Saturday, May 31, 2014

Crowd-Generated Performance Art On The Connecticut River

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art invites the public to take part in a creative canoe and kayak paddle on the Connecticut River on Saturday, June 28, launching from the boathouse ramp at Harbor Park at 1 p.m. The event will include creation of a living art work: all the boaters will raft up their boats in a rosette near the southern tip of Wilcox Island, just north of the Arrigoni Bridge. The boats will then float slowly in formation under the bridge, where photographers will be posted to capture the art work in still shots and video from above. The group will then paddle upstream around Wilcox Island before re-gathering at the southern tip. From there, the boats will return in close formation to the launch area, this time being photographed from Harbor Park. The still and moving images will promote protection of local waterways and the creative possibilities of Middletown’s riverfront.

As in recent years, the paddle will include as many as 16 Macdonough School 4th-graders, most of them experiencing for the first time close-up the spectacular waterway that borders their neighborhood.  The Macdonough School PTA, the North End Action Team (NEAT), and financial donors collaborate with the Jonah Center to support the involvement of these children.

Paddlers need to provide their own boats, paddles, drinking water, sunscreen, and life jackets. Participants will be required to register at the launch site and are asked for a $10 donation to the Jonah Center to help cover insurance costs. Advance registration is not necessary. The entire activity should take approximately 2 hours.

For more information, or for a last minute update in case of inclement weather, call John Hall at 860-398-3771 (mobile). For directions to the launch site, point your location device or browser to “76 Harbor Drive Middletown CT.”

Friday, May 30, 2014

Cat Tales ~ Kimber ~ Kitty of the Week ~ 5/30/14

Cat Tales ~ Kimber ~ Kitty of the Week!

          My Name is Kimber!
Do You Have a Home For Me?

I’m Kimber! I’m a long-haired, female orange tabby, almost 3 years old. If you come to Cat Tales to meet me, I won’t be hard to find… I will be the one at your feet asking for attention! I’m happiest when you are petting and talking to me. I like to be active and play and would like a family who will spend time with me.

A home with older children and no dogs is best for me. I’m okay as the only pet but other, non-dominant cats are okay, too.

I’d love the chance to cuddle with you and return the affection. Please give me a chance to win your heart.

Cat Tales is seeking permanent adoption 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 Kimber!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Recognition of CVH Patients Buried in Numbered Graves

The 16th annual Memorial Service in the cemetery of Connecticut Valley Hospital will take place on Wednesday, May 28, at 1 p.m. As in each of the past 15 years, clergy and laity from Middletown and other Connecticut communities will recognize and honor persons buried in numbered, anonymous graves, speaking publicly their names, dates of death, and ages at death. This year’s group of 100 numbered graves spans the period from January 1946 to April 1950.

The 1,686 numbered graves in the CVH cemetery are a moving testimony to the stigma that persons suffering from mental illness have endured over the years — a stigma that endures to this day. The memorial service is designed to restore the dignity and identity of Connecticut Valley Hospital patients whose names have been kept secret over many decades and to bring attention to the ongoing ways in which individuals with psychiatric disabilities are still feared and shunned by many in our communities.

The Memorial Service will last approximately one hour. In case of very severe rain, the ceremony will be held on Friday, May 30, at 1 p.m.

The CVH Cemetery is located on Silvermine Road east of the main CVH campus. Take Bow Lane east past the State Veterans Cemetery on your right. Proceed a bit farther and turn left on Silvermine Road. For those traveling south on Rte. 9, take exit 12, turn left onto Silver Street and go .7 miles, past CVH and the Connecticut Juvenile Training School.  Turn right on Silvermine Road and you will come to the cemetery.

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

STEM the Tide: Popcorn by The Colonel # 97 of 100 (only 3 left!)

What’s a Girl to Do?

Many people, including The Colonel, have been encouraging girls and young women to take “hard” courses and prepare for jobs in the STEM sector (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

That advice has been based on the belief that there’s a growing shortage of people to fill STEM jobs.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Middletown Kiwanis Awards Annual College Scholarships

On May 21st, the Middletown Kiwanis Club conducted its annual scholarship presentations.  The Middletown Kiwanis through its Foundation each year gives a graduating senior from each of Middletown's four high schools a $2,000 college scholarship. A $500 scholarship is also awarded to a local high school senior attending Middlesex Community College in the fall. Of the fore-mentioned recipients one is selected to also receive the A. Merton & Arline W. Bozoian $500 scholarship.

