Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Train Derailment Near Remington Rand

A train has derailed in Middletown, behind the Remington Rand building, according to a report from WFSB. A small amount of fuel has spilled, but "officials said there was no threat or safety issues to the public."

Photo from WFSB.

Town Clerk's Office To Remain Open Late Thursday

From the Town Clerk's Office.
Due to the recent storm and circumstances surrounding the unplanned closing of City Hall, in the event any voters may have been inconvenienced, the Town Clerk’s Office will remain open until 8 p.m. on Thursday, November 1st for those voters who need to cast an absentee ballot. You may call at 860-3443-3459 if you have any questions.

Middlesex Chamber Support the Troops & Honor the Veterans Member Breakfast

The Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce will hold its 11th Annual Support the Troops/Honor the Veterans Member Breakfast Meeting on Monday, November 5, 2012. 

The Breakfast will be held at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell, 100 Berlin Road, Cromwell, with Networking beginning at 7:00 A.M., Breakfast Buffet opens at 7:45 A.M. and the Breakfast Meeting Program 8:00 to 9:00 A.M.  Cost is $20 for Chamber members and Veterans of the United States Armed Forces and $30 for non-members.  The event is sponsored by Middlesex Hospital. 

Former Army Captain Paul W. “Buddy” Bucha, a recipient of the Medal of Honor, will be guest speaker at the event.  The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor in the United States of America. 

Each year at this event, the Chamber presents The William J. Pomfret Veteran Community Service Award.  This award is presented to a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces who has shown a selfless commitment to community and public service in Middlesex County. 

William E. Currlin of Middlefield has been selected as the 2012 recipient of The William J. Pomfret Veteran Community Service Award.

Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project Gearing Up to Feed More Than 500 Families

The Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project (MCTP) — made up of volunteers from nonprofit organizations, businesses, and faith communities — is gearing up to feed 535 families who do not have the means to purchase a Thanksgiving meal this year.

If you are unable to purchase Thanksgiving dinner for your family this year, registration for Thanksgiving baskets will take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Amazing Grace Food Pantry, 16 Stack Street, through Nov. 14. There will be no registration on Nov. 12 in observance of Veterans Day.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Opinion: Support The Mattabassett Referendum Question

The following is a letter to the editor by Thomas J. Serra, Former Mayor and Present Council Majority Leader.
I would like to take this opportunity to make the citizens of Middletown aware of the crucially important Mattabassett Referendum Question on the November 6th ballot.

It is critically important that we endorse this Mattabassett Sewer Project expenditure and our becoming a member of the District. The Mattabassett District located in Cromwell is made up of Charter town members New Britain, Berlin and Cromwell. They as well as we (Middletown's River Rd. Plant) are under a Federal EPA and State DEEP mandate to upgrade our plants. The City of Middletown through appropriate legislation has chosen to join the Mattabasett's endeavor to upgrade its sewer service. We have also been voted into the District by existing member towns.

Drew To Suspend State Of Emergency

From a press release.
Mayor Drew announced that about 50 people were fed at the emergency shelter during the storm. The shelter is now closed.In addition, Drew lifted the curfew this morning at sunrise, and will suspend the state of emergency for the City at 4:30PM.

Drew said that Public Works cleared dozens of downed trees through the night, and all roads are clear. He thanked residents for cooperating, and emergency services personnel for their efforts.

All city agencies will be open during regular business hours starting tomorrow.

Mayor Drew "would like everyone to know that Halloween will proceed as planned."

The Buttonwood Tree Encourages Gratitude with New Program

The folks at The Buttonwood Tree, feeling gratitude especially today, wish to extend a message of compassion and hope for all those who suffered in the storm. May recovery be swift and secure, and all those involved, safe.

To note:  the facilitator is unavailable to host tonight's class, Go With the FLOW.  This program will next be offered in November but is canceled for tonight, October 30th. Our apologies to all.

Buttonwood's list of programs continues to grow in diverse arenas. After launching their Film Series recently with a documentary called "Happy", another new program free of charge, will start Monday, Nov 5th.  Moments of Gratitude is a program intended to help us all be more aware of the good things in our life.  From 7:45 - 8 pm on Mondays folks will have the opportunity to share their experiences with others. Moments of Gratitude envelopes will be available and free to all. Along with directions, blank slips of paper are in the envelopes which can be used during the week to hold your own notes on times when you felt gratitude.  The program will be held just before the popular Anything Goes Open Mic,   and will be hosted by Anne-Marie Cannata. 

