist Thomas Sejthen. The trio's debut CD was recorded and issued shortly after the relocation - the album features vocals and fiddle from Indra's friend Rani Arbo (who now lives in Middletown.)  The new recording, "In Between", came out in 2012 and won the Danish Jazz Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.  Because of the spare instrumentation, Indra's voice really stands out - she is a passionate singer who really inhabits each song, enunciating the lyrics yet imbuing the words with honest emotion.  To find out more about the group and the music, go to indra.dk.  The library website is russelllibrary.org.

And, if that's not enough, Indra will also appear at the Sunken Garden Poetry series at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington on Wednesday August 7 opening for Billy Collins.  For more information, go to sunkengardenpoetry.org.

All 3 of the concerts in Middletown are free and open to the public so you should really take advantage of this great music.

The Path To The Ballot, Part I

Last week, when the Middletown Democratic Party convention nominated candidates to appear on the ballot for the November municipal elections, I tried to gain one of its three nominations for Planning and Zoning. I failed, and am now collecting signatures for a primary. What follows is a personal story of trying to get on the ballot, along with some personal opinions on the municipal democratic process. Please note that this is not intended to be journalism: I believe everything to be accurate, but I am not a disinterested observer.  I have invited the Chair of the Democratic Committee to submit his own perspective on the nominating process.
-----------------------------

Why run for Planning and Zoning?
The two most important activities of City government are education and land use regulation. Other city actions like snow removal, public safety, and water supply are obviously important, but their impact rarely extends beyond the lifecycle of an election. In contrast, land use decisions shape the nature of our city for generations to come.

I believe that informed residents who consistently watch government make a substantial contribution to the process of municipal governance, because they provide some accountability for both the elected and the appointed city officials. In the area of land use, Katchen Coley and Arline Rich have been recent exemplars of this type of civic contribution.

I started following our city’s land use decisions very shortly after moving to Middletown 16 years ago. I became active in the Westfield Residents Association, and whenever the Planning and Zoning Commission considered a Westfield property, we examined the proposed plans and attended the public hearing.

The Middletown Eye provides a venue to expand this kind of watchdog citizenship. Anyone who is willing to observe a public meeting can post a record of the deliberations and decisions, to inform others in the city. In the last five years, I have done this for land use, attending nearly every meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission, many meetings of Inland Wetlands, and a few meetings of Design Review and Historic Preservation. I filed a report on each meeting for The Middletown Eye (search for "Planning and Zoning" in The Eye's search window on the upper left).

During my time watching and reporting on Planning and Zoning, I have seen a nearly complete turn-over of Commissioners, Les Adams is the only Commissioner who has been attending meetings longer than I have. In the last 5 years, I have a better attendance record than any of the current Commissioners.

During this time, I realized that I was qualified, and that I have the energy and level of commitment necessary to be a Commissioner. In addition, I grew increasingly frustrated by what I was witnessing on the Commission.  First, the Commission was doing no planning, in the past two years any discussions about the future of our city have been driven by proposals of developers, only occasionally by the appointed staff, and never by the initiative of the Commission. Second, the Commission was too deferential to the lawyers paid for by the developer, and too dismissive of the testimony by Middletown residents.  The balance was wrong.

I realized that if I wanted to change any of this, I needed to be part of the Commission. I decided to run for office. Naturally, the first step would be to get my name on the ballot.

Dear Chairman Pickett: I am writing to express my interest in a nomination …
The most common path to the ballot is a nomination from the Democratic or Republican Town Committee. The Democratic Town Committee is elected every two years: it consists of elected officials, the spouses and children of some of them, and others actively engaged in electing local democrats. The DTC meeting in July is held as a “nominating convention” at which endorsed candidates are submitted for the November ballot.

I wrote to Dan Pickett, chair of the Democratic Town Committee, expressing my interest in receiving one of three Democratic nominations for Planning and Zoning. I described my background and experience (read my letter HERE).