Each student was accompanied by a school representative who described the qualities and accomplishments of their school’s recipient. Kiwanis President Lynn Baldoni then made the scholarship presentations. Starting with the $2,000 awards:

Kimberly Hedger, a graduating senior from Middletown High School who will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall.

Andrei Severin, a graduating senior from Vinal Technical High School who will be attending Becker College in the fall.

Kathryn Wall, a graduating senior from Mercy High School who will be attending Union College in the fall.

William Garrity, a graduating senior from Xavier High School who will be attending St. Lawrence University in the fall.

Clayton Smith, a senior from Vinal Technical High School was the recipient of the $500 scholarship for an incoming Middlesex Community College freshman.

The Kiwanis scholarship committee also selected Andrei Severin of Vinal Technical High School to receive the $500 Bozoian scholarship. The two benefactors of this yearly award, A. Merton & Arline Bozoian were very involved in the education of the young people of Middletown. Mr. "Ozzie" Bozoian, as the former principal of Middletown High School and Mrs. Arline Bozoian, as a school and Central Office administrative assistant. They left an endowment to assist young students for several years to come.

The Middletown Kiwanis Foundation's annual golf tournament proceeds are used to help fund the annual scholarship awards. This year’s tournament will be held on August 19th at Lyman’s Golf Course. The Kiwanis are seeking sponsors for this event. Anyone interested in playing or in  being a sponsor should email for more information.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Once Again: The Midd You Missed

This is an update of an article published every year around this time, written by Ed McKeon with contributions from other fans of Middletown.  The Eye sends it out to graduating Wesleyan seniors, and the alumni and  families visiting our city this weekend.

Say you're a graduating Wesleyan senior and you want to leave town (okay, no jokes), feeling you've seen everything you can see in Middletown. Or you're a graduating senior who wants to ditch the parents and send them off for a few hours over the weekend so you can hook-up with a friend for the last time. Or say you're a Middletown resident who spends too much time in the old cul-de-sac. You have probably had the best breakfast at O'Rourke's, the best coffee at Klekolo's, and the best tacos at Iguana Rana's, but have you really seen all that our city offers?

Below are suggestions for places you, or your parents, can visit before departing the Midd.  Enjoy!

No Strip Mall/No Wrecking Ball
Artwork by Kat Owens.
Just in case you missed one of the most prominent campus/community imbroglios of the year, here's a quick recap.  Members of Wesleyan's administration thought it wise to partner with a local developer to demolish three historic buildings on the block of Washington Street between Pearl and Washington, to build a bookstore, a Starbucks and a Chipotles, awakening the ire of students, faculty, staff and community members.  Much to their regret Wesleyan was caught in a contract with the developer.

Here today, gone tomorrow?
The fight went to the city's planning and zoning commission, where power and money prevailed, and the developer was able to alter zoning laws in their favor.  Currently, the matter is in court where neighbors have charged that the public interest has not been served and the Planning and Zoning crew abdicated their duty.  Check out the beautiful architecture on that block, and on all of the blocks north of Washington, which are threatened by the change in zoning law.  If the neighbors prevail, the view will be similar when you return for your next reunion.  If not, this may be the last time you see these gorgeous old homes.

UPDATE:  The original developer has dropped options on the purchase of these properties, but they are still for sale.  The case against the city has been dismissed by the judge who was hearing the complaint.  In addition, Wesleyan University biology professor, and local activist, Stephen Devoto, ran for a seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission and won.  Devoto was forced to primary candidates selected by the Democratic Town Committee.

"5 Conflict Monument" Unveiling Sat. on Vet's Green


5 Conflict Monument
May 24, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.
(Rain or shine!)

The Middletown Council of Veterans & VFW Post 583 
proudly announce the addition of a monument on Veterans Green in Middletown, 
honoring those who have served in the 5 major conflicts since Vietnam. 
(Desert Storm, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan).

Donations from all the Middletown veterans groups, CVMA 31-1, and Valhalla MC Connecticut, along with many others, have made this possible.