The Buttonwood Tree is open today until 8 pm (as usual), offering free wifi and a computer for patrons to use. Slambovian coffee and light snacks are available during their events and general bookstore / art gallery hours.  Catch Janine Janaki's pastel paintings today - our new show with Middletown High School's Art Club starts Thursday, November 1.

TBT is located at 605 Main Street, next to It's Only Natural market.  see for more, or call 860.347.4957.

Monday, October 29, 2012

City Curfew: 8PM

Mayor Declares State Of Emergency In City

Mayor Drew has declared that an emergency now exists throughout the City. This formal declaration allows him to exercise the powers that the City's Emergency Operations Plan affords him.
(click on image to enlarge the declaration of emergency)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Let's Crowdsource Sandy - Help Us Track Outages, Other Storm-related Issues Here

The Middletown Eye is participating in community effort to report power outages and other storm-related issues, through the SeeClickFix website and app. If you are armed with a smartphone (iPhone, Android, or Blackberry), you can help crowdsource damage from Sandy by downloading the free SeeClickFix app for your phone HERE. The app will allow you to upload a geo-tagged description of a problem, like a power outage, downed wires, etc. directly from your phone. This tool is for non-emergency problems, so if you need the police or fire department or an ambulance, call 911.

By reporting outages and other problems through your phone app (or even here, through your laptop or desktop computer if you have power), you can help to create a dynamic and very public record of when and where power failures have occurred, bringing transparency to the pace of government and utility responses. When the damage is repaired, you should close your report in SeeClickFix to let us know progress has been made.  And, if you are reporting a damaged utility pole, make sure you include the pole number in your report! NOTE: SeeClickFix is not a substitute for a report to the utility or police department, it is a way for the public to see the extent and duration of storm-related problems.

Items reported in Middletown will also appear on the statewide SeeClickFix map, available at CTNewsJunkie.

Below is the link to CL&P, to report outages

A Tree Grows in Texas

Last week I had an opportunity to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, and got to see how folks garden in a very different climate.

Water collection and retention are big deals in drought-prone Texas: a striking feature of the Wildflower Center is the huge stone cistern that looms over the entrance. In the three days I spent in Texas with the Garden Club of America, much of what I know about sustainable landscaping was confirmed in a site where gardeners have to work much harder than we do to keep things green.

Bill Neiman of Native American Seed gave a talk on his efforts to hoard water, and showed spectacular slides of his half-acre lawn re-engineered with rain gardens and native grasses and plants. Austin may have three totally dry months, followed by a massive gully-washer of a storm – a scenario not entirely unknown these days in our area.

The Wildflower Center, having mastered the art of wildflower preservation and now a research arm of the University of Texas, is branching out – literally – by adding an arboretum to its newly expanded campus.

Philip Shulze, an arborist on staff, talked to my group about the challenges of planting trees in the rocky, alkaline soil of central Texas. He also planted a young maple tree to show us best practices, all of which are applicable in Connecticut.

In contrast to what many people think they know about tree planting, Philip and his assistant had selected a small maple tree in a five-gallon pot as the likeliest to survive in harsh conditions. Further surprising the group, he had dug a hole just as deep as the potted root ball, and twice as wide.

After watering the tree well, he removed it from its pot to show us how compacted the roots of the tree had become. One of the big advantages of selecting a potted tree, rather than a larger one that has been balled and burlapped is that you can examine the tree’s root ball and loosen its roots before planting. In the case of this small maple, the potting soil was mostly knocked loose before planting, as he spread the roots out and revealed exactly where the trunk flared out into the upper roots.

Popcorn by the Colonel #15

We Are Doomed; Nuggets from the Edge of the Abyss

■ "I met with my financial adviser and he says I'm all set financially for the rest of my life, as long as I die by the middle of next month."

■ Someone said the president has a "barking" diction. That's not the whole of his way of speaking, but it does capture an aspect of it.

■ The president sometimes drops his h's, but when he does, he doesn't also alter the "in" to "een" as so many people do, as in "streameen' video."

