Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DANCE PARTY - THIS THURSDAY at The Buttonwood Tree

  First Thursdays at The Buttonwood Tree...

Bill Revill's photographs and paintings

"Down by the Sea"
5-7 pm






Bob Gotta's Acoustic Open Mic  7-9 pm  

NEW:  DANCE PARTY   9-11 pm

Basil Ali aka "The Hope" will be playing an eclectic mix of classic rock, house, pop, alternative and some Grand Slambovian tunes to get us moving and grooving! If you're looking for a great way to get your weekend started early, come down to The Buttonwood Tree the first Thursday of every month, and shake it off!
9 pm, $5 suggested donation includes free spring water throughout the night. 

Dancing is one way to increase your happiness. Spinning off TBT's Happiness Project, this dance party is launched to give folks a way to shake off the stress and increase happiness. TRY IT!

The Buttonwood Tree 
605 Main Street
Middletown CT

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Don DeCesare to Deliver Commencement Address at Middlesex Community College’s “Record-Setting” Graduation

Longtime broadcaster and local businessman Don DeCesare has been selected as commencement speaker for Middlesex Community College’s 2014 graduation ceremony – which will likely include a record-setting number of graduates from the College.  DeCesare, who is president and general manager of WLIS-AM, Old Saybrook, and WMRD-AM, Middletown, and managing general partner of Crossroads Communications, LLC, will address graduates during the May 29 ceremony at MxCC’s Middletown campus.

Throughout his 44-year broadcasting career, DeCesare has held many different positions including reporter, anchor, host, producer and editor.  In addition to successfully managing radio stations, DeCesare has been involved in station ownership and real estate through Crossroads Communications. He is a founding member of CT-N, the television channel that reports on Connecticut government, has served as president of the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce, is a board member of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, and is past chairman of the Connecticut Broadcasters Association. DeCesare also was appointed by the Connecticut State Legislature to serve as co-chair of the “Victims’ Privacy Rights and the Public’s Right to Know” Task Force.

“Don has been a longtime friend and supporter of Middlesex Community College, serving as one of our corporators and as a member of our Center for New Media Advisory Board,” Dr. Anna Wasescha, MxCC’s president said.  “As a thoughtful, articulate community college advocate, I am confident Don’s message will be memorable and meaningful to what looks to be MxCC’s largest number of graduates ever.”

Founded in 1966, Middlesex Community College ( is part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System. In all it does, Middlesex Community College strives to be the college of its community. By providing high quality, affordable, and accessible education to a diverse population, the college enhances the strengths of individuals through degree, certificate, and lifelong learning programs that lead to university transfer, employment, and an enriched awareness of our shared responsibilities as global citizens. MxCC, recently named a "Great College to Work For" by The Chronicle of Higher Education, offers more than 50 degree or certificate programs at the main 38-acre campus in Middletown, the downtown Meriden Center, and online. 
# # #

Earth Day Again, or Reality Is Not Optional -- Popcorn by The Colonel #94

Sunday was the day of four popes: two deceased popes being made Catholic saints, with the present pope and a living former pope co-presiding at the dual canonization. One for the liberals and one for the conservatives?

Monday, April 28, 2014

South Fire District Budget Vote TOMORROW

The South Fire District 2014–2015 Budget Vote will be held Tuesday, April 29, 2014, from 6 AM to 8 PM, at the Firehouse.

Voting will be by machine, between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Voters must present photo proof of I.D.

If voters are unable to come to the polls on Tuesday, they can obtain an absentee ballot today, but it must be handed in at the fire station by 4PM TODAY. You may apply for and obtain an absentee ballot in person only at the South Fire District office during the following hours: M-F, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. I.D. must be presented.

A Special Meeting of the Board of Fire Commissioners will be held immediately thereafter at 8:00 p.m.