Every person who expresses an interest in being on the ballot as an endorsed Democrat is interviewed by the nominating subcommittee of the DTC. This year, the nominating subcommittee consisted of Pickett, Richard Pelletier (sitting Planning and Zoning Commissioner, not up for election this year), Dan Russo (sitting P&Z Commissioner, up for election this year). Two members of Middletown Young Democrats, Alison Cleary and Will Arther, participated but they were not members of the Town Committee (they were elected to membership after the nominating committee's work was done).

In my interview, I was asked to describe my experience and interest in Planning and Zoning; this discussion took less than 10 minutes, perhaps because there is such an extensive public record of my involvement.

The remaining 20 minutes of my interview was spent on my level of commitment to the local Democratic party. These questions all came from Dan Russo, who has been the chair of the DTC. Some of the questions I expected, and I do not think are unreasonable. I was asked if I would commit to raising at least $500 to support all non-mayoral candidates. Russo explained that this was to cover the cost of brochures, phone lines, office rental, etc. I said ‘yes’. I was asked to enumerate what I had done for local Democratic candidates in recent elections. I admitted I hadn’t done much, later I explained that as a news correspondent for municipal meetings it would have been inappropriate for me to campaign for municipal elections. I encouraged them to weigh the strength of my background for the governance aspect of Planning and Zoning against this weakness.

Russo then asked me, “Do you pledge your support for ALL candidates endorsed by the Democratic Party?” At the risk of appearing hopelessly na├»ve and/or idealistic, I confess I was not prepared for what was clearly the most important question to the Nominating Committee.

With 5 Democratic operatives staring at me across the table, the ‘correct’ answer was obvious, but I could not bring myself to say it. I hemmed and hawed for awhile, to try to disguise my shock and frustration that I would be expected to give blanket approval to the as-yet-unknown recommendations of the three-man nominating sub-committee. I finally replied that the question was unfair, I could not honestly express my support for candidates that had not yet been named.

I left the interview hoping that the committee would recommend my nomination based on my experience and qualifications for governance, even while it recognized that my background in electioneering was less than other possible candidates.

I was disappointed when Chairman Pickett phoned me on the morning of the nominating convention and said I would not be recommended for a nomination. However, this was not the end of the process, and I made it clear to several DTC members that I hoped for a nomination from the floor at the nominating convention.

The Nominating Convention.
The Democratic Town Committee met last Thursday to nominate candidates. The nominations for Mayor and Board of Education went according to the recommendations of the nominating committee. The nominating committee’s recommendation for the 8 Common Council candidates was followed with one exception, Quentin Phipps was removed from the recommended slate, to be replaced by Jim Streeto. This was pre-arranged, as Phipps voluntarily declined the nomination and Streeto was immediately nominated.

When it came time for the Planning and Zoning Commission nominations, Chairman Pickett announced the recommendation of Dan Russo, Rob Blanchard, and Paul Turenne. Dan Russo is a former DTC chair and was the dominant force on the nominating committee; Rob Blanchard is a former paid employee of the Malloy campaign, and is currently a driver for Attorney General Jepsen; Paul Turenne is the associate registrar at Wesleyan.

After reading the list of recommended candidates, Pickett asked if there were any further nominations. I was nominated and seconded from the floor, and therefore the 40 delegates to the nominating convention (all members of the DTC), were tasked with voting for 3 out of 4 nominated candidates. One of the DTC members asked that delegates hear from each of the 4 candidates, and Chairman Pickett agreed.  This was highly unusual, the delegates normally vote without ever hearing from the candidates.

Russo, Blanchard, Turenne, and I each spoke for 3 minutes. Russo spoke primarily about his work for the DTC, Blanchard and Turenne spoke of their love for our city, and I reiterated my experience with Planning and Zoning and other land use regulative bodies in the city. I also pledged, if I received the official endorsement of the DTC, to support the other Democratic candidates for office.