■ "The Michelin Man quilted jacket has been slimmed and reworked for a sophisticated outdoorsman look." "Sophisticated outdoorsman"? What next, nuanced rednecks?

■ "Of course you can wear a suit under [a puffer jacket]. It is almost mandatory. They're for the sportsman, but also for the style-conscious professional." --Remo Ruffini

■ A "Dark and Stormy" is a classic maritime cocktail of ginger beer and dark rum. Ginger-lime simple syrup brightens it up. Recipe on request or in Sat 20 Oct 2012 WSJ.

■ Joe Queenan once read Steinbeck's "Tortilla Flat" during a nine-hour guitar solo by Jerry Garcia on "Truckin'." Queenan owns more than 6000 books in hard copy.

■ After the English in the 1600s left the Irish with nothing of value but words, the Irish made words into books that, ingeniously coupled with music and alcohol, enabled the Irish to transcend reality. (Joe Queenan.)

■ The Great Depression did not slow technological progress, nor was progress speeded up by WWII, the Cold War arms race, or the Space Race.

■ "Macauley" by Sir Arthur Bryant (1932; 109 pages) is "the best short biography ever written." (Paul Johnson)

■ Will there ever be a time when CGI (computer-generated image) movies will be indistinguishable from live-action movies, so that we can have new Bogart movies and movies that match up Clara Bow and George Clooney?

■ "Error all compact" is a felicitous description of a short erroneous question or statement that takes many more words to discredit than to ask or say.

■ "Truth all compact," by contrast, refers to things like, "If a weed killer is truly nontoxic, it doesn't kill weeds." Absolutely bulletproof.

■ If they use DNA technology to make a new woolly mammoth from a mammoth fossil, won't the new mammoth be lonely?

■ "One small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind." Quick questions: (a) Didn't Armstrong say something before that, like "Okay, I'm down"? (b) Would "humanity" for "mankind" have made the great remark better or worse?

■ Harold Ross, founder of The New Yorker, was an ignorant man. He asked things like, "Is Moby-Dick the man or the whale?"

■ Did David Halberstam choose the less euphonious title when he picked "The Best and the Brightest" over "The Brightest and the Best"?

■ What is Goofy? Pluto is a dog that ambulates on all fours and barks, and Pluto exists in the same fictional universe with Goofy, so what is Goofy?

■ The other Pluto has been demoted. The official term is "dwarf planet," but actual astronomers frequently call such objects "plutoids." Must these free spirits be brought to heel?

■ "My very excellent mother just served us nine pizzas" is out; now it's "my very excellent mother just served us nachos" and a plutoid.

■ An object from space big enough to end all life on Earth might be small enough to go undetected till it smacks into Earth's atmosphere, at which point we all just might have enough time to kiss ourselves goodbye before we fry.

■ If you think that's alarmist, check out the weather report.

■ Haunting blues lyric: "If you snooze, you lose; you gonna wake up in another world."

■ The late Andy ("Moon River") Williams was a close friend of Robert F. Kennedy.

■ U.S. armed forces have more bayonets today than in 1917, but fewer horses.

■ Herbert Stein's law: "If something cannot go on forever, it will stop." (Another example of "truth all compact.")

■ Fudd's First Law of Opposition: "If you push something hard enough, it will fall over." (Another "truth all compact.")

■ Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN-6) is opposed for reelection by Jim Graves, who gives out buttons that say, “I Dig Graves.” And why not? We're doomed.

Middlesex County Business to Business Expo-POSTPONED

(Middletown, CT.)  Chandler Howard, Chairman of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, announced that the 2012 Middlesex County Business to Business Expo, scheduled for Tuesday, October 30th, has been POSTPONED. 
The event has been rescheduled and will take place on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 with setup occurring on Monday, March 11th.  The Business to Business Expo will be held at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell. 

The Middlesex County Career Fair, scheduled for Tuesday, October 30th, has also been POSTPONED.   The Career Fair will be held on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 following the Middlesex Chamber Member Breakfast Meeting with Governor Dannel P. Malloy.  This event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell and will run from 10:30 A.M. until 2:30 P.M. 

The Middlesex Chamber Membership Drive Winner’s Circle Event will be held on Monday, November 26, 2012.  This event will be held prior to the Chamber’s Business After Work Networking Event at the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station in Haddam and will begin at 4:00 P.M. 

