Monday, June 26, 2017

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ Oliver!

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week

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

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

Phone:   860.344.9043
Watch our TV commercial:

Saturday, June 24, 2017

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

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

Friday, June 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Political Parties Eager For Candidates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Concert on the Farm This Weekend (Updated)

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

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

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

(UPDATE Friday):

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

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

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ CHARLIE!!

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week 


Gender:  Male

Breed:  Domestic Short Hair

Color:  Orange / Buff

Age: 1 year old

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

Saturday, June 17, 2017

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

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

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

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1809-1890)

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

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

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Car Show Fills Street With Pedestrians

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

A few more pictures below the jump.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Readers Theater presents 100 Saints You Should Know at Russell Library

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Films on Foss Back This Summer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday: Strawberry Shortcake Nirvana

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

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

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ MIZZY

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week!

Gender:  Female
Breed:  Domestic Short Hair

Color:  Torti

Age:10 years old

Hello, my name is Mizzy. I have a rather sad story. My owner was put into a nursing home the day before Thanksgiving 2016. His family decided to dispose of me by throwing me outside on the streets to fend for myself. I was in this house all my life had never been outdoors before. I was so confused, sad, cold and hungry. I waited and waited but no one ever came for me. That's when Cat Tales found me and things turned around. Looking ahead, I really would love a quiet home with the right person who will love me and give me time to adjust from the chaos. I'm very sweet and affectionate and like to be pet, held and cuddled. I'd prefer to be the only cat though. I am currently being treated for arthritis and I have slightly elevated kidney level. I take medicine in my food to help, nothing hard to to. I'd love to curl up in bed or on the couch with you. Most importantly, I promise to love you no matter what. Please adopt me today.

No CatsNo DogsNo Children

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Music at The Mansion Summer Series: Wednesdays WOW!

The Friends of Long Hill Estate and the Long Hill Estate Authority with sponsorship from Middlesex Hospital will host their ‘Music at the Mansion’ season at the Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown in July. The season opens on July 5th with Eight to the Bar. On July 12th the Doo Wop Deville will perform. Locomotion will perform on the 19th and closing out the season on July 26th will be Sugar. The concerts begin at 6:30 and are free to the public.

July 5th: 
The fun starts off with Eight to the Bar. They were voted ‘Best Band 2008’ by Connecticut Magazine and ‘Best Jazz Band’ in the 2008 Hartford Advocate Readers Poll. Drawing their musical influences from American roots music: swing, boogie woogie, rhythm & blues, soul, and Motown, Eight to the Bar is known for its outstanding its instrumentalists and sophisticated musical and vocal arrangements.

 July 12th:
Doo-Wop DeVille is New England’s newest and hottest doo wop show band! Comprised of experienced professional musicians dedicated to the presentation of authentic doo-wop music, the group features four talented vocalists backed by a band that includes bass, guitar, sax, drums, and keyboard. The groups exciting and dynamic performances get audiences of all ages up on their feet to dance and sing along with songs from such classic groups as the Five Satins, The Crests, The Flamingos and The Penguins.

July 19th:
Locomotion will be making their first public appearance at the Mansion. Locomotion has been a crowd-favorite fixture on the Connecticut music scene since June 1987. Since then, the band has grown and evolved into one of southern New England's premiere club, dance, wedding, and party bands. Featuring two lead singers and a full horn section, Locomotion's sound is distinctly diverse, with hot dance and party tunes from the 60's right up to today. The signature sound of their powerhouse horn section can be heard on just about every song they do. Nominated in the Hartford Advocate's "Grand Band Slam'; as a 'Best Band" for 1998, 1999, and 2000, Locomotion was also named 'Best Band in Connecticut 2003" by Connecticut Magazine.

July 26th:
Sugar have been performing together as a band for over 15 years and have shared the stage with Bo Diddley, Rick Derringer, Tower of Power, and J. Geils to name a few. The Sugar music catalog boasts an enormous repertoire of material that spans a multitude of genres, styles and generations. Sugar will deliver with their unique blend of musical variety, vitality and class.

At each concert there will be a variety food trucks offering light fare. Vecchitto’s Italian Ice, Franks Wood Fired Pizza, and Shishkabobalicious are scheduled for each week of the series.

All of the concerts will begin at 6:30 p.m. The grounds will be open for picnicking at 5:30 p.m. Parking will be at the Mansion, at the Wilbert Snow School, 299 Wadsworth Street, and at Mercy High School, 1740 Randolph Road. Concerts will be held in light rain, or the threat of showers.

Concerts will be cancelled in electrical storms or threat to the wellbeing of the musicians or their instruments. A rain date of August 2nd has been scheduled. Information will be available on the Wadsworth Mansion website at or by calling (860) 347-1064.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

My Name Is Bill and I'm a Head Case --- The Colonel Carries On #87

Music by Creedy Coor; lyrics by Alternate Reality Loser, as told to Often On

Epigraph: “Pokemon have become rare. Rarer still are pokemon doing hula hoops.” --Vex Lit, drafting associate

Parents, cheer up. Every style of parenting produces miserable, profoundly unhappy adults, according to the results of a long-awaited longitudinal study conducted jointly by Wesleyan University and the University of Minnesota of more than 1000 families from every part of the United States except North Carolina.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Middletown Churches Remember Pulse LGBTQ Victims

Service at First Church, Middletown, 
Commemorates Pulse Club Loss,
Nurtures Bonds of Community &
Social Justice 

First Church in Middletown,
190 Court St, Middletown, CT
Monday, JUNE 12, 6 p.m.

