Friday, March 5, 2021




Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine? This question probably has been on everyone’s minds these days. 


Governor Ned Lamont revised the COVID-19 distribution. He is not calling it phases any more but now it will be based on age according to Middletown Acting Director of Health Kevin Elak. Persons 55 years and older became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on March 1st along with educators, all school personnel, and childcare providers. The next age group to become eligible will be individuals 45-54 beginning March 22, followed by individuals 35-44 April 12th and on May 3rd 16-34-year-old. Health Director Elak stated “You do not have to register with VAMS to make an appointment for the vaccine. You can check with your doctor to see if they are giving the vaccine at their office.” He also stated people can call the Connecticut Vaccine appointment line at 877-918-2224. Salvatore Nesci the Acting Director of Health for the Town of Cromwell said, "it depends on the provider," regarding if a person would have to preregister on the VAMS website to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine.  If you have any questions about your need to register on VAMS call your medical provider.


According to National Public Radio President Joe Biden said on March 2nd “We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May." Dr. Anthony Fauci stated recently on Instagram Live according to CBS News “"We project so anyone who wants to get vaccinated would have gotten vaccinated by the time we get to the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall."


When you become eligible to receive the vaccine take the opportunity to get vaccinated and protect yourself along with your relatives and friends.


For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine please see the following websites:



Please get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.  


Enjoy the videos.






Wednesday, March 3, 2021

The Buttonwood Tree Presents Storytelling with Story City Troupe Featuring Moth Champion Tom Ouimet

 $10 - March 5th - 7-9 PM - Online Via Zoom

Come and join us this Friday for Story City Troupe a collective of storytellers based in the Hartford, CT area founded by Sue Huggans. They will showcase fascinating adult style story time!
This month's theme will be "Passion," in all it's many forms--there's so much to love about this life! We will also feature returning teller Tom Ouimet who has been busy telling stories and winning Slams at The Moth!
All stories are true, personal stories, often funny, sometimes amazing, poignant or ironic and based on a single theme for the evening. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll identify!  Tickets
The audience is invited to participate by offering to tell their own story (email for details) and by staying on after the storytelling for an informal "Chat room." You may talk with the tellers or other audience members, ask questions, get advice etc!
March Tellers:
Mike Isko
Nina Lesiga
Sue Huggans
Tom Ouimet
And if there's time after audience participation, TBT's own Anne-Marie McEwen

New Fossil Fuel Project Prompts Discussion of Concerns, Opportunities, and Win-Win Alternatives

This article was submitted by Middletown resident Jill Harris: 

The Middletown City Council, representatives from NRG, representatives from the Jonah Center, and local citizens came together on February 11th to consider and discuss NRG’s proposal for a fossil fuel power plant project on River Road and its impact on the community.  The discussion occurred in the context of the Middletown Council’s unanimous decision in 2020 to declare a climate change emergency and of the town’s option in February 2021 to terminate a tax agreement worth several million dollars that is favorable to the NRG project. 

Brian McCabe presented NRG’s proposal to replace two units built in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s with a new unit.  John Hall of the Jonah Center and Wesleyan Physics Professor Brian Stewart presented in opposition to the proposed plan.  Connecticut produces more power than it uses, exporting 26% of the power it generates.  Although the proposed gas powered turbine would be more efficient, it would be allowed to run 182 days a year instead of the few days a year that the units it would replace currently run.  The increased running time would result in the release of five times the amount of the current CO2 emissions and as much as 76 tons of Particulate Matter, factors which contribute to the climate crisis and negatively affect the local environment and the health of local residents.  

Mr. Hall and Professor Stewart spoke in favor of seeking alternative technological solutions such as a storage facility for green technologies such as wind and solar.  Mr. McCabe said that NRG is currently working on other types of storage facilities in other parts of the country and would be willing to work with the Jonah Center on this alternative.  He also said that the same local labor force could be employed to build a storage facility for green energy as would be employed for the current proposal of the fossil fuel burning turbine.  

