Sunday, May 31, 2015

How They Voted On A Meaningless Bill

Legislators in the State House of Representatives this week overwhelmingly approved a bill that is guaranteed to be blocked by State Senate. Here is how the city's two representatives voted:
  • Joe Serra (33rd district): YES
  • Matt Lesser (100th district): NO
Matt Lesser said, "I support instating limits on organizational expenditures as well as Connecticut's existing prohibitions on state contractor contributions -- but not at the cost of slashing Connecticut's Citizens Election Program which is what the bill would do."

According to CT News Junkie
The bill reduces public grants to candidates by 25 percent, eliminates grants to unopposed candidates, caps the amount of money the state party can give to a publicly funded candidate, lowers the amount of money an individual can give to a state party from $10,000 to $5,000, and prohibits a state party from using money from its federal account to support a publicly financed candidate. The bill would also limit the amount of money a family member of a candidate could receive from a campaign to $1,000.
Each one of the provisions in the bill addresses a scenario that occurred in the 2014 election cycle.
The bill addresses the Democratic Party’s use of its federal account to send three mailers featuring Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the more than $207,000 in Democratic Party money that went to help fund Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr.‘s state senate campaign, and a recent report by NBC Connecticut’s George Colli, who highlighted the money relatives of state lawmakers received from the Citizens Election Program for the campaign services they provided.
The State Senate is not expected to take up this bill, meaning that the bill will die without a vote. CT Mirror also covered the vote on the proposed campaign finance law, in an article entitled, House votes for doomed election reforms.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Greater Middletown Relay For Life Starts Today

The Greater Middletown Relay For Life will be held Saturday, May 30 from noon through Sunday, May 31 through noon at the Woodrow Wilson Track on Hunting Hill Avenue in Middletown.  Relay For Life is an overnight event that joins the American Cancer Society with our local community in the fight against cancer.  It is a way to Celebrate Cancer Survivors, Remember loved ones, and Fight back against a disease that takes too much from too many. The event is Free, register at the gate and join the fun.  THe event highlights include: Opening ceremonies begin Saturday at 3:00 pm.  The Survivor lap is at 5:30 pm with the Survivor & Caregiver dinner immediately following their lap. At 9:00 pm the Torch & Luminaria Ceremony are held and the Fight back Ceremony is held immediately after.  The Closing Ceremonies will be held on Sunday morning at 10:30 am with awards and prize drawings.  There will be  awesome entertainment, dance teams, martial arts, bands, choral groups, hourly theme laps, team site theme contests, team banner with costume lap, on site team fundraisers, concessions with foods, games and fun for the entire family.  For more information or call 203-379-4881

Friday, May 29, 2015

Again, MxCC Graduates Largest Class in its History

For the second year in a row, Middlesex Community College awarded degrees to a record-setting number of students.  At the College’s 48th commencement ceremony, held May 28, 404 students received 452 degrees and certificates, a 20 percent increase from last year’s class.  The students, who ranged in age from 19 – 62, came to MxCC from 48 different Connecticut towns. They earned associate degrees and certificates in 15 programs, representing 28 different disciplines.  Forty-three students were awarded multiple degrees and/or certificates.