Many in our community and local LGBTQ families will take time this month to remember those who lost their lives in the tragic hate-crime shootings at the PULSE Nightclub in Orlando, FL, a year ago. The event gripped the hearts of families and loved ones in the Queer-Trans-Black-Latinx community in Orlando and sent shock waves across the country.

Doing our part, First Church in Middletown and South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, will host a
Commemorative Service on Monday, June 12, at 6 p.m., at First Church, to remember the lives of the 50 victims, as we set aside time to be together in prayer, song, and words of comfort. Both churches will toll bells at noon along with churches around the world.

Pastor Thea Racelis, who served as emergency chaplain, and Rev. Jack Davidson, also on site after the event, will share their experiences of the crisis. Rev. Julia Burkey of First Church will co-lead the service, nurturing bonds of commitment as we re-dedicate ourselves to sowing seeds of social acceptance and social justice

First Church in Middletown (UCC), 190 Court Street, Middletown, 860-346-6657.  (First Church Facebook)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

No More Fines for Youth at Russell Library!

Parents no longer have to worry about their children accruing
fines on their library cards.
Seeking to remove barriers to youth literacy, Russell Library will no longer charge late fines on youth accounts
With Summer Reading just around the corner, Russell Library is removing late fines for all youth library materials checked out on youth accounts (ages 0-17), effective June 12. Children's and young adult items will no longer be charged late fines.
The public library is a partner to youth, parents, families and caregivers from birth through high school. Exposing children early to a world rich with words, songs and play helps them become readers and succeed in school and in life. We proudly serve youth of all ages with high-quality books, fun and captivating programs, research resources, homework help, and caring staff who offer personal assistance.
“For many, late fines are a real barrier that stops children and families from using and benefiting from the resources the public library offers”, said Matt Poland, Library Director and CEO. “With the support of the Library Board, our library is changing this practice.”
Patrons of all ages will still be responsible for returning library material for others to use within 20 days of the due date, or be charged the replacement value of that item. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Children's Book Author Minh Lê to visit Russell Library June 9th

On Friday, June 9th at 6:16pm, Minh Lê, author of Let Me Finish! will read from his book in the Hubbard Room of the Russell Library.
Minh Lê will speak at Russell Library June 9th at 6:15pm.

Let Me Finish! was chosen as a NPR Best Book of 2016: 

'Such a fun romp! A boy with big glasses is trying his best to find a quiet spot to read, but no luck! Creatures of all sorts keep interrupting to tell him why his book is so great. As you race to the end trying to avoid spoilers, the book in his hands becomes the book in your hands. I can't wait to see what's next from first-time author Minh Lê!' 

- NPR's Book Concierge (Justine Kenin)

Families are welcome to bring their copy of Let Me Finish! to be signed by the author. Copies will be available for those who don't own the book, limit one per family.
Minh Lê is also a federal early childhood policy expert who has worked in education at the national, state and local level, both in and out of the classroom. He has his masters degree in Educational Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

This program is a drop-in program for families with children of all ages.

Light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Council Votes Unanimously In Favor of New Middle School

In a night that honored student achievements in City Hall, the Common Council voted unanimously to support a new middle school for Middletown.

The triumphant Ultimate Frisbee
team from MHS.
The meeting began with the Council acknowledging the achievements of DECA, who returned from an international competition in Anaheim, with awards for their work.  In addition, the Council honored the state champion Ultimate Frisbee team from Middletown High School.  The Council also introduced a set of students from Woodrow Wilson Middle School who were participating in the annual Mayor For A Day program, and who were shadowing the Council at the meeting.

The eventual unanimous popular support to send the proposal for a new middle school to referendum in November followed a contentious debate about the legal wording of the resolution that would allow the plans to move forward.

WWMS student Ryan
Cudworth shadowing
Council member Tom
This debate didn't occur in the main body of the meeting, but instead occupied councilors for nearly the entire "Questions to Directors" portion of the meeting that began at 6 PM.  When the city attorney raised a concern about the wording of the resolution, a point of order raised by Council member Seb Giuliano blossomed into a full-blown debate about the substance of that resolution.

It didn't look promising for passage when Council members questioned everything from the application for a state grant to the location of the new proposed middle school on Hunting Hill Ave. When Deputy Mayor Bob Santangelo finally called time on the debate, the question had not been settled, and a large crowd, consisting of DECA students and parents, Ultimate Frisbee students and parents, and middle school supporters was gathered in the foyer waiting to enter the main meeting.

At the meeting, parents, teachers, Board of Education members, building committee members, city residents and some of the students who were participating in the Mayor For a Day program, spoke in favor of a new middle school.

After a short debate about the legal wording of the resolution, and several Common Council members speaking in favor of the plan, the Council voted unanimously to adopt the resolution.