Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Nest of Robins

Backyard photos of some hungry young robins taken a week apart by Rebecca McCallum.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Pounds of Pot in Traverse Square Bust

From the Middletown Police Department

On May 17, 2011 the Middletown Police Street Crime Unit along with The Connecticut State Police State Wide Narcotics Task Force and the D.E.A. seized approximately twenty nine pounds of marijuana.

Detectives were advised that four boxes from a commercial shipping service were addressed to Roosevelt Freeman 14 Traverse Square, Middletown, CT and possibly contained a large amount of marijuana.   Two of the boxes remained at the shipping facilities annex in Louisville, Kentucky, which contained approximately twenty seven and a half pounds of marijuana.  The other two boxes (containing the twenty nine pounds) were allowed to continue on to their shipping destination.

Theodore Roosevelt Freeman Jr. age 43 had been the target of an investigation prior to this date for marijuana sales however no arrest was ever made.

Detectives would conduct a controlled delivery of the two boxes containing the twenty nine pounds of marijuana to 14 Traverse Square. Johnnie Mae Mitchell age 58 (the aunt of Freeman Jr.) was observed taking the packages into her residence.

Detectives later entered the residence and encountered Mitchell along with Theodore Roosevelt Freeman Sr. age 65 (the father of Freeman Jr.). Both of the packages were also located inside of the residence. Freeman Sr. and Mitchell stated they had accepted the packages for Freeman Sr’s son Theodore Roosevelt Freeman Jr. age 43 who does not reside there. Freeman Sr. stated his son resides at 616 Long Hill Rd and works at the US Post Office on Silver Street. 

Both Freeman Sr. and Mitchell stated they have accepted numerous packages in the past for Freeman Jr. all of which were similar in size and weight. Both stated they were supposed to contact Freeman Jr. as soon as today’s packages arrived but never got around to it. Freeman Sr. and Mitchell stated Freeman Jr. retrieves the packages from their residence the same day they are delivered. One of the packages weighed approximately 14 pounds and the other weighed approximately 15 pounds. Inside of each box were brick shaped amounts of compressed marijuana.

Freeman Jr. was contacted via telephone at his place of employment and stated he would come over to 14 Traverse Square in order to explain his involvement, however he never arrived. Detectives went over to the Post Office on Silver St. to speak with Freeman Jr. but were advised that he had just left without explanation and was no longer on the grounds.

Johnnie Mae Mitchell was subsequently arrested for the following charges and released on a $25,000.00 bond:
Possession of over 4 ounces of Marijuana
Possession With Intent to Sell over one Kilo of Marijuana
Possession Marijuana With Intent to Sell within a Public Housing Project

Theodore Roosevelt Freeman was subsequently arrested for the following charges and released on a $25,000.00 bond:
Possession of over 4 ounces of Marijuana
Possession With Intent to Sell over one Kilo of Marijuana
Possession Marijuana With Intent to Sell within a Public Housing Project

An arrest warrant is being submitted to Middlesex Superior Court for Theodore Roosevelt Freeman Jr. 

Spontaneous "Citizen Parade" Marches Down Main Street

It was an idea hatched on both ends of Main Street.

On the South End, veterans who had just finished a Memorial Day ceremony in the rain decided that despite the fact that the official parade had been canceled, they would march.

"We marched through worse than this," one veteran said.

On the North End, Mark Masselli, CEO of the Community Health Center wanted to honor the vets with the float his organization had built.

On both ends of Main Street, the calls began to go out.

I got mine just after 9:30.

"We're going to march," Masselli informed me. "Are you in?"

The plan was to meet at O'Rourkes and commandeer Main Street long enough for a short parade. But the phone calls continued, and by 11 AM, Rome Street was jammed with marchers from Veterans organizations, Laurence School, La Familia, the Community Health Center, The Learning Center and a bunch of citizens who decided to join the renegade parade.

WWII veteran Joe Franco outside his home on Rome St.

When local politicians heard the word "parade" they flocked to the site, and arranged for police and fire department escorts. Among the political leaders were State Senator Paul Doyle, State Representative Matt Lesser, Mayor Sebastian Giuliano and Common Council members Phil Pessina, Tom Serra, Jim Streeto, Dan Drew, Bob Santagelo, Deb Kleckowski and Grady Faulkner.

The unofficial parade stepped off at 11:30, an a humbling small crowd of surprised observers shouted encouragement along the route which traversed the entirety of Main Street from St. Johns to Union Park.

A brief ceremony on the South Green honored veterans, awarded parade trophies to the Community Health Center and Laurence School.

"It turned into a citizens parade," Giuliano said. "And maybe it's the best one we ever had."

Do It Yourself Parade: 11 AM Starting At O'Rourkes

A smaller version of the Memorial Day Parade will start at 11 AM from O'Rourkes.