MxCC students graduated from three new degree programs in 2015: Veterinary Technology, Health Information Management and Computer Information Technology.  This was also the first graduating class of students to receive certificates in Biotechnology, Health Information Management, Ophthalmic Medical Assisting, and Child Development Associate.
“As our graduating classes continue to increase in number, it is clear that something magical is happening here,” President Dr. Anna Wasescha said during the ceremony.  “MxCC now has a total of more than 80,000 alumni who have changed their communities for the good, whether that is here in Connecticut or around the world.  This is the power of community colleges.”
Kevin Wilhelm, chair of MxCC’s Regional Advisory Board, and Matt Fleury, representing the Board of Regents for Higher Education at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, offered greetings and words of encouragement for graduates.
“Your own perseverance and persistence got you here,” Fleury said.  “And you should have great pride in your achievement from this great institution.”
Rebekah Roy from Guilford was the student representative speaker for the class of 2015.  As Roy prepares to enter the University of St. Joseph’s to study public health and pre-law, she reflected on the impact MxCC has had on her life.  She credited her fellow students and the faculty and staff at MxCC for encouraging her to keep pushing forward.  “I am more attuned to my community than I ever would have imagined,” she said. “And that is because of the opportunities MxCC provided all of us.”
The keynote speaker was MxCC alumna Tanya Henderson, founder and executive director of Mina’s List, a non-profit foundation created “to realize women’s equal and substantive representation in national governments around the world.”  She credits MxCC with giving her the chance to redefine the direction of her life, find her passion, and establish herself as a scholar. After a rocky high school experience, Henderson earned an associate’s degree from MxCC, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, a J.D. from Suffolk University of Law School, and a LL.M degree in international law from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Her list of accomplishments is long and spans the globe, affecting policy in the U.S., Afghanistan, Lebanon and Ethiopia.  Citing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Henderson told students to remember they must “rise and rise again” throughout their entire lives, never rest and never give up.
During the ceremony, Amy Grace White of Guilford was named as class valedictorian.  She earned this designation by having a perfect 4.0 grade point average and earning the greatest number of credits at MxCC.  Three other students also earned 4.0 GPAs: Brendan Gavin of Bristol, Ty Griswold of Unionville, and Jodie Pastore of Newington.  White and Griswold received the MxCC Foundation Pritchett-Taylor awards, given to students with the highest GPA.
MxCC Associate Dean of Development Cheryl Dumont-Smith presented the MxCC Distinguished Service Award to Rosario Rizzo, Jr., (Riz), who graduated from MxCC in 1971 and went on to a successful 39-year career as the public affairs manager for Pratt & Whitney. He has been a lifelong supporter and volunteer of both the College and the surrounding communities.  Rizzo encouraged students to build relationships with mentors in their desired careers, volunteer, give back to their community, and someday become mentors themselves to future students. 

Green Street Offers Science Camp For Girls

From Rob Rosenthal, Director, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life.
The Green Street Teaching and Learning Center is offering a new program this summer, called Girls in Science Camp. The day camp is open to girls entering grades 4, 5, and 6, runs from from August 3-7.

Campers will explore biology, chemistry and physics with Wesleyan Professors Erika Taylor, Christina Othon and Ruth Johnson. Campers will meet college student mentors, perform experiments, create scientific posters, learn about science careers, and share what they learn with family and friends at a Science Showcase on August 7.

The camp is held daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with breakfast and lunch included. The cost is $350 for the week, with scholarships available for free lunch students. The application deadline is June 30, 2015. Space is limited!

For more information or to apply, visit Green Street’s website or call (860) 685-7871.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

This Weekend at The Buttonwood Tree

Come enjoy amazing music this weekend at The Buttonwood Tree!
This weekend we have fantastic jazz music by the Jen Allen Ensemble 
and the first return of Stanley Maxwell to TBT since 2003.

Middlesex Drum Circle 
Thursday, May 28 @7:00pm - 9:00pm

Come join a group of people who enjoy a good drum rhythm. Their mission is to gather other passionate people together and heal the soul and promote community through drumming and drum circles.
No reservations are necessary, extra percussion instruments will be available, though you are encouraged to bring your own.
Refreshments available at TBT. $3-5 donation to help TBT keep its doors open -- thank you!

Click here for more information

Jen Allen Ensemble
Friday, May 29 @8:00pm - 10:00pm | $10

This exciting jazz group is the brainchild of jazz pianists Jen Allen and Noah Baerman. With Baerman's organ and synthesizer juxtaposed against Allen's piano, the result is an interactive synergy with a richly-textured timber that is at once striking and perfectly blended. For this performance, the group is rounded out by the exciting drummer Jocelyn Pleasant and augmented by Sean Elligers on trumpet.
Come see how this group finds the sweet spot between modern jazz, classic soul music and other contemporary sounds.

Reserve seats click here

Stanley Maxwell
Saturday, May 30 @8:00pm - 10:00pm | $15

Stanley Maxwell is a Connecticut-based quartet that has built a grassroots name for themselves at colleges and festivals throughout the northeast since 2001. This Saturday is the first time they return to The Buttonwood Tree since June 2003.

The group plays music that blends tight arrangements with intricate group improvisations, and will perform two 45 minute sets, featuring acoustic arrangements of original tunes from the past decades, including three songs that had their world premiere in March 2015 on the "Music at The Russell House" series at Wesleyan University.

Click here to check out this concert and reserve seats

Also Happening This Weekend:

For more information, visit our event page here

We are working at The Buttonwood Tree to keep the Arts on the Rise, 
and we have more FUN doing it with YOU!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cat Tales Annual Walk-A-Thon/Run ~ June 20th

The Cat Tales Annual Walk-A-Thon/Run is right around the corner!  

Mark your calendars for this healthy fundraising event that directly benefits the Cats and Kittens of Cat Tales Non-Profit Rescue!

Date:  Saturday, June 20th (Rain/Shine)

Time:  9:30am check in/registration
           11:00am Walk/Run begins

Place:  Middlesex Community College
            100 Training Hill Road
            Parking Lot

The Walk is 2.2 miles and the Run is 3.1 miles

For more information, please visit the Cat Tales website here.

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ RAY

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week

                ~ RAY~  

Name:  Ray
Gender:  Male
Breed:  Domestic Short Hair
Color:  Black & White
Age:  10 years old

Howdy!  My name is Ray.  I am a very ​handsome, sweet, lovable and laid back little guy with a huge heart!  My owner could no longer care for me, so I somehow wound up at Cat Tales.  I'm still confused why I'm here and a bit overwhelmed with all the other cats here.  I do look forward to seeing the volunteers each day.  They are so nice to provide me with food, shelter, treats and lots of love!  I really do love attention and affection.  I also love to play with toys.  I am a curious guy who would be curling up with you in bed or on the couch.  I would probably do best as the only cat, since that's the atmosphere I was used to.  I also would be fine with children 6 or older.  I do believe it's my time to be chosen for my forever home... I have been patiently waiting!  If you could please call or email Cat Tales to make an appointment to see me, you'll agree that you and I were meant to be together!  Please adopt me and I promise to love you unconditionally, forever!

No Cats / No Dogs

​​Phone:  (860) 344-9043

Recognition of CVH Patients Buried in Numbered Graves

The 17th annual Memorial Service in the cemetery of Connecticut Valley Hospital will take place on Wednesday, May 27, at 1 p.m. As in each of the past 16 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. Individuals were buried in this year’s group of 100 numbered graves between May 1950 and  August 1955. At the end of this year’s ceremony, the original intention to visit all the gravesites in the cemetery over a 17 year period will be fulfilled.

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 28, 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 about ½ mile, past CVH and the Connecticut Juvenile Training School.  Turn right onto Silvermine Road and you will come to the cemetery.

For more information, call The Rev. John Hall at 860-398-3771.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Amazing events at The Buttonwood Tree this Weekend

Come check out the following events happening at The Buttonwood Tree this weekend!

We are located at 605 Main Street
Refreshment available for the first three events.

Attila Vural and Eugene Ruffolo in concert

May 22 @ 7:00pm - 9:00pm | $10

Attila Vural and Eugene Ruffolo will be performing two sets and introducing new songs.

Come listen to Attila push all boundaries of guitar playing and "give hope that not all guitar tones are discovered", and Eugene's "utterly intriguing voice" that is "masculine, yet sensitive and elegant at the same time". (Rolling Stone Magazine)
Their website: Attila  Eugene

Alba's Edge

May 23 @ 8:00pm - 10:00pm | $10

Come to the concert by Alba's Edge and enjoy a tapestry of cultures: 
expressive melodies of Scottish fiddle music, jazz improvisation and harmony, funk bass lines, rhythms of Latin America, all woven together to form a cohesive and singular musical experience. 
Come enjoy this new sound that BBC Radio Scotland has called "a wonderful concoction".

Living in Love: An Aligned with Source Workshop

May 23 @ 10:30am - 12:00pm 

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.
You create your reality and as co-creator of this world, find out how you can bring to it and you, peace, harmony, health and abundance. Each session ends in a powerful guided meditation.

Food Not Bombs

May 24 @ 1:00pm - 2:00pm 

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.

Click to check out: Food Not Bombs


For more information, visit our event page here

We are working at The Buttonwood Tree to keep the Arts on the Rise, 
and we can't do it without YOU.