Councilman Gene Nocera called the public comments “heartwarming” as approximately 45 citizens called in to voice their opinions.  According Councilman Philip Pessina, 14 of those calls favored the proposed plan for reasons of its benefit to the labor force, while approximately 30 people called in to object to the proposed plan for environmental reasons, both current and immediate damage to the local ecosystem and the health of local residents and its contribution to the existential crisis of climate change.  “The Climate Emergency [declaration] was not a paper exercise,” Councilman Vincent Loffredo noted, implying that the council is committed to acting in accordance with the urgent need to act to reduce greenhouse gasses.  Both Councilman Grady Faulkner and Councilman Ed McKeon said that they liked the alternative idea of a storage facility for green energy, and Councilman Pessina saw the potential for a “three-legged stool” that would bring NRG and labor, environmentalists, and the government into a cooperative project that could be a model for the transition away from fossil fuels.  “You can’t put a price on health,” Councilwoman Jeannette Blackwell added, “and we need to continue to discuss the impact on marginalized communities.”

The town is now waiting and watching to see if the Common Council will terminate the tax agreement and if meaningful discussions between the City, NRG, and the Jonah Center take place regarding an energy storage project.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

An Afternoon of Blues with Morgan Giosa - Livestream from The Buttonwood Tree

 Feb. 28th, 4:00 - 5:30 PM | Free - Donations Appreciated | Livestream on TBT's Facebook

Please join up-and-coming guitarist Morgan Giosa and his band of musical phenoms on Sunday, February 28th via a livestream on TBT's Facebook. The band will be performing traditional blues in the style of B.B. King, as well as some jazz favorites as a fundraiser for The Buttonwood Tree.


About Morgan:

Morgan Giosa is a web developer, blues guitarist, photographer, and visual artist from Windsor, Connecticut. A self-described “old soul”, Morgan feels his music is most rooted in inspiration from the electric psychedelic blues of the 1960s (artists such as Michael Bloomfield and Jimi Hendrix are among his favorites), as well as influenced by the greatest electric bluesmen of all time (particularly B.B. King and Albert King, two of his favorite musicians). Morgan has been composing original music with the guidance and collaborative input of his mentor and friend and guitar teacher, Frank Varela. The two, alongside drummer Alex Giosa and bassist Bob Laramie and some special guests, recorded an album under the band name Fake News Blues Band in late 2017. Their debut self-titled album was released on June 6th, 2019 and is available on all major streaming platforms. 


Rudi Weeks has been a professional musician and music teacher for over forty-five years. He has performed with such 60s greats as The Contours, The Crests, and Ronnie Spector, and Folk and Bluegrass legends Tom Paxton and Tony Trischka. His extensive freelance performance and recording experience includes projects with over thirty ensembles, performing styles that range from classical, big band swing, jazz, Latin jazz, to world beat, R&B, funk, and rock.


He currently teaches at Holyoke Community College Music Department, Downtown Sounds in Northampton MA, Guitar Center in West Springfield and at his home. He is a 20-year veteran of the popular Motown group Souled Out (currently called Center Stage)/ Magic of Motown/ Motor City Magic, and a 26-year veteran of the highly acclaimed Andean influenced world music group, Viva Quetzal.



   Dan Hartington is a guitarist with a diverse performing and teaching career and regularly collaborates on music of all styles with other musicians, actors, dancers, and writers. As a classical guitarist he was a founding member of the New England Guitar Quartet, has performed on numerous concert series including the Hillstead Museum Sunken Garden Poetry and Musical Festival, the Connecticut Guitar Society, and he was the founding Director of the Hartford Classical Guitar Ensemble.  As an electric and commercial guitarist, he is very active as a pit musician in regional and off-Broadway productions and has worked at the Ogunquit Playhouse, Goodspeed Opera House, Norma Terris Theater, Ivoryton Playhouse, and Connecticut Repertory Theater. He is faculty member in the Performing Arts Department at Eastern Connecticut State University and at The Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford.