Thursday, July 31, 2014

CAT TALES ~ Cat of the week ~ MEDALLA!!! 07/31/14

Hi!  My Name is Medalla.
Can I Come Home With You?

Meow – I’m Medalla! I’m a shorthaired, buff-colored male, almost 3 years old. I’m always there to greet my human Cat Tales friends as soon as they walk in the door! I have expressive eyes and a very easy temperament. Look closely and you can see my “smile”.

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

I’m a bit overwhelmed at the shelter so I am hoping a kind and gentle family will take me home soon. I am responsive to petting and talking and would love to cuddle up next to you at night.

Cat Tales is seeking permanent adoption for me and will tell you the best way to take care of me.

Please call Cat Tales at (860) 344-9043 or
Email: to inquire about Medalla!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Middlesex United Way
100 Riverview Center, Suite 230, Middletown, CT 06457
Jennifer Sprague, Communications Director, Middlesex United Way
(860) 346-8695
Toral Maher, Chair, Middlesex United Way Young Leaders Society
Program Officer, Liberty Bank Foundation
(860) 638-2961
July 28, 2014

Young Leaders Society to host School Supply Drive and 80’s Cover Band
MIDDLETOWN—The Middlesex United Way Young Leaders Society will present “Pencils, Backpacks, Erasers…and 80’s Music” a happy hour networking event for young professionals that will feature a school supply drive for Middlesex County children on  Tuesday, August 12 at the Mattabesset Canoe Club.
Backpacks and school supplies for kids in Middlesex County will be collected at this event featuring the local 80’s cover band, the Reanimators.  The Young Leaders Society is asking for donations of gender-neutral backpacks, 1-subject notebooks, composition books, 3-ring binders (1-2- and 3 inch), blue and black pens, and mechanical pencils.  All school supplies will be donated to children in Middlesex County.
“The Middlesex United Way Young Leaders Society is always looking for fun ways to give back to the community,” said Toral Maher, chair of the group. “This is the perfect time of year for a school supply drive and this will be a fun way to bring young professionals together in support of a great cause.”
This event is presented by the Middlesex United Way Young Leaders Society, which provides community involvement, personal development and networking for young professionals ages 21-40 who live and work in Middlesex County.
The event will be held from 5:00 to 7 p.m. August 12 at the Mattabesset Canoe Club, 80 Harbor Drive, Middletown.   The event is free. Light fare will be served.
Liberty Bank is sponsoring this event.  To RSVP, visit
Questions can be directed to Jennifer Sprague at or 860-346-8695.
About Middlesex United Way
Middlesex United Way is a locally based organization dedicated to strengthening lives, helping people, and improving community conditions in the fifteen towns in Middlesex County. Middlesex United Way serves the towns of Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.


Wednesday Night dance party with DJ Lord Lewis

@ The Canoe Club

DJ Lord Lewis the Velvet Knight, longstanding host of the legendary Rumpus Room radio show on WESU 88.1 FM, will be returning to the Canoe Club for another month long DJ residency every WEDNESDAY night in August at the Canoe Club in Middletown CT.

Expect all vinyl sets of the best in contemporary and vintage funk, soul, afrobeat, reggae, rare groove and more from one of CT’s most heavyweight collectors and taste-makers. A sure shot guaranteed deep music selection that will be sure to impress.

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

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

Summer Sounds Series - Harbor Park! - July 29
Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze featuring Wally Greaney on harmonicas and guest drummer  - Jaimoe of the Allman Bros. Band!

Sweet Daddy Cool Breeze - An appropriate band name for our new location, and led by Wally "Sweet Daddy" Greaney on harmonicas. They bring with them cool breezes mixed with hot electric blues.

The evening's drummer for Sweet Daddy is the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer

Jaimoe of the Allman Bros. Band!

Additionally, Joe Fonda is on bass and Mark Easton is on guitar.

Performances are taking place at Harbor Park this year. It's a great place to hear the music, enjoy the views of, and along, the Connecticut River, and have a picnic! It's all free and brought to you by the Middletown Commission on the Arts.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Last chance to see ARTFARM's King Lear tonight!

Sunday, July 27 will be the final performance of the two week run of King Lear by ARTFARM in the Grove on the campus of Middlesex Community College. Rani Arbo and Greg Ryan open the evening at 6 pm, followed by King Lear, starring John Basinger as Lear, at 7 pm.
We are expecting another beautiful evening, but in the off chance of inclement weather the performance will be held inside Chapman Hall on the MxCC campus.
Bring your lawn chairs, a picnic, a bottle of wine and a sweater and enjoy a fabulous 45 minute set by Rani and Greg before checking out ARTFARM's most successful production yet. Audiences are coming out in record numbers, and they have been getting larger every night as the buzz grows around the State about this incredibly powerful and moving performance of one of the world's great tragedies.
A few photos by Bill DeKine give a sense of the action. Children are welcome (and many have come and loved it!), but the play does contain some graphic violence, sexuality, partial nudity and, of course, great sword fights!
See you in the Grove Sunday night! Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.
More info at

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Buttonwood Tree Sizzles Saturday Night with La Hot Jazz

Last night at TBT the room was filled with music and words of healing energy and vibrations of love, Led by the passionate Margaux Modimo Hayes,  the audience and performers collectively exclaimed, "From your chakra to your mantra, we want the world to heal".  Intentions were of unity for our world, our community and even for this very event. And so it was that Margaux, together with partner Rich McGee III, invited to join them Mixashawn Rozie, Peter Onofrio and from the audience, Abu - Alvin Carter Sr. It was amazing to hear all these talented musicians bringing forth their years of experience in the spirit of unity and love. 
We never know what will happen at The Buttonwood Tree shows - often musicians will join us unexpectedly who add to the wonder of the evening. Ah, to be open to the spontaneity of Life - is pure Joy!

Tonight we open our doors to a richly talented group who plays music we are familiar with from the Great American Songbook and other tunes we love. Drop in for a sound bite or stay the evening! Wine, beer, Slambovian coffee, natural soft drinks and snacks are available. Bonus tonight: "Don't whine, do wine"!

La Hot Jazz

Saturday, July 26     8:00 pm - 10:00 pm  ($10 cash or check at the door)

The Buttonwood Tree will be sizzlin’ on July 26, when La Hot Jazz performs with sophistication and style. These seasoned musicians will add a unique flavor and charisma to The Buttonwood Tree’s jazz event. The band performs the Great American Songbook with a lineup of voice, upright bass, saxophone, drums, and piano.  Read more here:

The Buttonwood Tree is located at 605 Main Street, next to It's Only Natural market. 860-347-4957  Doors open at 6:30 to reserve your seat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ribbon Cutting For Newly Completed “Tuttle Loop” of Bike and Walking Path

Tuesday, July 29, 3:30
End of Tuttle Place (just off Tuttle Road, near Newfield St.)

Mayor Daniel T. Drew, and Director of Public Works William Russo will perform a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the newly completed 1.75 mile “Tuttle Loop” section of the Westlake and Mattabesset Bike and Walking Trail (see section colored in purple on the map here). The new section means that the entire trail system from Middle Street to Tuttle Place is now 5.0 miles.

The Complete Streets Committee of Middletown encourages all residents who support and enjoy improved walking and bicycling facilities to attend the event. Citizen presence will demonstrate interest for other planned and to-be-planned improvements to Middletown’s pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure.

To reach the ribbon cutting, drive north on Newfield Street toward Cromwell. But just ¼ mile before reaching Cromwell, turn left on Tuttle Road. Drive ¼ mile to Tuttle Place on the right.  Park along Tuttle Place where the bike lanes are painted (even though parking is usually not permitted in this location).  To view on Mapquest, click

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Going to Extremes in King Lear" Free Talk tonight!

John Klause, Professor Emeritus of English at Hofstra University, will be giving a talk on Shakespeare’s King Lear on Tuesday, July 22 in conjunction with ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove production of the play this month.

The talk will be held at 7 pm in Founder’s Hall at Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Road in Middletown. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

The talk, “Going to Extremes in King Lear”, will offer suggestions about how the local meanings in the text (notably those established by “extremes” of thought, feeling, action, imagination, and spectacle) contribute to questions about the “meaning of life” that are raised in the play. It will relate Shakespeare the playwright to Shakespeare the philosopher. The talk will take place in an informal atmosphere in MxCC’s student lounge, with time for questions and discussion.

John Klause, Professor Emeritus at Hofstra University, received his PhD in English Literature at Stanford University—after spending some time as a high school instructor in Louisiana. He taught for ten years at Harvard, and served as dean of one of Harvard’s residential colleges. He has published books on Shakespeare (Shakespeare, the Earl, and the Jesuit and an edition of the play Measure for Measure), on Renaissance Latin Drama (an edition of the seventeenth-century academic play Andronicus Comnenus), and on the seventeenth-century English poet and political writer Andrew Marvell (The Unfortunate Fall: Theodicy and the Moral Imagination of Andrew Marvell). He has published an array of articles on other writers of the early modern period, often emphasizing the connections of literature to the politics and religion of the time.

ARTFARM is presenting King Lear for its ninth season of Shakespeare in the Grove on the Middlesex Community College campus. Performances will take place at 7 pm on July 17 – 20 and 24 – 27. Live music precedes each night’s performance of King Lear at 6 pm; audience members are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and a picnic and enjoy live music and professional Shakespeare in a gorgeous outdoor setting overlooking the Connecticut River Valley. In case of rain the performance will be held indoors in Chapman Hall on the campus.

Tickets for King Lear are $20 for adults, $10 for students. They may be purchased at the door or by going to ARTFARM’s website:

Additional free public events around the King Lear production include a pre-show Trail Walk with CT Forest & Park Association on July 20, “Talk Back” with the cast and director on July 25, and a Forum on “Arts and Aging” that will be held in October. For more info, contact or go to the ARTFARM website.

ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove is co-sponsored by Middlesex Community College, Division of Humanities and Arts. Additional support is provided by the CT Department of Economic and Community Development/Office of the Arts, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, Pratt and Whitney, and the Community Health Center.
King Lear production photos below by Bill Dekine. 1. John Basinger as King Lear; 2. Ken O'Brien as the blinded Gloucester led by Michael Hinton as his son Edgar; 3. Marcella Trowbridge as Cordelia with Ethan Sachs as the King of France.

Monday, July 21, 2014

MxCC Named a “2014 Great College to Work For”

For the third year in a row, Middlesex Community College  is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey released by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Middlesex Community College is the only community college in the state to receive this recognition.

The results, released today in The Chronicle’s seventh annual report on the Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of more than 43,000 employees at 278 colleges and universities.

In all, only 92 of the 278 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. The Chronicle of Higher Education surveyed a random sample of MxCC employees who provided answers directly to the publication. Honorees were chosen based on responses to the survey and honored in one or more categories.

MxCC won honors in compensation and benefits this year, which means that MxCC employees believe that the pay is fair and benefits meet their needs.

“We are delighted that The Chronicle of Higher Education has recognized Middlesex Community College for the third year in a row in its Great Colleges To Work For list," said Dr. Anna Wasescha, president of MxCC. “This designation is based on an annual survey of our faculty and staff and it validates their continuing sense of satisfaction about working at Middlesex.  It also gives us an occasion to celebrate our collective efforts to make this college a great place in every way, including, most importantly, for our students.”

The Chronicle’s 2014 Great Colleges to Work For program recognizes small groups of colleges for specific best practices and policies. Now in its seventh year, the Great Colleges program has become one of the largest and most respected workplace-recognition programs in the country.

“The Chronicle’s Great Colleges program provides readers with important information about the colleges and institutions we cover,” said Liz McMillen, editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. “The institutions that the Great Colleges program recognizes provide innovative educational experiences – while also offering their employees outstanding workplace experiences – and we are eager to help readers learn more about them.”

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

To administer the survey and analyze the results, The Chronicle worked with ModernThink LLC, a strategic human capital consulting firm that has conducted numerous “Best Places to Work” programs, surveying hundreds of thousands of employees nationwide.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Raptors on the Radio

Raptors on the Radio! Tune in to Earth Out Loud on WESU, FM 88.1 TODAY  
from 6:30-7:00

Ever wonder what's in an owl pellet? Or what grasshoppers taste like?  
Or what falcons wear for camouflage? Join Middletown kids and raptor  
experts for a pre-recorded talk show on Earth Out Loud to find out.  
Christine and Todd run A Place Called Hope, a birds of prey  
rehabilitation center in Killingworth, CT. They bring an American  
Kestrel and a Barred Owl to the WESU studios and talk with kids about  
the habits and habitats of these cool birds of prey.

Earth Out Loud on WESU is part of a new outreach program at Wesleyan’s  
College of the Environment. Learn more at

A few thoughts on King Lear

Why Lear? Why Now?
King Lear is a challenging play to produce. Long, deep, unconventional, difficult to stage, dark and bloody, with precious few moments of levity. It is not produced nearly as often as the other great Shakespeare tragedies.
Until recently.
Suddenly, King Lear is everywhere. Shakespeare in the Park in New York is doing Lear. Royal Shakespeare Company. Stratford Festival Theater in Canada. England’s National Theater. Frank Langella was just Lear at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Theater for a New Audience in New York. Shakespeare on the Shoreline is producing Lear in Guilford in August. And, of course, Middletown’s ARTFARM is opening a two week run of King Lear starting July 17.
Why is King Lear suddenly the Romeo and Juliet of the 2014 Season?  
The two word answer is Baby Boom, which has matured into the Grayby Boom. Lear is about aging and the decisions that people make around aging. It starts with a poor decision made by an aging, ailing monarch in regard to his three daughters. The initial act of wrathful poor judgment – disinheriting his youngest and favorite daughter for failing to express her love for him with enough sugar – leads to a series of decisions by his family, friends, rivals and caregivers that ends with a stage full of corpses.
Raise your hand if issues around aging are a part of your life right now. Your own aging? Your aging parents, grandparents, mentors, friends? We are living in the first years of the Age of Aging, an Era in which terms like Assisted-Living, End of Life Decisions, Palliative Care, Dementia, Probate, Do Not Resuscitate and Power of Attorney are suddenly becoming as prevalent as productions of King Lear.
Lear was written over 400 years ago, and the story is set in pre-Christian Britain, yet the proud, disoriented and unpredictable King is as recognizable today as our own aging father. The chaos created by the powerful monarch’s abdication and descent into dementia is a mirror of what so many families are coping with today. Move down to the ground floor, take away the car keys, sell the house, move into a facility, call hospice, write the Living Will, talk about funeral plans. People love people who get old, who get sick, who die. Nobody gets out alive. As the German writer Goethe said, “An old man is always a King Lear.”
King Lear is being produced all over right now because it is a reflection of what we, and our society, are going through right now. Shakespeare, well presented, helps us to feel the depth of our own experiences by connecting us to universal truths of the collective human condition.  

Connecticut Lear productions this summer:
ARTFARM’s Shakespeare in the Grove on the campus of Middlesex Community College in Middletown, featuring 80 year old actor John Basinger as Lear. July 17 – 20 & 24 – 27.

Shakespeare on the Shoreline on the Guilford Green, featuring David Richman as Lear. August 6 – 10.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Special Free Concert at Middletown Harbor Park

Alika Hope with the Trevor Davis Quintet - Jazz and Rhythm & Blues
at Summer Sounds on the Connecticut River at Middletown’s Harbor Park at 35 Harbor Dr.
Tuesday, August 12 7-9 PM

This concert is in memory of Roger “Sonny” Rubinow, a great supporter of the arts, a great percussionist, and a great sandwich maker, the former owner of Ruby’s.

with Alika Hope, vocals
Steve Donovan, keyboards
Mike Asetta, bass
John Smayda, reeds
Trevor Davis, drums

Intermission guest: Tre Davis & Geoff Lussier

Sponsored by Middletown Commission of the Arts

For additional information, please contact:
Trevor Davis
Days 860-347-8738

Summer Sounds Series - The Afro-Semitic Experience at Harbor Park!

Tuesday - July 22
The Afro-Semitic Experience promises a good mix of spiritual jazz/klezmer/swing music.
Performances are taking place at Harbor Park this year. It's a great place to hear the music, enjoy the views of, and along, the Connecticut River, and have a picnic! It's all free and brought to you by the Middletown Commission on the Arts.
Rain location is the South Church sanctuary at the corner of Main and Union Sts. across from the South Green. If unsure of the weather/location, call 860.638.4510 between 3 and 4:30 pm the day of the event or visit for an update.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Connecticut Food Truck Festival in North Haven 7/19 & 7/20

Hello Readers!

WHAT:     The 1st Annual Connecticut Food Truck Festival! 
WHEN:     Saturday and Sunday July 19th & 20th 
WHERE:  North Haven Fairgrounds (300 Washington Ave, North Haven, CT 06473)
TIME:       11am to 7pm 
COST:      $5 each (under 17 free with parent)

Cat Tales will be accepting donations of food/supplies/funds to helps support cats and kittens under our careCome meet us and learn how we help abandoned cats and kittens in our community!

Over 50 food and specialty drink vendors, live music all weekend, free activities for the kids, retail and artisan vendors, raffles and more!

The festival admission is $5 per person and includes parking, kids under 17 are free but must have a parent with them. 

We have close to 50 food providers, live CT bands playing throughout the weekend, a bunch of bounce houses, inflatable obstacle course, games, contests and DJ all provided free for the kids as well as clowns providing free face painting. 

All Saturday attendees will receive a ticket which can be brought back on Sunday to enjoy some of the new trucks that will be joining us that day at a discounted admission of $2. All the trucks will be selling their top items and many will be doing smaller portions at a reduced price to allow you to try multiple trucks. 

How we arrive at the admission cost is the total cost of the event, a little over $50,000 so far (venue rental, entertainment, insurance, advertising, police, fire, trash removal, event staff and the list goes on). On top of that we hope to contribute thousands of dollars for the local food banks to help support them. Unlike other festivals, we just want to cover all the costs and be able to contribute heavily to our local community which is why we are paying for entertainment for the kids so parents don't have to. By coming out you are supporting a lot of good causes as well as the trucks and vendors, many of them just starting their own local businesses. Please make a point to come out and enjoy this event, you'll be helping a lot of people!!

P.S.  Check out our Facebook Page for this Event:

Thank You for your support!!

~Cat Tales