This monument is being placed alongside the other monuments on Veterans Green (between Washington St./Rt.66, and Washington Terrace). This is the only known monument of its kind, honoring the brave men & women who have fought and are still fighting for freedom since Vietnam.  The event is open to the public; all are welcome. 

NOTE:  This is Wesleyan's reunion weekend, so parking may be limited. Arrive early if you can.(Graduation is not until Sunday.) 

Council of Veterans

58 Bernie O'Rourke Drive
Middletown, CT.  06457

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Passionate Performers and Wesleyan Alumni Make The Buttonwood Tree Their Destination of Choice

We often hear of what's coming up at The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center, (TBT), but what actually happened is often a mystery. Even its location seems to be a mystery, as countless folks come in saying they've "passed by this place for years and didn't know it was here". Trees hide the sign over the door of the small space which is located in the former Arriwani Hotel, next to It's Only Natural market. Once inside, a whole new world opens up to those who dare to enter. Between the eclectic books, local art, inviting atmosphere and exposed brick walls, Buttonwood has repeatedly been called a "hidden gem" in the heart of downtown Middletown.

Earlier this month an Italian beauty made her debut performance and she won the hearts of all in attendance. Sissy Castrogiovanni hails from Sicily and has been living in Boston for the past few years. She brought her band and added Evan Waaramaa on piano, a West Hartford native, whose family was delighted to see him perform with the dynamic group. Also in attendance was the new director of the Downtown Business District, Nicole Castrogiovanni. Maybe not related directly, they do share their family name and their first visit to TBT. Over a dozen people experienced TBT for the first time that night and at least one gentleman spoke to her in their native tongue, a bonus for them both. Singing in her Sicilian dialect didn't deter from the enjoyment of the music, but rather added to the flair of the jazzy tunes. Her voice too an instrument, was used expertly and expressively.

Owen McNally kindly interviewed the Italian songstress, but words can hardly capture the passion that was felt in the cozy space at TBT. She moved on stage using her whole body like an instrument, rising and falling in rhythm, floating and soaring with notes that tantalized and captured listeners' attention and hearts. Playing to the sax, their eyes locked, her voice matched its notes with perfect pitch and if you closed your eyes you might have thought there were two saxes in the room. One number she sang just to the piano, a love song that was a lovely as a flower blossoming and brought tears to more than one listener. When a performer with passion plays TBT, it is felt by all those who tune in and in that moment, we're all One. Those times are something special to be experienced, something so wonderful that people who can get quiet and into the moment, can treasure forever. Folks return from near and far to feel the magic that happens between performer and audience at The Buttonwood Tree, like in no other place.  

One pair of patrons knows the value of the irreplaceable, treasurable moments available at The Buttonwood Tree, and they traveled to Middletown from their home on Long Island, NY simply to spend the weekend at TBT. Wesleyan alumni, Dick Einhorn, and his lovely wife, Susan, have been regular attendees at TBT for a couple of years. They enjoyed the classical guitar music of the students from the Hartt School of Music as well as the jazz guitar of Sinan Bakir. It's a family affair at TBT, that night Bakir's son came along as he often does for his dad's regular appearances.

Music is not the only gift that flows from TBT, as the Einhorns know. They attended a show last October featuring members of Cotton Hollow Rising where Cece Borgenson told the audience how they got their band's name, and talked about the treasure of Cotton Hollow Preserve in South Glastonbury. In between shows at TBT, the Einhorns enjoyed the natural beauty of the Preserve, satisfying their curiosity born of that October concert. Often coming to Middletown for Wesleyan events and catching one show at TBT, this weekend they came mainly "to experience The Buttonwood Tree". Smart folks those Wesleyan folks, and talented too as this Saturday's concert with the Mattabessett String Collective will reveal.

See Owen's story here:

This weekend TBT hosts five events: 
Friday,     8 pm, Orice Jenkins Jazz
Saturday, 10:30 am, Aligned with Source workshop:
                8 pm, Mattabessett String Collective:   (Reservations suggested)
Sunday,   1-2 pm Food not Bombs (Free vegetarian community lunch)
                4-7 pm Celebrating Tommy Moses:    (Call us to participate)

CANCELED: Tonight's film and Saturday's Yoga and Qigong classes are all canceled

The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center is run by North End Arts Rising, Inc., a nonprofit organization located at 605 Main Street.   860.347.4957
Volunteer opportunities are available. 