It's a DIY (do-it-yourself) affair, and all are welcome to march to honor those who have served the country.

At this point the parade will include Vietnam Vets, the Community Health Center and NEAT.

The Middletown Eye will be there, will you?

Parade Off

Notification 20 minutes later that the Middletown Memorial Day Parade has been cancelled.

This afternoon when it's sunny and 90, we'll all wonder why.

Parade On

The Middletown Police Department is reporting that as of 8:55 AM, the Memorial Day Parade is still on.  The storm front that produced morning thunder showers and continuing rain is expected to pass by parade time at 10 AM.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Around the Garden

The season of showy spring blooms is winding down, and that means it’s time to prune. Spring-blooming shrubs such as viburnum, lilacs, mountain laurel, azaleas and rhododendrons are candidates as soon as their flowers die back, especially if they have suddenly turned into leggy monsters. The worst part of that legginess is that all the blooms are just out of reach when you want to cut some flowers for a bouquet.

Shrubs are highly forgiving plants, and will generally reward pruning with a burst of new growth. In most cases, a shrub is a multi-stemmed woody plant that grows to fifteen feet or less. New growth typically occurs only at the top of the stems, unless you remove an entire stem. When you cut a stem to the base, new growth will be stimulated, and shoots will begin to grow shortly. Do not remove those shoots if you want your shrub to be rejuvenated!

Removing a quarter to a third of the oldest stems down to the ground is the best way to rejuvenate a shrub over three or four years. After repeated annual prunings, you will have a new, vigorous, and much shorter shrub.

If your shrub hasn’t gotten out of control, and you just want to keep it to an attractive size and shape, now is also the time to prune. New flower buds will grow over the summer, so cutting off unwanted branches or branch tips before those buds emerge will conserve the plant’s energy.

The tools for this job are sharp pruners and loppers – never a hedge-trimmer! This isn’t just an esthetic issue, although improper pruning might turn your shrub into a grotesque muffin or meatball. The scientific basis for pruning one stem at a time relates to how a plant grows. Plants, like all organisms, grow in response to hormones. The growth hormone in plants, auxin, is concentrated at the tips of stems. When the tip of the stem is cut back, the bud or buds just below the cut receive a jolt of auxin, and begin to expand and elongate. So, if you want a shrub to be shorter and fatter, you will want to cut each stem just above a live bud or leaf that faces the outside of the plant.

Some shrubs, such as viburnums, will have a pair of buds at each node. To avoid sending new growth into the center of the plant, snip off the inward-facing bud or twig completely.

Another important reason to prune just above a bud or twig is to avoid leaving a length of woody stem to die back. Decapitated twigs not only look unsightly, they are also a conduit for decay to enter the plant.

A bad pruning job is usually not irreparable, but you can do some serious harm nonetheless. Good pruning is done slowly – cutting only when you know what your overall goal is for the plant’s ultimate height and width. Happy pruning!

The Titanium Standard

After a lemon ice, the neighbors headed down Main Street to check out the action.  We were drawn to the exclusivity of a velvet rope and a bouncer in front of new nightclub Titanium, and we were told that everyone was welcome.

Early Saturday evening, the club thumped with dance music, but the dancefloor was empty.

Those at the door assured us that business had been good right up to the Memorial Day weekend.

BTW, if you're wondering, seven months later, the Hartford Colonials still owe my film and video company, Motion Inc, $23,000.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Important News

Even though the Middletown Eye might not make it to every meeting, every fundraiser, or every crime scene in town, I hope you know you can count on us for the news that really matters.

Vecchitto's Italian Ice opened for the season today at noon - look for the lit neon sign at 323 DeKoven Drive.

I had the watermelon - it was mighty fine.

See you there, noon to 9:30 pm, 7 days a week until the weather turns in the Fall.

Parade Etiquette

*Opinion, not necessarily by someone who knows anything about anything.

Dear Madam Nirvana,
As a citizen of the great city of Middletown, please answer my question: What is parade etiquette?

- Sincerely, An Inquiring Mind

Answer: Funny you should ask Inquiring Mind- as summer approaches the Memorial Parade down Main Street is finally here! This event showcases some of Middletown's finest folks- from the award winning Middletown High Marching Band, to the local baseball teams, boy scouts, brownie troops, to the fine people serving as police and fire fighters, and as well as a plethora of fine civic organizations who all come out to show support and say thank you to the men and women who have served and lost their lives in the various branches of the armed forces. When I think of a person in uniform, I think of a person of upstanding character & chivalry- and when I think of chivalry- I think of someone holding the door for someone else- and I think of respect for others and kindness. I do not think of rude pushy people. But, turns out- I've found that everyone gets a little rude and pushy at the parade; or that's atleast what I have noticed these few years in Middletown.
Having been both a walker in the parade, a marching band member way back when, as well as an observer, I have to say that all sense of neighborly way goes out the window on Main Street on the Monday holiday. We have the widest Main Street in American yet during the parade observers extend past the parking stalls, out almost half way to the yellow line. Watching the parade it's hard to tell who is in the parade and who is watching because it's like people feel as if they need to go out and go right up to the parade and touch it or something. I marched in the parade when I was a MHS band student; I distinctly recall getting my elbows knocked not by my band mates, but my parade watchers bumping into us to get an up close view. Taking a clarinet to the teeth is not fun. This phenomenon of getting as close as possible to the parade and crowding towards the yellow line, so the mob of other citizens trying to see is forced then to follow behind you - I just don't get it.
Parents- sorry, but you are the most notorious for this offense. Modern cameras have digital zooms- even old film cameras have zooms- but still you guys need to get up close and personal and snap a picture right in your kids face during the parade! Yes, it only takes a second to dash out quick and jump back in your seat you think, but multiply that by everyone else doing the same thing... You are correct in thinking I do not have children yet and don't understand the need to capture every special moment of adorableness- , but remember you do get your kid back ( if you want them back) after the parade at the green.
So, let us all embrace the zoom feature on our cameras this holiday and restrain ourselves. It's for the children's benefit- no one likes a trampled on brownie troop or chipped teeth for kids with oral instruments. And when the firetrucks, patrol cars, and tractor pulled floats come down the street - ask yourself if straddling the yellow line to get that "front on" shot is really worth risking getting run over for; or, more importantly risking stepping on the child gathering strewn candy at your feet as you back up.

So let's establish some parade watching ground rules for etiquette.

First: Let's say you want a front row seat, what should you do? Get up early and set up your lawn chairs. Don't come late and try and bring yourself, six or seven others, and put chairs up in front of people who were smart enough to set their alarms and get down there and stake out a parking stall or space on the side walk before hand. Admit defeat to yourself and kindly set up your chairs in the second and third rows. Rows people!- that's another thing. Remember in elementary school lining up for class picture day by height? Tall kids in the back? If you see someone seated- especially someone without the option of standing- say who is elderly or in a wheel chair- refrain from standing in front of them. I would like to amend this by saying I think veterans should get front row seats and be allowed to show up when ever they choose; they are in fact the guests of ultimate honor!
Second: Hand shaking during the parade is strictly prohibited. This is even worse than running out with a camera to get a close up. We all see people we know marching. That's why we go to the parade to begin with right? Please refrain from leaving your designated seat and running up to shake their hand or give a hug during the parade.This can only lead to one thing - conversation !- and then the parade stops, people bang into one another, kids get stepped on, and more people push toward that yellow line. A single file of people is not a parade, its just a line of people waiting, and no one wants to see that; if people did no one would complain about the DMV or grocery store so much.
Third: Clap and have fun- no, really I want you too. 1 parking stall per family- 2 maybe for larger families,but that's enough. No need to lay out a blanket- no one is taking a nap, and it is not a beach. Let's leave some space for our neighbors and there may actually be some space for everyone to see and not crowd in front of one another. Clapping, cheering, and even dancing around out of joy within your personal boundary area is quite appropriate and encouraged. Inquiring Mind, from someone who has been there, walking in a parade with a dead-pan crowd is lousy- almost as lousy as people mowing down parade participants.
Thank you. :) Madam Nirvana
also known as Molly Salafia

Sunday at First Church: Looking for Direction?

It's All about Life, Love,
Faith, & Direction

If, like many of us, you are looking for direction, come to First Church Sunday, May 28, and listen to Rev. John Hall's words of wisdom on this topic: "The Moral Compass."

Worship begins at 10 a.m., child care is provided, and ample street parking is available.

First Church of Christ,
Congregational (UCC)
190 Court Street
Middletown, CT

First Church Middletown is an open and affirming congregation. All are welcome.

Support Forest and Parks

from the CT Forest and Parks Association http://www.ctwoodlands.org/

Don't miss out on a chance to win this kayak!
Handcrafted Cedar Kayak

Help CFPA further its mission by purchasing a raffle ticket for a handcrafted cedar strip kayak. The kayak is a little over 18 feet long, yet weighs just under 40 lbs. The boat is of Aleut Eskimo design, called a baidarka, which features a split or bifurcated bow. The lower half is a cutwater, parting the waves or flatwater for a smooth flow over the hull. This lower vertical edge also improves tracking as it slices into waves keeping the bow from being deflected by winds. The upper half of the bow flares outward. Waves hitting this surface create lift and coupled with the great volume of the forward hull, lift the kayak over waves. Two large volume cargo holds will more than accommodate camping gear for overnight or longer trips. Its strength and durability are sure to provide many years of enjoyment.

Purchase your ticket now as only 400 tickets will be sold.

Tickets $25 -Drawing on June 3, 2011 at 4pm at 16 Meriden Road, Rockfall CT. Need not be present to win. 1 prize to be awarded

To purchase tickets call CFPA at 860-346-2372 or email info@ctwoodlands.org

Hello Headaches, Arrigoni Bridge Work Begins Wednesday

From the Middletown Police Department

Arrigoni Bridge Construction project to start next week.

Construction Preparation to Begin Tuesday May 31, 2011 on the Arrigoni Bridge Carrying Route 66 Over the Connecticut River in The Towns of Middletown and Portland

The work involves preparatory work prior to the first stage of construction. This includes putting up directional signs for traffic and setting up the staging material. No temporary barriers will be installed at this time. Daily lane closures will be limited to off peak hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The Middletown Police Department is reminding motorist not to block the intersections. Motorists should not enter the intersection unless they can drive completely through the intersection and not obstruct other vehicles or pedestrians.

The Middletown Fire Department is also reminding motorists not to block the driveway to the Fire Department on Main St.

The Town of Portland has an Emergency Response Plan in effect for the expect bridge closures.

The project involves the rehabilitation of Bridge No. 00524 (Arrigoni Bridge) carrying Route 66 over Route 9, Connecticut River, P&W Railroad, and local roads. The rehabilitation includes replacement of the concrete filled steel grid deck and sidewalks on the main spans. All work will be completed from the bridge and from a temporary work platform suspended below the bridge. Other work includes replacement of elastomeric bearings, pedestal repairs on the Portland side, new bituminous overlay on the main spans, and new expansion joints.

The bridge work will be completed in three stages with the first stage scheduled to begin in the latter part of June and the last stage to be completed by November 2012. During stage construction, there will be one lane of traffic available in each direction. Pedestrian and bicycle access will be maintained on either side of the bridge dependent on what stage of construction the project is in.

A portable smart work zone system will be installed to detect the presence and speed of vehicles and send that information to message boards to provide information on current traffic conditions to motorists. More information on the system and locations of devices is available at the project website. Once the system is on line a web link will be included on the website for public access.

A separate web page for the Arrigoni Bridge Project that includes information on the project is now available at the Department’s website www.ct.gov/dot/Arrigoni . Any questions or comments related to the Arrigoni Bridge should be sent to DOT.Arrigoni@ct.gov

Friday, May 27, 2011

Funk to Punk to Bebop to Free to Poetry

Buttonwood Tree Friday and Saturday - 605 Main Street, plenty of parking at It's Only Natural parking lot just steps away.

JOE FONDA with Special Guest: Lilly White and Trio Generations

Friday, May 27th, 2011

The Music of Trio Generations is a combination of compositions and musical
influences of its three members.

Tonight we welcome a special guest: Lilly White on saxophone

From Funk to Punk to Bebop to Free
improvisation this is the musical ground on which we stand .

Michael Jefry Stevens – Piano

Emil Gross from Austria – Drums

Joe Fonda – Bass

Riverwood Poetry Series “Poetry on the Grill” with Opening musical performance by Cameron Blake

Saturday May 28th, 2011

Donations accepted

Poetry on the Grill

Opening performance by Cameron Blake

Come roast and toast your favorite poetry and songs as Riverwood Poetry Series closes its 2011 season with a mega-open mic of poetic homages or parodies, paeans or satires, and general metaphoric mayhem. What better way to start the barbecue season than by raking Wordsworth over the coals? If you’d rather toast Teasdale, or other favorite poets, bring some of their poetry, or some they’ve influenced of your own.

Cameron Blake is a classically-trained Baltimore-based singer/songwriter with an eclectic style variously described as “art house folk rock,” “experimental” and “melodic folk.”

The artistry and charisma of Cameron’s live performances have enabled him to perform in numerous venues throughout the East Coast, Texas, Michigan and even Paris, France. Known for constantly changing the arrangements of his songs in concert, Cameron has collaborated with various musicians from the Peabody Conservatory, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and local rock, country, and Dixieland performers. Performances have earned him accolades including the 8×10 Club’s August 2008 Artist of the Month in Baltimore’s City Paper and 1st place among 36 competitors in Philadelphia’s renowned World Café Live ‘Philly Rising’ Open Stage.

St. Vincent 30th Anniversary Celebration

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Parking Director to Resign

Sources say that Tom Hartley, Middletown's first Parking Director will announce his resignation today. Hartley brought significant innovation to Middletown's well-known parking problems. He also increased parking revenues significantly. Hartley met strong resistance from town planning boards to building a parking garage on Melilli Plaza instead of at its originally-planned site on Dingwall Drive.

Hartley has accepted the job of Director at the Bethlehem (PA) Parking Authority, according to Lehigh Valley Live.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wesleyan Summer Session - classes begin Tuesday!

"First day of school" is less than a week away - for students participating in Wesleyan Summer Session. This program, now in its second year, offers intensive, accelerated study in small classes with Wesleyan’s exceptional faculty. Wesleyan Summer Session allows students to complete semester-long courses in only five weeks, for college credit.

Perhaps your high school or college student is home for the summer and looking for something to do? There is still time to sign up for a class or two! Wesleyan Summer Session is open to all students who feel they have the academic qualifications and stamina to complete an intellectually challenging course in a compressed schedule.

The five-week session runs from May 31 through July 1 and offers courses across the liberal arts curriculum, including topics like drawing, psychology, writing, biology, computer programming, and more. Find more information online at www.wesleyan.edu/summer or you can call 860.685.2900.

Summer Events at Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts, June 28-July 26

Tickets for Kenny Barron Trio, Marc Bamuthi Joseph / The Living Word Project, and Trey McIntyre Project are now on sale! Click here
to buy your tickets online.



House Concert Update

Jody Cormack writes to say that the Thursday evening Middletown House Concert featuring Matt & Shannon Heaton has been postponed. This is the second time the couple has had to put off their performance...c'est la vie. Knowing Ms. Cormack, she will try again. Stay tuned.

Cypress Grill Celebrates 75th Anniversary

From the Cypress Grill

The Cypress Grill will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Sunday May 29, 2011 from noon to midnight at 1265 South Main St. In attendance will be recently retired waitress Helen Janoscak, who worked at the restaurant continuously from 1939 to 2009. There will live music, reduced price food and drink specials. This is a family friendly event.
We are so excited to take this day to share our restaurant’s history with
the people of Connecticut. Middletown has been the only home we have
ever known and it has been our family’s pleasure to serve our friends and
neighbors for all these years.
” –Jim and Joe Carta (Co-owners)

The Cypress Grill was first opened by the Carta family on Saturday, May 30, 1936 as a small, one room diner. At one time Route 15 (now Route 17) was one of the main connecting roads between Boston and New York. As a result, every weekend the
Cypress served approximately 240 customers in 20 minutes continuously.

In 1940, a combination dining room and bar was added, which would eventually provide weekend dancing. In 1941, the new tap room was added. During this time it was not uncommon for the Cypress to accommodate such renowned celebrities as Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey and their band, Benny Goodman, Blanche and Cab Calloway, Lawrence Welk, the incomparable Tony Pastor on their way to or from a performance. Many past Connecticut governors, Eleanor Roosevelt and other political dignitaries frequently made the Cypress their regular stop.

To this day, the Cypress proudly serves delicious food to diverse celebrities ranging from director Martin Scorsese and actors Alan Alda and Bradley Whitford as well as our

More information is available by calling (860) 346-3367

Recognition of CVH Patients Buried in Numbered Graves

The Middletown Interfaith Community will conduct its 12th Memorial Service in the cemetery of Connecticut Valley Hospital today, Wednesday, May 25, at 1 p.m. As in each of the past 11 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 1935 to February 1939..

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 Thursday, May 26, 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.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Land Deal No Deal

At its regular monthly meeting (the 4th Monday of every month at 7pm in room 208 of City Hall) on Monday May 23rd, the Conservation Commission voted to oppose the transfer of 17 acres of open space in Haddam from the State Department of Environmental Protection to private commercial developers. This action by the Conservation Commission is in line with similar actions by The Jonah Center, reported in the EYE previously here. The Commission signed an online petition requesting that the Haddam Land Swap be removed from Senate Bill 1196. The petition can be read in its entirety or signed via this link.


It states in part:

Senate Bill SB1196 ... authorizes a land swap by the State of 17 acres of public land (Clark Creek Wildlife Management Area) overlooking the Connecticut River in Haddam to private developers for a boutique tourist complex, shops, and an entertainment venue. This land ... was paid for by tax dollars and deeded to be preserved as open space. This bill constitutes a violation of the public trust. 

We believe a trade of these 17 acres will set a very dangerous precedent as it is the first such divesting of conservation land in this manner in the state of Connecticut. It will make all Connecticut open space currently set aside for public use vulnerable to developers. If it happens in Haddam, it can happen anywhere in the State.

More information about the proposed land swap is available at the Connecticut River Gateway Commission, which reports that "the conveyance controversy and the rally [Stop the Swap on May 21st], which have both received substantial coverage in local newspapers including the Hartford Courant and from the online newspaper Patch.com, is now attracting national coverage through the Associated Press with an article appearing in this past weekend's Boston Globe Online."

Now is the time to get educated about the facts surrounding the proposed deal, and to take actions to reach out to your legislators and voice your opinion prior to this bill coming up for a vote.