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Jeff Pugliese at the Chamber at 860-347-6924 or

From 1862: State Items

The following are excerpts from an article published 150 years ago, appearing in the Hartford Courant on October 29th, 1862.
Ms. Elizabeth Smith, an Irish woman recently from Middletown, while stepping into a wagon on the steamboat dock at Rocky Hill, a few days since, slipped and fell in such a way as to break her leg near the ankle in a most shocking manner, and it is hardly thought she will recover.

In New Haven, Thursday afternoon, while a session of the Sons of Temperance was going through an initiation, in the Arcade Room, a sudden consternation seized the audience at the sudden appearance of a human leg through the ceiling overhead--and a very animated leg, at that. Order was at last restored, when it appeared that a carpenter, making some repairs overhead, had stepped accidently on the plastering, and "thus put his foot" into the temperance movement.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Fun Comedy show this Friday

We have a fun event planned for this Friday, November 2nd at First Church's Parish Hall on 190 Court Street. 4 great comedy troupe unite for a wonderful evening of comedy. From East Hampton, The Sticks Improv will delight with their improvised one act plays. Tick... Tick... BOOM! provides a high energy dose of comedy. We are delighted to also have two troupes from Wesleyan University: Gag Reflex and Desparate Measures. Come see a great show. Tickets are $10. With Improvised comedy, the show is a once in a lifetime performance. No show is the same. Cupcakes on sale from NORA Cupcakes! The fun starts at 7:30PM

NoRA Cupcake To Get Award

NoRA Cupcake Company is to be a recipient of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce award for Hometown Main Street Business of the Year. The award will be given at Chamber's first Small Business of the Year Awards Luncheon. This event will be held as a key part of the 2012 Middlesex County Business to Business EXPO on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell.

Friday, October 26, 2012



High School students from Higganum and Ivoryton have been selected to receive 2012 Youth Environmental Leadership awards from The Rockfall Foundation of Middlesex County. The awards, which include a cash gift, will be presented by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal at the foundation’s 2012 Annual Meeting and Awards Celebration, to be held on November 8 at the Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate in Middletown. Both the awards and celebration are sponsored by Middlesex Hospital.

The evening will also mark the 40th anniversary of the foundation’s Green Grants program. Since 1972, Rockfall has awarded grants each year to organizations, schools and municipalities, with the majority of grants supporting environmental education and conservation initiatives involving children in elementary grades through high school.

Katie Mulligan of Ivoryton, a Junior at Valley Regional High School, was selected as a youth awardee for her work on the nationally-distributed Aqua Kids television series. The mission of the show is to educate today’s youth about preserving our marine and aquatic ecosystems, volunteer and recent co-host.

Higganum resident Samuel Parker, a Senior at Haddam-Killingworth High School, is being recognized for his work constructing and providing signage for the Haddam Land Trust’s nearly one-mile long Washburn Hill Trail.

The Rockfall Foundation’s Virginia R. Rollefson Youth Environmental Leadership Recognition Awards have been established to recognize Middlesex County high school students who are currently involved in significant environmental programs and projects in the areas of natural resource preservation, conservation, restoration or development. They are named in honor of Rockfall former Executive Director, Virginia R. “Ginny” Rollefson.

For information, visit or call (860)347-0340.
Established in 1935, The Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut's oldest environmental organizations. Its mission is to be a catalyst - bringing people together and supporting organizations to conserve and enhance the county's natural environment. In addition to its grants awards, Rockfall also sponsors educational programs and symposia, and continues to hold and manage open space property in the county. It is headquartered in Middletown in the historic deKoven House Community Center on Washington Street, which it maintains and operates as a community center with meeting rooms and office space for locally-based environmental groups. 

Contra Friday

The next Wesleyan Contra dance is happening this Friday!

Friday, October 26, 2012
Beckham Hall
(which is on the 2nd floor of Fayerweather Hall, on Wesleyan's campus, next to Usdan)

There is a beginner's workshop from 7:30-8pm, for those who are interested in a little pre-dance instruction, but even if you can't make the beginner's workshop, you can still come join us!

For this dance, we'll have calling by Steve-Zakon Anderson from Amherst, MA, and music by the Boston-based band "The Free Raisins," which is Audrey Knuth, Jeff Kaufman, and Amy Englesberg.