Click below to download the proposed budget:

MxCC’s Corporate Media Center Selected A Winner In The 35th Annual Telly Awards

The Telly Awards has named Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Media Center as a bronze winner in the 35th Annual Telly Awards for their piece titled “The Functions and Values of Wetlands and Watercourses.” With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor.
The 48-minute video is a beautiful visual exploration of the functions and values of wetlands and watercourses, focusing on the key areas of hydrology, ecology and land use.  It also features the voice over talent of MxCC alumna Liz Parra as the voice of the narrator’s digital assistant. It is the third and final video in the Municipal Inland Wetland Commissioners Training Program and was produced for the Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
“This video is one of the most beautiful videos the Corporate Media Center has produced,” said Dan Nocera, corporate media producer. “We are so honored that we have received a Telly Award for this piece.”
A team of faculty, staff, and students produced the video, including Dan Nocera, Doug Rogers, Barbara Rogers, Rick Eriksen, and Lloyd Langevin. Student production assistants include Hollie Kinney, Trent Jones, Basheer Troche, Lahcen Rachem, and Cindy Gerstl.
The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films.  Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world.
“The Telly Awards has a mission to honor the very best in film and video,” said Linda Day, Executive Director of the Telly Awards. “The accomplishment of Middlesex Community College’s Corporate Media Centerillustrates their creativity, skill, and dedication to their craft and serves as a testament to great film and video production.”
To find out more about the Telly Awards visit, To view the video series, visit CT DEEP’s YouTube channel at
Cat Tales ~ Featured Kitty of the Week ~ MOLLY

My Name is Molly

Can I Please Come Home With You?

I am a very cute & loving 14 year old kitty here at CAT TALES.  My owner had to go to a nursing home forever, so here I am… just waiting…for a new companion. My heart was broken, but I am now ready for my forever home. While at CAT TALES, they realized I have a large mass in my stomach.  My veterinarian told me it was inoperable, and they do not know if it is cancerous or not. 

So I am looking for a special person who can be with me and care for me. I am hoping for a home where I can spend the last of my days on someone's lap (not at the shelter, but I have many human friends there). I am very playful, snuggly, and a happy girl despite my diagnosis. I am sure to bring joy to a special person’s heart and home.  I do not require any medicine now, thankfully.  I only seek love, attention and a patient, caring human with a BIG heart.

If you work from home or are retired, you are the perfect companion for me.

Please take me home with you!  You will not regret it!

CAT TALES is seeking a permanent fostering for me and will tell you the best way to take care of me.

Please call CAT TALES at (860) 344-9043 OR Email: to inquire about Molly!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cat Tales Spring Spay-getti (no-balls) Dinner!

Pack up the kids, pile them into the car and come on down to Fox Parish Center! It is time to have a fun family night out while also supporting Cat Tales Inc!

$12 gets you a night of eating homemade pasta, meatballs with sauce, salad, bread and dessert! 

But wait there is more!!! There will be raffle items such as gift cards (Cabela's, New England Athletic Club, CT Boot and Shoe, 457 Mason Jar), baskets (candle, movie, chocolate, kitty themed) and so much more!

Please contact us at or (860) - 344-9043 to put your tickets on hold.

Friday, May 2 at 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Fox Parish Center 10 Elm Street Middletown

Mattabeseck Audubon Free Bird and Wildlife Program May 17th

From a Press Release.
The Mattabeseck Audubon Society is sponsoring a free program  on May 17, 2014, 8-12pm. It will be indoors, from 8-9 at the deKoven House. The deKoven House is located at 27 Washington Street, Middletown, CT. 06457 at the intersection of Washington Street and deKoven Drive near Exit 15, Rt. 9.

The program, led by bird and wildlife photographer Frank Mantlik, is open to the public. Please call 860-873-9304 or email to register.

An avid birder and naturalist for more than 30 years, Frank has been active in many bird and nature organizations in New England including the Connecticut Ornithological Association (past president), and the New Haven Bird Club.