More Chances to Hike

from WalkCT

Flat Stanley's CT Outdoor AdventureFlat Stanley and family

Saturday, May 28, 2011
10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Help find Flat Stanley on the Mattabesett Trail. Flat Stanley has gone missing on the Connecticut portion of the New England Trail (NET) and CFPA needs your help to find him. Join us for a fun adventure as we embark on a scavenger hunt and search for clues to find the hidden CT Flat Stanley letterbox. Find Flat Stanley as we hike the NET and have your picture taken with him to be entered into a random drawing for a Connecticut Walk Book. Fun for families with school-aged children. Bring your own stamp and journal if you have one or borrow one of ours. Wear waterproof, comfortable shoes; bring your camera (optional). Rain postpones the fun to Sunday, May 29th, same time.

Pre-registration is recommended due to limited roadside parking; contact CFPA at

info@ctwoodlands.org or (860) 346-2372 before 4:00 p.m. this Friday.

For directions, please visit www.walkct.org

Connecticut Trails Day


June 4-5, 2011

Middletown has 7 hikes to offer on Trails Day, second only to Guilford for most active town in the state!

Hike, Paddle, Run, Ride 190 Events Statewide

Middletown | Bike Saturday, June 4. 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Westlake Area Bike Path. Enjoy an introduction to the Mattabesset River

and Westlake Area Bike Paths. We will take a 10-mile family bike ride, and explore the proposed extension of the River Trail on foot, if time allows. We will begin with the ABC quick bike and a helmet check, followed by a discussion of trail etiquette and safety. Bring your bike and helmet, and meet at the bike path on Tuttle Road. Sponsored by Jonah Center for Earth and Environmental Art (thejonahcenter.org). Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is REQUIRED. Questions, rain plan, and to register: contact leader, Beth Emery, (860) 346-7387, ctladycyclist@gmail.com.

Middletown | Hike Saturday, June 4. 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. CVH Reservoirs/ Mattabeset Trail. This stretch of the Mattabeset Trail, just 10

minutes from downtown Middletown and part of the New England Trail, will take us through a fascinating section of wild that that surrounds the

Connecticut Valley Hospital Reservoirs. We will enjoy great vistas and incredible geology as we hike for 5 to 6 miles over varied terrain (not suited for kids). Park and meet in the upper most parking lot at Middlesex Community College off of Training Hill Road. Sponsored by Middlesex YMCA (midymca.org). Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is RECOMMENDED. Questions and to register: contact leader, Bob Spencer, (860) 759-4466, bspencer@midymca.org.

Middletown | Hike Saturday, June 4. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Scovill Rock Loop Trail. This 2.5-mile hike will introduce folks to the natural

beauty of the Maromas area of Middletown, where CFPA holds a conservation restriction on a portion of this wonderfully wooded and diverse NU property that sits on the Connecticut River in the vicinity of Scovill Rock. Come enjoy a walk on the newly created trail, take a rest on the property’s river beach, and have lunch with friends on this great piece of open space. Meet Clare Cain and Jeff Borne at the parking area on River Road (turn south off of Aircraft Road onto River Road and proceed for 0.25 miles to the parking area on the right-hand). Sponsored by Northeast Utilities (nu.com) and Connecticut Forest & Park Association (ctwoodlands.org). Rain or shine. Pre-registration is RECOMMENDED. Questions and to register: contact Clare Cain, (860) 346-2372, ccain@ctwoodlands.org.

Middletown | Hike Saturday, June 4. 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Wilcox Woods Conservation Area. Join us for a 3-mile guided hike

through Middletown’s largest, and underutilized, conservation areas. What once was a golf course, then tree farm, is now a network of wooded trails with numerous hiking opportunities. The hike will wind its way up to Lamentation Mountain via the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail System and part of the New England Trail. Bring your own lunch. Meet at Footit Road off of Atkins Street (follow the Conservation Area signs). Sponsored by NEAT Hiking Group. Heavy rain cancels. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact Matt Dodge, matt.dodge@cityofmiddletown.com.

Middletown | Hike Sunday, June 5. 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Mattabesett Trail. Explore the easternmost section of the Mattabesett Trail

(between River Road and Brooks Road), which is also part of the New England Trail. The 4.7-mile route features rolling terrain with some rock scrambles and views of the Connecticut River and twin

reservoirs. Rides back to the starting point will be available. Time includes a break for lunch on the trail; bring water

and lunch/snack. Meet at the new kiosk by the parking lot opposite the power station on River Road. Sponsored by Connecticut Forest & Park Association

(ctwoodlands.org). Rain or shine. Pre-registration is RECOMMENDED. Questions and to register: contact leader, Chris Woodside, (860) 526-

9099; on day of hike, (860) 575-1024.