Ballots were then handed out, one by one, to each of the 40 DTC members present. Each ballot was pre-printed with the three endorsed candidates, votes for me required the voter to write in my name. This was reasonable, because Chairman Pickett had no way of predicting who might be nominated from the floor.

What was more surprising was that each ballot was also individually marked with the name of the DTC member who would be voting. This was not anonymous voting, every voter would know that his or her vote would be known to the Chair and presumably others. The DTC has in the past battled over whether balloting should be secret or not.

When the votes were tallied, I received votes from almost half of the DTC members, but this placed me last among the 4 candidates (Russo, 32; Blanchard, 35; Turenne, 27; Devoto 19). Later I learned that DTC members are expected by the party to vote exclusively for those endorsed by the nominating committee. In that light, I am grateful to have received as many votes as I did.

This is not the end of the nominating process. Any Democrat who fails to get the endorsement of the nominating committee has the right to petition for a primary in which all Democratic voters will decide which candidates to put forward in the November election.

Next: The Primary Petition Process.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Buttonwood Cancels Show Friday Night

Friday night, July 26th, The Buttonwood Tree will be dark - for a change. The Shannon Whitworth show has been cancelled due to a death in the performers' family circle. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

On the bright side: Looks like it's a great night for Shakespeare in the Grove - where one of our favorite Jazz pianists, Noah Baerman, is performing with his trio before the theatrical show. This is a show not to be missed!

We will host the bluegrass group, Hesitant Squirrel tomorrow night at 8 pm, after a painting class at 1pm and an empowering workshop at 10:30 am.  For more info, see www.buttonwood.org

Opinion: Failure to put Middletown First Leads to Mediocrity in the Republican Party

The following is a letter to the editor, submitted by current Council member Phil Pessina. 

-----------------------------------
Shortly after being elected for my 3rd Term on Common Council, assuming the Role of Minority Leader and witnessing a Republican Administration led by former Mayor Seb Giuliano who created a time of a confrontational style of government within our city, both Councilman Joe Bibisi & I knew it was an opportunity for us to take a New Leadership Role for our Republican Party, transitioning our city government to work more cooperatively, collaboratively within a Bipartisan framework; essentially committing ourselves to making “Middletown First”, each within our own parties and our own Leadership roles!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Four More Chances!

After a fabulous first weekend, you now have FOUR MORE CHANCES to see ARTFARM's Much Ado About Nothing. Performances are tonight through Sunday, July 28 at 7 pm in the Cedar Grove at Middlesex Community College in Middletown. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Check our website for details:http://www.art-farm.org/home

Performances are held rain or shine, with an indoor location on the campus in case of bad weather.
Every evening the show is preceded by LIVE MUSIC at 6 pm. This weekend's line up:
Thursday: Lorena Garay
Friday: Noah Baerman and Friends
Sunday: Rani Arbo and Greg Ryan

Also, tonight is MEDICAL HEROES NIGHT! Tickets are HALF-PRICE for anyone identifying themselves as a member of the medical profession.
People have been raving about last weekend's shows, and we are having a lot of fun (check the photo by Bill Dekine below if you don't believe us.) So don't miss out! We hope to see you in the Grove at Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Road, Middletown.


Middlesex United Way Announces $840,000 in Funding



MIDDLETOWN—Middlesex United Way Board of Directors has approved fund distributions in the amount of $840,000 for fiscal year 2013-14. This funding includes support to 49 programs in Middlesex County, including $15,100 for United Way 2-1-1 and $15,000 in special one-time funding.
Funding will be distributed to programs in the following focus areas, consistent with United Way’s Five Year Goals for the Common Good:
  • Education - to increase children’s readiness to learn by school entry: $135,671;
  • Income - to increase the economic self-sufficiency of individuals and families: $56,200;
  • Health - to reduce the rate of risky behaviors among youth and adults and improve the health and increase the safety of individuals and families: $498,451; and
  • Housing – to increase the ability of individuals and families to attain affordable housing: $119,578.