He is a popular field trip leader and has traveled extensively in the pursuit of birds leading trips to Point Pelee, Block Island, Cape Cod and Montauk Point. An accomplished photographer with his own stock-photo business, Avocet Images, Frank uses his wonderful slides to illustrate lectures to various groups. Publication credits include Natural History, Audubon, Field & Stream, and American Birds. He is most in his element when in the field sharing the joys of nature with others. Frank has led our Cape Cod Shorebird Weekend and leads our Costa Rica Special, Honduras and Texas Spring Migration tours. 

The Mattabeseck Audubon Society, a chapter of the National Audubon Society, is committed to environmental leadership and education for the benefit of the community and the earth's biodiversity.

Friday, April 25, 2014

13th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend: Oliver Lake Big Band (April 26)

Oliver Lake. Photo by Yasmin Grogan.
Matthew Chilton ’16 talks to Adjunct Professor of Music Jay Hoggard '76 about the Oliver Lake Big Band, who will make their New England debut as part of the 13th annual Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 8pm in Crowell Concert Hall, in this entry from the Creative Campus blog.

When spring hits Wesleyan, musical sounds flower in all corners of our campus. The outdoor concerts echo through the amphitheaters of fields and buildings, prompting us music majors to emerge from our sonic hibernation caves in the practice rooms. We wander up to our clusters of friends on Foss Hill, acoustic guitars in hand, content to strum the day away as we prepare for the next night of music.

Among these cherished rites of spring is the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend, when the school’s Jazz Orchestra [directed by Adjunct Professor of Music Jay Hoggard '76] and Jazz Ensemble [directed by Jazz Ensemble Coach Noah Baerman] gather in Crowell Concert Hall to present the fruits of their creative collaborations. This Friday, April 25, 2014 at 8pm, the Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble come together for an evening-long concert of works that traverse the spectrum of American improvised music – from the large ensemble works of Duke Ellington to the harmolodics of Ornette Coleman.

The music continues on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 8pm, as the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra opens an evening of music alongside this year’s visiting artist ensemble, the Oliver Lake Big Band. Fresh off the release of last year’s critically acclaimed album Wheels, composer, saxophonist, and bandleader Oliver Lake will lead the group through his challenging and stimulating compositional repertoire. You can expect a concert encompassing the history of African-American creative music, with elements of every aesthetic from swing to the avant-garde, all held together by the cohesion of Mr. Lake’s intuitive writing.

After our Jazz Orchestra rehearsal yesterday afternoon, I sat down with my teacher and ensemble director Jay Hoggard to reflect on his musical relationship with Oliver Lake and his works.

Jay, thanks for taking the time out for this interview. To start, how and when did you meet Oliver Lake? What was your working relationship like?

I’ve known Oliver since maybe 1975. I was in college [at Wesleyan] and I was playing different gigs in New York at times, and that was during the loft scene. So we were playing at [saxophonist, composer, sometime Wesleyan professor] Sam Rivers’ place, Studio Rivbea, [drummer, Coltrane sideman] Rashied Ali’s place Ali’s Alley, Lady’s Fort, which was singer Jolee Wilson’s place, and another place, a restaurant named Tin Palace. So I don’t remember where exactly I first got to know Oliver. It was somewhere in there, in all those places. After I graduated in 1976, moved to New Haven, and taught high school for a year, Pheeroan [AkLaff, drummer and Wesleyan Private Lesson Teacher] was playing with Oliver, and Pheeroan and I were playing in a band together. Maybe he [Lake] called me for a gig, I don’t exactly remember, but one night he and David Murray played a gig in New Haven, and stayed in my apartment.

Was it a gig by the World Saxophone Quartet, [Lake’s influential band with Murray, Julius Hemphill and Hamiet Bluiett]?

No, it was before World Saxophone Quartet. So then we played a few gigs together in that period, and I moved to New York in 1977. Some with [baritone saxophonist] Hamiet Bluiett’s group at the Public Theater, featuring a bunch of horns – Lake was on there, Baikida [Carroll, trumpeter] and [cornetist] Olu Dara, maybe [perussionist Famoudou Don] Moye, but it was a combination of the Art Ensemble [of Chicago] guys and the St. Louis [Black Artists Group] guys.

