Sunday, April 30, 2017

State Representative Matt Lesser will host ARTFARM’s seventh Shakespeare Slam on Saturday, May 6 at the Community Health Center in Middletown. The theme of this one-of-a-kind Performance/Party/Fundraiser is “Speak Truth To Power”. Over twenty performers will present 2 minute pieces addressing the theme, while audience and performers alike enjoy great local food, wine, and craft beer delivered by costumed servers, live music, a small silent auction, and Elizabethan and Post-Elizabethan festivity and pageantry.

This unforgettable party is a Benefit for ARTFARM's 2017 Shakespeare in the Grove production of Hamlet, which will run July 12 -23.

Shakespeare Slam VII: Speak Truth To Power is a unique fund raiser in which performers compete to raise the most money by getting Patrons to donate to ARTFARM in support of their performance. The performer who raises the most money will win a week at a cottage on the Long Island Sound in Leete's Island, Guilford. Other prizes will be awarded for fundraising, creativity, absurdity, inspiration and speaking Truth to Power.  Performers can present any piece (original, classical, modern, music, dance – not only Shakespeare) which addresses the “Speak Truth To Power” theme. Two-minute limit. Creative and unconventional presentations are welcomed, and Professionals, amateurs, and young people are all encouraged to perform. Performers must pre-register by Wednesday, May 3 and have a minimum of $50 in sponsorships to take the stage.

Tickets to the Slam are $25. Performers attend for free. Tickets include food, drink and festivities. The event will take place at the Community Health Center, 675 Main Street, Middletown. For more information about performing, sponsoring a performer, or attending Shakespeare Slam VII, go to, or email 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Revenge Is a Dish Best Not Chewed -- The Colonel Carries On #82

by Manape of the Canapes

Epigraph: "Everything comes to those who wait, or at least everything left behind by those who hustle." --I.M.J. Saying

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

What was Franklin talking about? He was writing to the Penn family about their offer to pay a lump sum toward defense of the Pennsylvania colony from Indian attacks if the Pennsylvania legislature would acknowledge that it had no power to tax lands of the Penn family in Pennsylvania. The "essential liberty" in question was the power of the legislature to provide (by taxes if necessary) for collective security, and the "temporary safety" was the lump sum of money the Penns were offering.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bus To Leave From City For People's Climate March

Buses from throughout the state will be bringing residents to the People's Climate March in Washington DC this Saturday.

The Middletown Bus will be leaving from Wesleyan at 2AM, and is scheduled to return around midnight.

More information.

Marchers are making anodyne, non-partisan demands:
On the 100th Day of the Trump Administration, we will be in the streets of Washington D.C. to show the world and our leaders that we will resist attacks on our people, our communities and our planet. 
We will come together from across the United States to strengthen our movement. We will demonstrate our power and resistance at the gates of the White House. We will bring our solutions to the climate crisis and the problems that affect our communities to our leaders in Congress to demand action. 
We invite you to join the Peoples Climate Movement on Saturday, April 29th as we march to:
  • Advance solutions to the climate crisis [that are] rooted in racial, social and economic justice and committed to protecting front-line communities and workers.
  • Protect our right to clean air, water, land, healthy communities and a world at peace.
  • Immediately stop attacks on immigrants, communities of color, indigenous and tribal people and lands and workers.
  • Ensure public funds and investments create good paying jobs that provide a family-sustaining wage and benefits and preserve workers’ rights, including the right to unionize.
  • Fund investments in our communities, people and environment to transition to a new clean and renewable energy economy that works for all.
  • Protect our basic rights to a free press, protest and free speech.
March with us on April 29th as we come together to resist and march for our families, our communities and our planet.

April 26 - May 2 at The Buttonwood Tree

605 Main Street / PO Box 71, Middletown, CT 06457 / 860.347.4957

This Weekend

Kristen Graves and Natalie Gelman
Friday, April 28 @ 8 pm $15
Image may contain: 1 person, hat and outdoor
Kristen Graves is a singer/songwriter and humanitarian from Fairfield, CT, who has been listed as part of the “new generation of folk music” in the New York Times.
She'll be sharing the evening with the musical stylings of Natalie Gelman, who will perform her own original songs as well as some classic folk sing-alongs. This is an evening you won’t want to miss! 
Purchase tickets here
OR call 860-347-4957 to reserve your seat!

71 Strings, Three Men, and a Concertina
Saturday, April 29 @ 8 pm $15
Larry Kaplan, Dave Paton, and Tom White return to the Buttonwood Tree with a special mix of contemporary songs as traditional music from around the world accompanied on at least nine instruments, but not all at once…
Purchase tickets here
OR call 860-347-4957 to reserve your seat!

John Basinger, Paradise Lost: Book 4
Sunday, April 30 @ 3-5 pm Donations welcomed

John recites from memory, Book 4 of John Milton’s epic story of the Garden of Eden, Paradise Lost

Events this Week

Middlesex Drum Circle
Thursday, April 27 @ 7 pm Donations welcomed
led by Andrew Prue. A group of people that enjoy a good drum rhythm, especially when put into a circle. No reservations are necessary, extra percussion instruments will be available, though you are encouraged to bring your own.