Middlesex United Way invests in the areas of education, income, health and housing because all four are necessary for a good quality of life. Middlesex United Way helps to meet critical needs and invest in long-term initiatives that create real, lasting change. This funding is made possible by 7,800 generous donors in Middlesex County.
In addition, Middlesex United Way invested $15,100 in United Way 2-1-1, a 24-hour information and referral helpline that is available free of charge to anyone in Connecticut. 2-1-1 is a partnership between Connecticut United Ways and the State of Connecticut. To reach this service, simply dial 2-1-1 from any phone or visit 211ct.org.
Middlesex United Way also approved one-time grants of $5,000 each to the Middlesex Coalition for Children, Middlesex Chamber’s Youth at Work program, and NEAT’s Double Dollars Program.
The funding approved for the Middlesex Coalition for Children will be used to support the recent hiring of a part-time executive director, which was previously a volunteer position. The Middlesex Coalition for Children addresses issues preventing children in Middlesex County from reaching their full potential. The Middlesex Chamber’s Youth at Work Program provides six weeks of summer employment, at 20 hours per week, to more than 80 youth enrolled in free and reduced lunch program or whose family income falls within 185% of the poverty level. Finally, the Double Dollars Program, part of NEAT’s seasonal farmer’s market, doubles federal vouchers to help families access healthy produce. For example, if a customer spends $20 in SNAP benefits, they will receive $40 in produce.
Middlesex United Way is a locally based organization dedicated to strengthening lives, helping people, and improving community conditions in the fifteen towns in Middlesex County. Middlesex United Way serves the towns of Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Events Happening This Weekend



Shannon Whitworth (Jazz Quintet)

Friday, July 26th
8:00 pm
$12




newshannon

If Shannon Whitworth’s first two albums were cross-country treks, High Tide is a trans-Atlantic voyage. Leaving all preconceptions of the banjo-wielding  songstress behind, Whitworth’s new adventure steers into waters both familiar and refreshingly new, Gibson SG in hand. On the heels of a year spent touring with Chris Isaak and the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, and recording as the singing voice of Belk department stores’ latest campaign, High Tide finds Whitworth collaborating with Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses) and producer Seth Kauffman, while continuing to hit the road with her core quartet. From the first rolling rhythms, it’s evident that this album charts new waters. Just as her music stems from Appalachian roots (she’s a favorite at MerleFest) but sheds its traditional skin at the door, High Tide begins with a journey to the coast that takes rest stops in reverb-drenched jazz and indie rock along the way, setting the mood for a tight but playful expedition. Whether you’re holed up in a chilly Appalachian barn or walking the coast on a hot August evening, Whitworth’s High Tide holds universal appeal, from the mountains to the sea.

“Her vocals are some of the most expressive, and sultry, that I’ve ever heard.”
- David Royko, Chicago Tribune
“She was playing a laid-back show at a rural pottery store, and as soon as I heard that voice, I was hooked.” – Craig Shelburne, CMT Edge

“Critics have raved about the singer’s distinctive husky voice since she appeared on the music scene in 2002 as a founding member of the Biscuit Burners.” – Garden & Gun



Hesitant Squirrel

Saturday, July 27th
8:00 pm
$10

 
New, local bluegrass band Hesitant Squirrel plays a mix of traditional bluegrass music and fiddle tunes, songs from other genres played in the bluegrass style, as well as some original bluegrass tunes.  First appearance at The Buttonwood Tree!
Nathan Day – guitar & vocals
Bart Holcomb – bass
Pat MacDonald – mandolin & vocals
Steve Bacher – banjo & vocals
Colin Hickey -Schiappa – fiddle
Genre – Bluegrass

"American Made Movie" National Economic Bus Tour To Stop In City Saturday

Today, Life is My Movie Entertainment announced a national economic bus tour that will visit over 30 cities in over 30 days to highlight and promote small and large companies that contribute to the U.S. economy and manufacturing sector. The tour, which travels to 20 states, will stop in Middletown on Friday, July 26 and host a range of events including an advanced screening of its upcoming documentary American Made Movie.