[These groups that Jay mentioned, the Art Ensemble of Chicago (affiliated with Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians), and St. Louis’ Black Artists Group, which Oliver Lake was a co-founding member of, were vital to the development of creative music in the urban centers of the Midwest. Our beloved Emerita/us Faculty in Music Anthony Braxton was a member of Chicago’s A.A.C.M., and he and Lake came up as alto saxophonists in these environments that supported radical creativity.]

At a certain point, Lake had a reggae band called Jump Up that Pheeroan, [pianist] Geri Allen, [bassist] Jerome Harris, and [guitarist] Brandon Ross played in. We were doing something on the same label, so I produced a record for them [1983’s Plug It] that I always liked a lot. I had a copy of it, but it never made it to CD, maybe it did, in Japan. Then in the 1990s, we started working together and cut a record on Lake’s label [Passin’ Thru] called Talkin’ Stick [1997]. We did one of his tunes that he does with the big band, Maasai Moves.

So, speaking to that as someone who’s worked with Lake as both a musician and a producer, how have you seen his music evolve over the years?

I’ve always felt that Oliver was a great alto saxophonist. He plays soprano too, and flute, but I always felt that he had the Eric Dolphy thing, but also had this kind of sound of the alto saxophone. He doesn’t really come out of a Charlie Parker thing directly in terms of his lines, the way he plays changes is unique.

He’s kind of got a line that comes from a few different sources, so what I’ve enjoyed over the years is watching him create a lot of different recordings in different contexts, with different players. In doing that, he’s come up with “the Oliver Lake sound” in all these different kinds of settings. So the big band is a vehicle for the way he plays, and the writing has melodic, harmonic, improvisatory, and textural things.

You know, he’s a couple years older than Braxton and he’s got a different take than Braxton, and most other players on his instrument. He’s got a unique sound, and his writing mirrors that sound.

When I’ve listened to Lake’s music, I’ve enjoyed how he has the versatility to go from a specialized “avant-garde” scene in the 1970s and then explores everything along the way, to his reggae group Jump Up in the 80s and then his recent work with the Big Band today. How do you think this stylistic trajectory will come out in the work he’s presenting at Crowell Concert Hall this Saturday?

We try to do a range with the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra as well, and when I choose tunes I think about the educational part of it – how to technically get a certain kind of sound [like the Ellington sound] and how to understand where that sound is rooted – voicings and all that, and how to then apply the improvisational language. Understanding the groove internally and out, how to play in different mindsets. So that’s what Lake does, he’s got a range of writing that touches on a whole spectrum of styles. Ultimately, it’s very accessible – it’s both art for the artist, and for an audience. It doesn’t smash you with a particular way of thinking, and gives a range of thinking on the side of creativity and innovation.

This stylistic versatility, in harmony with the creative impulse, is what ties together both Oliver Lake’s work with his Big Band and our work with the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra. Presenting the musics side-by-side, we hope to tap into some of the sonic magic that has surrounded the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra Weekend since its beginnings over a dozen years ago.

Oliver Lake Big Band
New England Debut
Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall
$20 general public; $18 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students.

Co-sponsored by the Center for African American Studies and the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Spring Faculty Dance Event Feeds the Community (April 25 & 26)

CFA Arts Administration Intern Chloe Jones ’15 talks to Associate Professor of Dance Nicole Stanton about her commissioned work "Threshold Sites: Feast" in this entry from the Center for the Arts blog.  This Spring Faculty Dance Event will take place on Friday, April 25 at 7pm, and Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 2pm and 7pm in the new Cross Street Dance Studio, located at 160 Cross Street in Middletown.

Social media such as YouTube and Facebook have all but eliminated formerly unbridgeable distances between people and communities across the world.  We are more connected today than ever before.

Coupled with growing concern for the environment, our increased connectivity demands that we reconsider our understanding of community.  What does it mean to be part of a community?  How can we foster local communities in an increasingly globalized world?  How can human communities exist in harmony with nature?