Middletown | Hike Sunday, June 5. 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wadsworth Falls State Park. Join Everyone Outside naturalist, Lucy Meigs

for a fun 1.5- to 2-mile family hike followed by light refreshments provided by the Rockfall Foundation. We will look for interesting plants, animal homes, frogs, tadpoles, and other creatures on our route through these beautiful woods. Meet by the map kiosk near the parking lot of the Wadsworth Falls State Park’s main entrance on Route 157. Sponsored by Rockfall Foundation (RockfallFoundation. org) and Everyone Outside (EveryoneOutside.org). Heavy rain postpones to June 12, 1:00 p.m. Pre-registration is RECOMMENDED. Questions and to register: contact the Rockfall Foundation, (860) 347-0340, info@rockfallfoundation.org; weekend of hike contact Lucy Meigs, lucy@everyoneoutside.org, (860) 395-7771.

Middletown – Middlefield | Hike Saturday, June 4. 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mattabesett Trail/ Higby Mountain. This 5-mile hike traverses the Blue-Blazed

Mattabesett Trail (part of the New England Trail). We will follow along the scenic traprock ridge, up to 892 feet in elevation. Great views, wildflowers, and birds will be observed—something for everyone. Some steep, rocky sections will be encountered; wear appropriate footwear, and bring a snack and water. Meet at Tynan Park (Higby Road). Rain or shine. Pre-registration is NOT NECESSARY. Questions: contact leader, Bob Hardy, (203) 630-2130.

Complete book with all state-wide listings for Trails Day available here:


Click on the link for "Click here to view an electronic version of the booklet."

Celebrate CT Trails Day with The Rockfall Foundation and Everyone Outside

Celebrate CT Trails Day with The Rockfall Foundation and Everyone Outside

Sunday, June 5, 2011
1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wadsworth State Park, Middletown
(rain date: June 12)

Join Everyone Outside naturalist, Lucy Meigs, and Rockfall staff for a fun 1.5 to 2-mile family hike followed by refreshments (provided by Rockfall.) On our route through these beautiful woods we will look for interesting plants, animal homes, frogs, tadpoles and other creatures. This event is co-sponsored by Rockfall and Everyone Outside (www.everyoneoutside.org) and is among the more than 150 official CT Trails Day events scheduled for 2011.

Meet in the parking lot of the Wadsworth Falls State Park's main entrance on CT 157 in Middletown. Please note: DEP has waived parking fees for Connecticut Trails Day events. Heavy rain postpones to June 12th at 1:00 PM.

Pre-registration is RECOMMENDED. For questions and to register contact Rockfall at info@rockfallfoundation.org or 860-347-0340; weekend of hike contact lucy@everyoneoutside.org or 860-395-7771.
For more information on CT Trails Day, contact CT Forest & Park Association www.ctwoodlands.org.

Wadsworth Falls State Park was created through the generosity of the Rockfall Corporation and its founder, Clarence S. Wadsworth, who owned the 267 acres of land as part of his holdings that included Long Hill Estate. According to his wishes, this land, the "Rockfall Tract of Great Falls Region," was donated to the state of CT shortly after Wadsworth's death in 1942. Rockfall is named after the beloved rock falls in the park.

The Rockfall Foundation
deKoven House Community Center
27 Washington Street, Middletown CT 06457 (860)347-0347

Greening and Growing Middlesex County since 1935

House Concert + Recognition


Matt and Shannon Heaton
Description: cid:1.3916511125@web82401.mail.mud.yahoo.com

     Thursday May 26th, at 8pm145 Margarite Rd. Ext.
Middletown, CT

Suggested donation: $25 general in advance ($28 at the door), $12 students, $7 children 12 & under
Please call Jody Cormack 860-983-7963 for reservations
or email jcormack@wesleyan.edu

After years of study in Chicago; many nights of music in Clare, Galway, and their adopted home of Boston; and countless performances, husband-and-wife duo After years of study in Chicago; many nights of music in Clare, Galway, and their adopted home of Boston; and countless performances, husband-and-wife duo Matt & Shannon Heaton offer updated and traditional Irish music with stirring traditional-style singing accompanied by flute, guitar, and bouzouki, and a fresh, appealing stage show.

They bring to their performances a depth of shared experience and a love for Irish music. Their stage banter and rapport with audiences is comfortable, often hilarious. The Boston Globe's Scott Alarik wrote, "Their playing is masterful and inventive, their arrangements city-smart and spacious. Still. they never forget that Irish music is, at its heart, a neighborly form meant for sharing, not showing off."

Their four duo CDs to date highlight the Heatons fresh, stellar, and accessible approach to presenting traditional music. And Shannon's August 2010 release "Blue Dress" rounds out their EatsRecords catalog [include link] with original and traditional flute music with harp, percussion, guitar, and bouzouki.offer updated and traditional Irish music with stirring traditional-style singing accompanied by flute, guitar, and bouzouki, and a fresh, appealing stage show.