There will be one more dance later this semester: November 30th.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Buttonwood Tree Celebrates Woody Guthrie's 100th Birthday - GREAT weekend events coming your way!

Stop in at The Buttonwood Tree to take part in some (or all!) of the great events going on this weekend.  Visit our website or call at 860-347-4957 for more information.

Woody Sed
Friday October 26th 8-10 pm $15
& Saturday October 27th 4-6 pm  $15   ** SPECIAL MATINEE PERFORMANCE **
Reservations suggested - See "Woody Sed" online at 

Come and enjoy a one-man play performed by Thomas Jones portraying the life, times and music of the great American folk hero, Woody Guthrie.

The play was born out of “the sheer astonishment” actor and musician Thomas Jones experienced learning about Woody Guthrie’s life — and its relevance to the world we live in today.
Woody Sed is loaded with songs, well known and obscure, with each song framed in a theatrical context. Woody Sed is a memory play, drawn in Woody’s own words with 19 songs and 25 colorful characters, interpreted and brought to life by Thomas Jones.

This is a special on the life, politics and music of Woody Guthrie, the “Dust Bowl Troubadour.” Born a hundred years ago on July 14, 1912, in Oklahoma, Guthrie wrote hundreds of folk songs and became a major influence on countless musicians, including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger and Phil Ochs. While Guthrie is best remembered as a musician, he also had a deeply political side, speaking out for labor and civil rights at the height of McCarthyism.

Community Yoga
Saturday October 27th 8:30-9:45 am FREE

Ideal for Beginner and Intermediate

Guided by Yoga Instructor, Terri Johnson, RYT- Terri brings a deep understanding of the yoga experience to her classes. She will be teaching a unique and varied Vinyasa Flow style as it allows her to unify her appreciation of the benefits of the different types of yoga.

Classes are every Saturday in October

"Aligned with Source" Workshop for Empowerment
Saturday October 27th      10:30 am- 12:00 pm    $5 suggested donation
This week's topic: Your Buttons; Are They Being Pushed?     

In these inter-active workshops, Annaita shares her deep understanding of life, holism and spirituality enabling you to rise above life’s challenges, live a healthy, fulfilled & confident life.
You will explore simple concepts of living in awareness that: open you up to the wonders of life; discover who you are; let go of fear and all that keeps you stuck.
Workshops are every Saturday; no workshop Nov 24th.

Sirius Coyote - Halloween Special
Saturday October 27th   8-10 pm   $10 
Sirius Coyote is a multi-talented group of musicians, storytellers and instrument makers.
They  perform on over thirty different  ancient  and modern  instruments of the Americas
from their  impressive  display,  some of them hand  crafted by the  musicians themselves. Sirius Coyote will take you on a musical  journey to the  realms  of magical  sounds of  the
Americas from the oceans & tropical rainforests to the deserts & villages of the high Sierras.

On this occasion Sirius Coyote invites you to put on your fancy shoes and join in recreating the sights, sounds, smells and spirit of one of Latin America’s most important holiday, DIA DE MUERTOS. Latin America ’s Day of the Dead (November 1st and 2nd) is a festive celebration to honor the dearly departed. Unlike Halloween these spirits do not come back to haunt us, but rather to join us happily for a few hours, and warm their bones with music and friendship.

Food Not Bombs
Sunday October 28th 1 pm

Food Not Bombs shares food about 1 pm in front of the Buttonwood. Anyone is welcome. Consider yourself invited to help us prepare vegetarian food at the First Church on 190 Court Street at 11:30 am.

"Cooking For Peace and Social Justice"

Bookstore and Art Gallery open at 10 am  Mondays - Saturdays.  
Oct Art show:  "Who is Janine 2012?" Pastel Paintings. Exhibit runs through Oct 31.
605 Main Street. Middletown, CT                860-347-4957 


Los Trovadores De America To Celebrate "Dia De Los Muertos" At Iguanas Ranas (Sunday, October 28)

Los Trovadores de America
Sunday, October 28, 2012 at 5pm
Iguanas Ranas, 484 Main Street, Middletown
$30 general public, $20 for Wesleyan students, $10 for children ages 6 to
12, free for children ages 5 and under.