The notion of community is central to this year’s Spring Faculty Dance Event. Created and directed by Associate Professor of Dance Nicole Stanton, Threshold Sites: Feast explores the relationships between bodies, communities, and environments through the lens of food.

“Something about the way you live in and experience your body is related to the way you live in and relate to your community and your environment,” says Ms. Stanton.

Food relates to it all.  We eat to nourish our bodies, come together to break bread, and depend on the earth for our food.  Food sustains every life, family, and community.

In recent years, food has become a hot topic of debate and conversation.

“There is so much controversy surrounding food production and food security right now,” says Stanton.  “So much talk about what diet is good for you and for the planet.”

Threshold Sites: Feast
is the culmination of Ms. Stanton’s engagement in the College of the Environment’s 2013-2014 Think Tank: Re-Envisioning the Commons. Over the course of this school year, the Think Tank has made efforts to expand discourse between economists, scientists, ecologists, and ethicists by bringing the humanities and performing arts into the conversation.

Rehearsal of "Threshold Sites: Feast" on March 22, 2014 in the
Cross Street Dance Studio. Photo by Sandy Aldieri.
Ms. Stanton will perform in the work alongside Rachel Boggia, Deborah Goffe, Nik Owens ’12, and Wesleyan Artist in Residence in West African Dance Iddi Saaka. They are a diverse group, with backgrounds in myriad dance forms and roots across the globe.

“It was an extremely collaborative process,” says Ms. Stanton.  “The question being how do all these different bodies come together in a process that feels full and rich and challenging to everyone.”

As part of the rehearsal process, Ms. Stanton prompted all of her dancers to reflect on their personal and shared experiences with food.  They collected stories about memorable meals and songs about feasting — weaving many voices together into one rich sound score that backgrounds the event.
Some of the foods discussed in the sound score, many of them cherished family recipes, will be served to the audience.  Yes, there will be literal feasting.

Ms. Stanton intends to source some of the food from Wesleyan’s own Long Lane Farm. Greg Foley '16 has been collaborating with Ms. Stanton on a documentary, which parallels the rehearsal process for Threshold Sites: Feast with the process of getting the farm up and running.

Threshold Sites: Feast will be the first performance to take place in the Wesleyan Dance Department’s new studio on Cross Street. Formerly the A.M.E. Zion Church, the building has been remodeled into a beautiful dance studio that can also be converted into a black box theater.

Spring Faculty Dance Event
Threshold Sites: Feast
Friday, April 25, 2014 at 7pm
Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 2pm & 7pm
Cross Street Dance Studio
$3 Wesleyan students, $5 all others.

Supported by the Dance Department, the Center for the Arts' Creative Campus Initiative with leadership funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the College of the Environment.

Land Trust Meeting Saturday

MCA Grants Awards for Categories 2 and 3 (March applicants)

In March of this year, the Middletown Commission on the Arts received requests from 12 applicants totaling $48,580.00 for projects that have a total cost of $173,930.00. The MCA had available $9,000.00 to satisfy the requests. The Commission wishes the organizations and individuals success in their projects.

The MCA has awarded grants to the following organizations/individuals for:

• Lee T McQuillan
$1,250.00 for a multi-disciplinary event featuring music, visual arts and dance and including the premiere of "A Suite of Birds"

• Middlesex Community College
$1,000.00 for a performance and discussion of Neely Bruce's composed and orchestrated "Bill of Rights"

• Middletown Public Schools Cultural Council
$2,250.00 for "Middletown High Goes to the Symphony"

• Marc Pettersen
$250.00 for expansion of the Gallery Walk to include street vendors along the sidewalks in the North End

• Oddfellows Playhouse
$500.00 for Fall project

• Trinbago American Cultural Explorers
$500.00 for a Caribbean cultural festival highlighting Trinidad and Tobago

• Wesleyan University-WESU radio 88.1fm
$1,000.00 for a 75th anniversary concert featuring Fred Parris and The Five Satins

• Connecticut Ballet
$2,250 for the 4th annual Summer Dance Caravan performance at MxCC

Shred And Recycle Tomorrow!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fault VS. Responsible

Admittedly, I am not the best public speaker, as I never stay on topic, and I HATE reading from my "script".  So below you will see my "speech" as it was intended to be read at tonight's public hearing regarding the City budget.