American Made Movie is a feature-length documentary that explores the decline in America’s manufacturing workforce. Directors Vincent Vittorio and Nathaniel Thomas McGill demonstrate that each citizen can make a difference for future generations by documenting the stories of several businesses that have seen success despite the ever-expanding global economy.

“Through making this movie, we learned how every American plays an important role in helping our local and national economy succeed,” said Vittorio. "When you come to understand the people behind the products you buy and how the products you use are made, it will have a greater impact on where your money is spent. The movie focuses on the human element in this topic and shows that it doesn't matter if you are an entrepreneur, student, stay-at-home mom, or a senior citizen, you have the power to transform America's future and be a part of the solution by just realizing that there is a relationship between what is made and what you buy everyday.”

At each scheduled stop, the American Made Movie tour will screen the film for audiences and feature events that highlight the region’s companies and developing manufacturing industries.

“In the film, we get to explore manufacturing’s history and present day stories of entrepreneurs and several companies. But this tour actually allows us to take the discussion even further,” said McGill. “Not only will we have advanced screenings of the film in each city, but we will also be highlighting the story of each of the communities we will be visiting.”

Theatrical Release: "After a special "sneak preview" tour, the film will open in select cities on August 31st with a national rollout to take place throughout September and October." www.theamericanmademovie.com

About Life is My Movie Entertainment:

Life is My Movie Entertainment marries images and reality by visualizing content for widespread discussion through non-fiction cinema. The company’s work has been widely distributed. More information .

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Summer Sounds on the South Green/Union Park - Moto


WE ARE INDOORS AT SOUTH CHURCH TONIGHT!

Due to rain and wet conditions, the sound technician's concern for safety has forced us indoors tonight. Please come in and enjoy the music. Thanks.

The Middletown Commission on the Arts presents their annual Summer Sounds concert series on the City's South Green (Union Park) on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. (rain location is the sanctuary of South Congregational Church, directly across the street from the Green on the corner of Main & Pleasant Streets).

The concerts are free and you are encouraged to bring lawn chairs/blankets. Food and beverages (no alcohol is permitted on public lawns) are allowed and the United Methodist Church and South Congregational Church adjacent to the Green both sell food/beverage items.

Concerts begin at 7 p.m.

The schedule:
July 23 - Moto - reggae/caribbean
July 30 - Trevor Davis Quintet - jazz/swing with vocalist Carolyn Reeves
Aug. 6 - Phil Rosenthal Four - bluegrass/old-timey music
Aug. 13 - Last Fair Deal - americana/bluegrass
Aug. 20 - Sambaleza - brazilian jazz
Aug. 27 - Elite Syncopation - ragtime/early jazz
Sept. 3 - Middletown Symphonic Band - popular tunes
Sept. 10 - Italian Night w/the Angelo Sapia Band

Visit arts2go.org for all your arts and entertainment listings.

Can Logic Right Injustice? Popcorn by The Colonel #54

Introduction: This is a real letter with only the name of the sender and his daughter changed. A friend felt his daughter got a raw deal on one question on the SAT. He wrote the following letter to the College Board people.


Dear Sir or Madam:


My daughter Esmeralda Knesebeck took the SAT test administered in May 2013. This message is about question 33 in section 5, which concerned the sentence Actually, I did mind and grudgingly allowed him entrance into my sanctuary.
The question asked which of the stated revisions was “most needed” to the sentence. Esmeralda gave “(E)” as the correct answer—that “entrance into” should be changed to “to enter.”