Tuesdays in June, Experience the Rumpus

DJ Lord Lewis the Velvet Knight, longstanding host of the legendary Rumpus Room radio show on WESU 88.1 FM, presents a month long Tuesday night DJ residency in June at the Canoe Club in Middletown CT.

Expect all vinyl sets of the best in contemporary and vintage heavy funk, soul, afrobeat, rare groove and more from one of CT’s most heavyweight collectors and taste-makers. Showcasing the burgeoning international funk underground and revival this will be a unique night with a deep music selection that will be sure to impress.

Come for the music, stay for the awesome riverfront view and drink specials. A rare treat not to be missed every Tuesday night in June from 6 pm onwards.

You can get a preview of the type of sounds you will hear by listening to archives of the Rumpus Room radio show on Mixcloud

DJ profile here:

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cat Walk (by Cat Tales) Walk-a-thon/Run 6/14/14 MxCC - Healthy, fun, family time, all for a great cause!

Cat Walk (by Cat Tales) Walk-a-thon/Run 6/14/14 MxCC - Healthy, fun, family time, all for a great cause!

Cat Walk (by Cat Tales) Walk-a-thon/Run 6/14/14 MxCC - Healthy, fun, family time, all for a great cause!


Cat Tales Inc. presents...

The 2014 CAT WALK​ 

Our Annual Fundraiser Walk-a-thon/Run
Benefiting Homeless and Abandoned Cats... One Step At A Time​!

Date:            Saturday, June 14, 2014
Where:         MXCC Lower Parking Lot (100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, CT)
Time:            9:30 a.m. Check-In and Registration
CAT WALK:   10 a.m.  2.2 mile walk
                    10 a.m.  3.1 mile run

Visit:   for advance registration and more!


Cat Tales Inc. presents...

The 2014 CAT WALK​ 

Our Annual Fundraiser Walk-a-thon/Run
Benefiting Homeless and Abandoned Cats... One Step At A Time​!

Date:            Saturday, June 14, 2014
Where:         MXCC Lower Parking Lot (100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, CT)
Time:            9:30 a.m. Check-In and Registration
CAT WALK:   10 a.m.  2.2 mile walk
                    10 a.m.  3.1 mile run

Visit:   for advance registration and more!

Remember to Meet Your Greens Tonight with State Rep. Matt Lesser

Meet Your Greens, Middlesex County monthly green drinks networking gathering, will meet at Cypress Restaurant tonight,  5:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Come meet our State Rep. Matt Lesser and hear about how the environment fared in the past legislative session.

Matt Lesser, now in his third term representing the 100th Assembly District (Middletown), has earned a lifetime 100% voting record from the CT League of Conservation Voters and is active in the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.  As Assistant Majority Leader, he serves on the Energy & Technology Committee, is chair of the Legislative Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee and is vice chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee. He will share  news on such state issues as fracking waste storage, protecting open space, and expanding support for renewable energy.  Bring your questions (and a friend!)   
Remember, come as you are and no reservations required!

The Cypress Restaurant, specializing in home-style cooking served in a "cozy, informal atmosphere," was first opened by the Carta family on May 30th, 1936.
 1265 South Main Street

Coming up in June: Save-the-date for our annual Ct. River green drinks cruise, hosted by our friends on board the RiverQuest. June 10--details and instructions for making your reservation to come.

Meet Your Greens is Middlesex County's monthly green drinks happy-hour network providing opportunities to make connections and exchange news about environmental issues in Middlesex County. Based on the popular Green Drinks in CT and nationwide, this informal gathering of people drawn from the community, nonprofit groups and the business world offers time to brainstorm ideas and plant seeds for collaboration. All are welcome with no reservations or advanced registration necessary.

Meet Your Greens meets every third Tuesday of the month. Venues and times change-- join our e-list for updates and invites by contacting Claire Rusowicz,; or Cristina Gastador Hayden, You can also join us on Facebook ("Meet Your Greens"). Schedule updates are also provided on The Rockfall Foundation website.

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives in Middlesex County. Established in 1935, it is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations whose mission is to be a catalyst-- bringing people together and supporting organizations to conserve and enhance the county’s natural environment. Rockfall awards grants each year to organizations, schools and municipalities, and sponsors educational programs and symposia.