Hartford-based mariachi band Los Trovadores de America will perform in an early
celebration of the Mexican holiday, Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
This event includes dinner with the concert. Reservations are required -
please call 860-983-7963 or email

This event is co-sponsored by Iguanas Ranas and the Middletown House
Concert Series, a local not-for-profit organization presenting local,
nationally-based, and internationally renowned musicians. The event will
be family-friendly and will include a dinner made with ingredients that
are typically used for the holiday. There will be both meat and
vegetarian options. Desserts especially prepared for Dia de los Muertos
will be offered, and goodie bags celebrating Halloween will be
distributed to attending children. There will also be a raffle to help
support the Middletown House Concert Series, which is now in its 10th
year. Items will include all things Mexican or Mexico-themed.

This event is part of "Music & Public Life", a year-long campus and
community-wide exploration presented by Wesleyan University, celebrating
and studying the sounds, words, and spirit of music at the local,
national, transnational levels through concerts, workshops, gatherings,
and courses, all designed to cross disciplines:

Fill-A-Bus Events Oct. 27 and Nov. 10 for Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project

The Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project (MCTP) is holding two Fill-A-Bus events Saturday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 10 to collect non-perishable food donations for families who do not have the means to purchase a Thanksgiving meal this year.

Food will be collected Saturday, Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Price Chopper in Middletown and Saturday, Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Stop & Shop in Middletown. A list of items needed will be available at the store during the collection times.

Monetary donations are being accepted as well. If you wish to contribute, checks can be made out to Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project and send to MCTP, c/o Fellowship Church, 1002 Saybrook Rd., Middletown, CT 06457.

For more information about volunteering or contributing a donation, please contact Lara SantaMaria at Fellowship Church at 860-346-1181.

Partners in the Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project are Community Renewal Team, Cross Street AME Zion Church,, Fellowship Church, Heritage Commons, Liberty Bank Foundation, Middlesex County Community Foundation, Middlesex United Way, the Middletown Interfaith Community, Middletown Kiwanis Club, Middletown Police Department, Middletown Public Schools, Middletown Rotary Club, St. John Roman Catholic Church, St. Luke’s Eldercare Services, St. Vincent De Paul Middletown/Amazing Grace Food Pantry, The Salvation Army, Wadsworth Glen Health Care Center, and Wesleyan University.

Thursdays in Pink

Though October is coming to a close, it's not too late to support the "Go Pink" project that was started by Middletown's EG Salon.  Throughout the month, the salon and their partners have been offering a pink streak or extension in exchange for a $20 donation to fight breast cancer.

There are great photographs of those who've taken the plunge at the Go Pink Project website and the salon's facebook page.

This year, the project added tshirts as an option for those who might not have the nerve (or have enough hair) to sport a pink streak.  At Kidcity Children's Museum, our staff has been wearing the tshirts every Thursday, as a way to support the effort.  

Go Pink was started a few years ago by EG Salon as a fundraiser for Middlesex Hospital's Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center.   As the popularity of the fundraiser has grown, EG invited several other salons to participate;  Citihair Design, Salonathaniel, Main Street Switch and A Style Above now also offer pink streaks/extensions and tshirts for the Go Pink project.

Last year, the project donated about $13,000 to the center at Middlesex Hospital!  What a great demonstration of how a business can make a difference.  Go Pink!

"Scientific Investigation Is Always Going On"

The Planning and Zoning Commission listened to a seminar on electromagnetic fields last night. The occasion was an application from Glenn Russo to expand the Newfield Street apartment complex. Russo received approval in 2004 and 2005 to build 369 apartment units, but one building (Building 9) was denied.

Russo brought a Glastonbury lawyer, Robin Pearson, to present an application to now approve this building. She explained to the Commission that the sole reason for the denial of "Building 9" was its proximity to electric transmission lines, the commission claimed in 2005 to be acting out of "an abundance of caution", and she urged them to consider information about electromagnetic fields that was not available 7 years ago.

Pearson introduced Peter Valberg, an environmental consultant with the Cambridge firm, Gradient. Valberg's credentials include a Harvard Ph.D. in physics, 5 years of teaching physics at Amherst, and 20 years of teaching and research at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Valberg explained the physics, biology, and epidemiology of electromagnetic fields, "It has been very thoroughly investigated." He said the fields were too weak to affect biological material.

"Even though you can't prove a negative, ... scientists have looked very hard and have not found an effect."