April 24, 2014

 Good Evening Mr. Mayor, Council, and Citizens of Middletown,

 I stand before you this evening in awe.  In awe of the seemingly insurmountable task you have been charged to accomplish.  You have to figure out how to fund a city with all of its various needs, demands and requests, in a time where we are still dealing with unprecedented financial turmoil, coupled with one of the worst property revaluations this city has ever seen. 
I am not an individual who looks to raise taxes to solve our problems.  But what the general public needs to understand, if you raise the mil rate it would only be to keep pace with years prior.  I am just one individual, who will tell you with all my gumption – I do NOT want to pay one penny more in taxes than I did last year but I am ok with a Mil increase to keep me where I was.

I believe this is my third year at this meeting standing before you with the same message.  PRIORITIZE!  Mr. Mayor, I reflect back to your most recent swearing in ceremony in November, where you painted a picture of walking along the river with your kids and an ice cream.  I think that’s wonderful, but at what cost? The Schools?  Our Safety?  Prioritize.  Increase the value of our homes and our education, then you will have the money you need, to do what you want to do, without passing the buck through bonding and without raising our taxes.
There is a difference between the words fault and responsible.  It is not your fault that the state has forced unfunded mandates regarding education, and continue to underfund their previous promises.  But, you must be responsible, fund our schools to the best of your ability AND fight the good fight with our state lawmakers.

You were all elected to represent our city and fight the fight for us – and I do not envy the task in front of you – but this what you signed up for – what you swore an oath to do.

In conclusion I have two challenges for you:

1.       Fight for us – go to the state – get us what we are owed.

2.       Fund the schools- FULLY.

It is a marathon with the state not a sprint – I get that, but the schools can’t wait we need the money now.  We are not a failing district – but we can’t be allowed to wait until we are.  I appreciate that you do not flat fund the schools – but, you have also never fully funded us.  Try it once, see what we can do, give us the Band-Aid we need until you get the state to help us out.  If we still fail you – then further change will need to be made.  My promise to you is this, if we get the funds for the school – my battle will move on to the board of education on spending it properly.

 Brian Kaskel

This weekend @ the Buttonwood Tree!

Friday, April 25

Hugh Birdsall and ArleneWow! with Dana Takaki 

 Hugh Birdsall is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, and bon vivant, he has toured extensively and recorded in some of the finest studios, basements, garages, and dives in the region. ArleneWow! has a signature voice and poignant lyrics that attracts fans from many genres of music

Saturday, April 26

Jussi Reijonen

Bringing together four seasoned musicians from Finland, Turkey, Sweden and Palestine, JUSSI REIJONEN: UN traverses the boundaries between musical cultures, paying tribute to the traditions of American and Scandinavian jazz and the folk musics of the Middle East and Africa in its search for new sounds and textures.

Reserve your seat!

Public Hearing on City Budget, Tonight Thursday April 24

The Common Council will hold a public hearing on the municipal budget, including the Board of Education budget, for 2014-2015 tonight,  Thursday April 24, 7 PM in Council Chambers at City Hall.

This will be the one opportunity for the public to comment on the budget before the Council meets to formulate their budget proposal.