They bring to their performances a depth of shared experience and a love for Irish music. Their stage banter and rapport with audiences is comfortable, often hilarious. The Boston Globe's Scott Alarik wrote, "Their playing is masterful and inventive, their arrangements city-smart and spacious. Still. they never forget that Irish music is, at its heart, a neighborly form meant for sharing, not showing off."

Their four duo CDs to date highlight the Heatons fresh, stellar, and accessible approach to presenting traditional music. Shannon Heaton has been voted Female Musician of the Year by Chicago’s Irish American News, and her August 2010 release "Blue Dress" rounds out their EatsRecords catalog [include link] with original and traditional flute music with harp, percussion, guitar, and bouzouki. The Heaton’s new CD “Lover’s Well” has been selected Trad Fusion Album of the Year by LiveIreland.com in Dublin.
“American husband-and-wife duo Matt and Shannon Heaton combine lilt and contemporary sensibility. Consisting largelty of flute, guitar and bodhran [they] sidestep the expected treble timbre of Irish music… [their] songs are standouts…” – Sing Out! Magazine

“[Matt and Shannon Heaton’s] playing is masterful and inventive, their arrangements city-smart and spacious.
Still, they never forget that Irish music is, at its heart, a neighborly form meant for sharing, not showing off."
—Scott Alarik, Boston Globe

“[The Heaton’s] duet playing is tight, sweet, and tasteful, lacking nothing on either technical expertise or instrumental virtuosity.”
--- John O’Regan. Irish Music Magazine

"Hanging with the Heatons," a short film by Justin Bell and Christine Giordano.

There was a very fine article in Sunday's New Haven Register about choreographers/dancers Rachel Bernsen and Adele Meyers who will present the 3rd installment of "Take Your Time" on Friday and Saturday May 27-28 in The Big Room, Erector Square/Building 3, 319 Peck Street in New Haven. Rachel is pictured here with husband/collaborator Taylor Ho Bynum, whose music, co-written with bass clarinetist Carl Testa, will be part of Ms Bernsen's work, "Corridor."  Both Bynum and Testa studied and graduated from Wesleyan where they studied with Professor Anthony Braxton - both continue to perform with him.

Check out the article - http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2011/05/20/entertainment/arts/doc4dd6c7ed6e026556861952.txt - and the accompanying videos.  To find out more about the event, go to rachelbernsen.com

Bowlapalooza is Back

The fourth annual Wesleyan Potters “Bowlapalooza” will be held on Friday, June 3 from 6-9 p.m. This family fun event, with a café like atmosphere, is back by popular demand. Local blues musician Kent Aldrich will be returning to entertain for the evening along with assorted and talented members and friends of Wesleyan Potters. Bowlapalooza tickets are just $10 and entitle the holder to choose a one-of-a-kind, handmade treasure to take home from the “Bowl or Palooza” table. Finger food and beverages will be served. The evening includes a silent auction with many gorgeous handcrafted items from Wesleyan Potters artisans as well as donations from community supporters. Special activities for children are planned. Children under 12 are admitted free. Call 860-347-5925 or email wesleyan.potters@snet.net to reserve tickets for the Bowlapalooza evening at the Pottery, 350 South Main Street (Rt.17), Middletown, CT. www.wesleyanpotters.com This event is expected to sell out prior to the event, so don't wait reserve your tickets. All proceeds will benefit Wesleyan Potters -- a nonprofit educational cooperative.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mom Protects Child, Police Arrest Robber

Modified from a Middletown Police press release.
A 50 year old man with a history of robbery convictions was nabbed by police on Friday afternoon after trying to steal a car with a four-year old in it.

The child's mother was using the mailbox in the parking lot of the defunct Food Mart on Washington Street, when she was knocked to the ground, allegedly by Monty Watson, of 180 Rose Circle. The attacker then jumped into her vehicle and attempted to drive off. Screaming at him that her baby was in the car, the woman jumped on top of him.

The attacker pushed her off, grabbed her purse, and ran towards Plaza Drive. After canvassing the neighborhood, the police found Watson riding a bicycle on Westfield Street near Bailey Road. He initially tried to run from the police, but then turned to hit them.

Watson was apprehended, and found to be in possession of the victim's purse.

Watson is is currently on probation for Burglary 1st, Larceny 2nd, Robbery 3rd, Interfering with an Officer/Resisting, Violation of Probation and Assault 3rd on an Elderly person.

His new charges include Robbery 3rd, Larceny 6th, Risk of Injury to Minor, Robbery of an occupied MV, Criminal attempt to assault a Police Officer, Interfering with a Police Officer. He is being held on a $300,000 bond.