Commissioner Ken McClellan pressed Valberg to provide some numbers. Valberg said that the Earth's magnetic field has a strength of about 500 milliGauss (mG), a hair dryer might have a field as high as 20,000 mG, and residents directly under a high voltage transmission line would be exposed to 20 to 50 mG.

After listening to this, Commissioner Nick Fazzino asked whether the safety was completely proven, and no more research was being done. Valberg explained to the Commission that this was not how science works, "Scientific investigation is always ongoing."

But Valberg doubted that any scientist would encourage a graduate student to study the effects of electromagnetic fields on human health, because it would be so unlikely that such research would yield any findings interesting enough to publish.

The Commission was convinced and voted unanimously to approve Building 9.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vintage Players Present Chasing Manet

Come chase your dreams with The Vintage Players newest production of Tina Howe’s “Chasing Manet.” 

This quirky comedy has an inspirational message at its core concerning the potential that lives in us all.

Jane McMillan stars as the indomitable Catherine, a self-searching artist who desperately wants to escape the confines of nursing home life and return to her glory days in Paris. Terri Klein, as Rennie, her ebullient and slightly confused roommate, proves to be a willing conspirator in Catherine’s grand scheme. 

Directed by Carolyn Kirsch, with musical direction by Bob Alexander. The cast is rounded out with the talents of John Hall, Richard Kamins, Naomi Kamins, Pat Farrell, Peter Sipples, Cookie Quinones, Rick Nelson, Susan Hall, Gerry Matthews, Lynne Fiducia, Charlie Rich and Bob Alexander. Production assistants are Marian Katz, Peggy Welsh, Pat Murray, Eleanor Howard and John Tivenan. 

Performances will be Nov. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. at the Green Street Arts Center, 51 Green St., Middletown. 

Admission is free but donations are gladly accepted. Any proceeds will benefit the children’s programs of Green Street Arts Center and Oddfellows Playhouse.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 860-685-7797.

Harnessing the Waterways: The History of Middletown’s Dams

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art invites the public to a talk by Wesleyan University Associate Professor of Philosophy Elise Springer on the relationship between Middletown’s early industrial history and water power from its rivers and streams. The program will be held on Thursday, November 8, 7 – 8:30 p.m. at First Church of Christ, Congregational, 190 Court Street, in Middletown. This event is co-sponsored by the Middlesex County Historical Society

Like many European settlements in New England, Middletown fueled its expansion by building sawmills and grist mills along its best streams. Yet by 1800, Middletown was becoming a magnet for early industry. In addition to its hilly interior with ample water-power, it boasted a burgeoning population and a deep-water harbor for trade. Only a handful of cities enjoyed such a combination. Flowing out of Middletown — along with its exhausted water — were textiles, firearms, tools, locks, marine hardware, rubber goods, brakes, and more. During the era of water power, the Coginchaug River and Sumner-Pameacha stream systems each hosted more than a dozen industrial dams.
This economic past is visible in the neighborhood of every old mill, and some of these dams remain in place today. Yet the industries have left, and newer roadways run high above the industrial ravines. Join us to explore the significance of these streams and the industries that relied upon them.
For more information about the program or the Jonah Center, contact John Hall at 860-398-3771 or visit .

Oddfellows Troupe To Perform In Plaza Middlesex Friday

From NCA Architects
Northeast Collaborative Architects (NCA) will host a special event on Friday, October 26 to celebrate Oddfellows Playhouse’s recent $50,000 Our Town Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at NCA’s office at 500 Plaza Middlesex. Oddfellows Troupe will perform a sketch from Shakespeare in the Night, entitled "William Shakespeare's Land of the Dead: A True and Accurate Account of the 1599 Zombie Plague". The renovation project will be showcased, and cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

NCA Managing Partner Jeffrey Dale Bianco, AIA said, “NCA is honored to design a cultural facility that will re-use Oddfellows Playhouse. The creative place making strategy will enhance Middletown’s cultural arts and improve the quality of life for all residents and businesses.”

“We are very appreciative of the work that the City of Middletown put into this project, as well as Northeast Collaborative Architects. Oddfellows Playhouse is incredibly proud to receive our first grant from the NEA for this project,” said Oddfellow Playhouse Executive Director Matthew Pugliese.