The vote on the budget will take place a few weeks from now in May.  At that meeting, most decisions on the budget will already have been made.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


WHEN: April 25, 2014, 1:30 pm

WHERE: Wesley School, 10 Wesleyan Hills Road


      1.    Welcome - Jane Harris, Chairman Urban Forestry Commission
     2.    Arbor Day Proclamation - Mayor Daniel T. Drew

3.       Tree Planting Dedication - Urban Forestry Commission and Board of
Education Partnership – Tree Plantings at all Schools in Middletown -
Middletown High, Woodrow Wilson Middle, Bielefield, Farm Hill, LawrenceMacdonough, Moody, Snow, Spencer, Wesley, Keigwin, Vinal Tech, Mercy, and Xavier –  Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Patricia Charles
4.      Tree Dedication – David Hall, Manager of Grounds and Events, 37 years, Wesleyan University, partnering to protect Middletown’s Urban Forest

    5.    Presentation for partnership with CL&P for the Home Energy
      Solutions Program, for donations to Middletown Tree Planting
    6.   Tree City USA Award, National Arbor Day Foundation  CT DEEP
      Chris Donnelly, Urban Forestry Coordinator

Sponsored by the Middletown Urban Forestry Commission
"Other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future."

J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day

Please call 860-638-3500 ext 3506 for further information

Barnes and Noble Bookfair Gives Back to The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center

For the first time, live music flowed all day at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Glastonbury.  As part of B&N's way of giving to their community, they are donating a percentage of sales to the small nonprofit arts organization on Middletown's Main Street. This past Saturday, April 19th, was the "live" event - but the fundraiser continues through Thursday, April 24th - for ONLINE SALES. Purchases may be made online at:  using the voucher number for The Buttonwood Tree - 11334554.

The Buttonwood Tree is host to local and international performers throughout the year. While many are yet unknown, they are "surprisingly good" and the musicians' loyalty to TBT is unparalleled. Some, eager to support the organization, performed at the bookstore on the 19th. Musicians Karen Stein, the Andy Buzzi Duo,  Orice Jenkins, Warren Byrd and Saskia Laroo, and the band, Cartwheel all performed throughout the day. Also, TBTs Saturday instructors, Terri Johnson and Charles Giardino, offered a mini class to patrons in Qigong / T'ai chi. The Buttonwood Tree extends deep gratitude to these folks, and to all those making purchases on behalf of TBT.

Buttonwood's schedule can be found here for other events and upcoming concerts. Shows are held at 605 Main Street - next to It's Only Natural market. 860-347-4957  Refreshments are available.

World Book Night: Free Books Tonight!

From a press release.
Who is helping give out half a million free books across America on April 23rd? We are!

The Parent Leadership Office of the Middletown Public Schools and the Middletown Schools Association, in partnership with Wesley School PTA, Russell Library and The Book Bower, are proud to be offering a World Book Night Event on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at Wesley School, 10 Wesleyan Hills Road, from 5:30-7 pm.

St. Vincent de Paul Needs Supporters for Walk Against Hunger

The annual Foodshare Walk Against Hunger which will take place on Sunday, May 4, through Bushnell Park in Hartford has become a crucial initiative for St. Vincent de Paul in our city as they confront the increasing demand for food services.

 Food insecurity is a common problem in our local community, and St. Vincent de Paul provides a vital safety net for local families and individuals in need.

Amazing Grace, the food pantry for St. Vincent de Paul, and the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen provide approximately 1000 meals each day to needy people in our community. These services could not be provided without the help of local organizations, individuals and volunteers who donate food, time, and money. The funds from the Walk Against Hunger will help to keep pace with the demand for food during the summer months when there are fewer food and monetary donations to St. Vincent de Paul.

Last year St. Vincent de Paul’s participation in the Foodshare Walk Against Hunger was most successful. However, this year dollar donations and team formations in our community have been well behind last year. With less than two weeks to go before the walk, we need your help to make the Walk Against Hunger a successful fundraiser for St. Vincent de Paul. If you would like to form a team, join an existing team or walk as an individual, please contact Bob Walsh at or call him at (860) 463-5061. If you can’t walk, you can still support this important fundraiser by sending a check payable to the Walk Against Hunger to Ron Krom, Executive Director, St. Vincent de Paul, P.O. Box 398, Middletown, CT 06457. Any amount will help and be appreciated. Together we can help alleviate hunger in the Middletown area.