But according to your Question-and-Answer Service the correct answer is “(C)”—that the “most needed” fix was to add the word “only” before “grudgingly.”
Yet nothing about “grudgingly” requires use of the word “only.” In fact, a search of use of the word “grudgingly” in the New York Times in the past year uncovered no instances of use of “only” with “grudgingly” and 17 instance of use of “grudgingly” without “only.”
By contrast, usage guides invariably recommend that one use verbs instead of abstract nouns ( “buried verbs”), and that’s the fix that Esmerelda thought most needed in this case.


For example, Garner’s Modern American Usage, at page 120, says, “It is hardly an exaggeration … to say that when the verb will work in context, the better choice is almost always to use it instead of a buried verb.” In this context, “entrance” is an abstract noun; “to enter” is a verb.
It is a stretch to say that unburying the verb is “needed”—it would be more accurate to say that it makes the sentence less stiff. But it’s even more of a stretch to say that inserting “only” is needed. “Grudgingly” is a strong word that needs no crutch.
I’d be pleased to hear what you think and whether you propose to adjust Esmeralda’s score.
With regards and compliments, I am


Very truly yours,


Gunnar Knesebeck

Monday, July 22, 2013

John Kilian: Meet the Author, "Downtown Drive-Thru"

Tonight, July 22nd, 7 pm
Free

A community’s survival depends on the connections it maintains between its members. When inroads are built into their backyard by alien beings who do not leave their cars to get their coffee, a great conflict unsettles the once happy land of Middletown.

The trauma of modern life has brought together the hamlet of Downtown Middletown into a web of endless variety woven into a common fabric of life. Suddenly, the townsfolk see people incessantly trapped inside their cars as the vanguard of a depersonalized legion of mindless zombies, threatening to unconsciously destroy all that is good in their fair city. The battle begins, but not without the divine intervention of forces greater than man that put everyone’s best laid plans out of kilter.

About the Author:
17 year resident of Middletown. Co-founder of the Realistic Balance Party of Middletown.
Author of “Gospels of the New Nile”

Timeline viewable by visiting http://john.kilian.com

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Outdoors for Music and Theater

The City of Middletown is in the midst of its annual "Summer Sounds" series and this Tuesday (7/23) presents the Caribbean Soca sounds of Moto at 7 p.m. in Union Park on South Green.  In case of rain, the concert moves inside of South Congregational Church, across the Green on Pleasant Street.  For more information, go to arts2go.org.

Music at the Mansion continues Wednesday at Long Hill Estate, 421 Wadsworth Street in Middletown, with Gail Wade & Turning Point playing a pleasing blend of folk, blues, bluegrass and country musics, what we now call "Americana."  Singer/songwriter/guitarist Gail Wade has been performing for over 2 decades and has performed throughout New England as well as releasing 2 CDs.  Turning Point - Dan Menzone (banjo), Peggy Ann Harvey (fiddle, saxophone, harmonica), Rob Rainwater (acoustic bass) and Tim St. Jean (drums) - makes a joyful noise in support of Ms. Wade.

The grounds open at 5:30 p.m. and music begins at 6:30 p.m.  In the instance of electrical storms, the show will be cancelled.  For more information, go to www.wadsworthmansion.com.

Marcella Trowbridge ("Beatrice") and Brian Jenkins ("Benedick") lead a spirited ensemble through the ARTFARM production of "Much Ado About Nothing" which enters its second 4-day run on Thursday in the Grove at Middlesex Community College, Training Hill Road.  The proceedings begin at 6 p.m. with a musical act - this week, you can see and hear Lorena Gray (Thursday), Noah Baerman & Friends (Friday), Stacy Phillips & Paul Howard (Saturday) and Rani Arbo (without daisy mayhem on Sunday). Mr. Shakespeare's play commences at 7 p.m. Bring a blanket, a picnic, chairs, and enjoy this fine production with its most excellent set!  For more information, go to www.art-farm.org.