Aligned with Source
Saturday, April 29 @ 10:30 am - noon $5
Topic: Channeling Higher Frequencies
A Spiritual & Holistic Healer from India, Annaita seeks to empower, sharing her deep understanding of life, holism and spirituality, enabling you to rise above life’s challenges, live a healthy, fulfilled & confident life.

Anything Goes Open Mic and Moments of Gratitude
Monday, May 1 @ 7-10 pm $5
Come share your talent and gratitude with us! Sign-up starts at 6:30 pm

Intentional and Empowering Yoga
Tuesday, May 2 @ 1-2 pm Donations welcomed
Theresa Govert leads a fun, accessible and supportive Hatha Yoga class

Laughter Yoga
Tuesday, May 2 @ 6-7 pm Donations welcomed
Laughter Yoga is a class that teaches you to practice laughing so that when life gets difficult you can laugh and change your state of mind.

To learn more about these great events visit

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week~ Larry!!

Cat Tales ~ Kitty of the Week


Breed:Domestic Short Hair

Color:Black & White

Age:7 years old

I'm a very sweet boy who loves attention. I'll gently paw you to keep petting me if you stop and I'm very snuggly! I need a quiet home with a patient, cat experienced person who will give me time to adjust. I'm FIV+ but people can't catch this and it's difficult for other cats to catch. I have lots of love to give, so come meet me and see for yourself!

No Dogs / No Children / FIV

Phone:  (860) 344-9043
See our commercial!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Antisemitic and White Supremacist Messages Posted On Wesleyan Campus

White supremacist sign found on a utility
pole on Vine Street.

According to the Wesleyan blog site, Wesleying, a number of posters appeared on campus overnight bearing white supremacist and antisemitic messages.

Wesleying calls for all these posters to be removed by Wesleyan Public Safety.


Save Money at Russell Library This Week

April 22-29 is Money Smart Week.
This week Russell Library has a wide variety of programs geared to help people save money this week.  The list of our money-saving events are below. 

ONLY ONE of these is a registration-required program: Proposal Writing A to Z: Maximize Your Chances with Foundations. Call (860) 347-2520 to register. Lunch will be provided. 

The events are as follows:
SocialSecurity and Final Expenses
Monday, April 24, 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Hubbard Room

Using Excel to Manage your Investments
Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 2:00 pm
Meeting Room 3
Getting Your Financial House in Order
Tuesday, April 25, 6:00pm - 7:45pm
Hubbard Room
UsingExcel to Manage your Household Budget
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 2:00 pm
Meeting Room 3
Couponing for Teens
Wednesday, April 26, 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Activity Room
ProposalWriting A to Z: Maximize Your Chances with Foundations
Friday, April 28, 10:00am – 5:30pm
Hubbard Room. Call (860) 347-2520 in order to register. Lunch will be provided.
How to Find a Grant - Learn about Grants Databases Available at the Russell Library
Saturday, April 29, 10:30am – 12:00noon
Meeting Room 3

Circophony's Circus Indivisible debuts this week

Circophony Teen Circus debuts its newest show, Circus Indivisible, this Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29, at Oddfellows Playhouse in Middletown. Performances are Friday at 7 pm and Saturday at 2 pm and 7 pm.

Circus Indivisible features 14 seasoned teen performers who juggle, perform acrobatics on stilts, fly through the air, ride unicycles, dance, balance on ladders and engage the audience in an exciting new circus about making connections and appreciating differences. The Company’s Roman Ladders begin as walls that divide people, become bridges that bring them together, and ultimately emerge as ladders which take everyone higher.

Circophony, now in its sixth season, is a collaboration between ARTFARM and Oddfellows Playhouse. Directed by ARTFARM Circus artists Dic Wheeler and Allison McDermott (who both also perform in ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet and Isaac Newton’s Little Apple Circus), Circophony offers year-round circus training for teenagers in central Connecticut. Each winter auditions are held for Circophony’s Traveling Company, and a select group of experienced teen performers develop a new show which debuts at the Playhouse and is then available to tour throughout May and June. This year’s show is Circus Indivisible.

For tickets, go to Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in Middletown. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids, or $20 per family.

Tour dates are still available through June 30. To bring Circophony to your venue this Spring, contact

Two Saturday Hikes

From The Middlesex Land Trust.
Date: April 29, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Mica Ledges Preserve, Durham
Information: Please join the Middlesex Land Trust on an afternoon guided hike at the beautiful Mica Ledges Preserve in Durham. The Mica Ledges Preserve has marvelous views from the mica-studded ledges, great jumbles of large boulders (e.g. Pyramid Rock) and a lovely pond. Meet at the Cream Pot Road parking lot at the end of Cream Pot Road at 1 p.m. For more information,

Date: April 29, 2017
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Palmer-Taylor Preserve, Portland
Information: Please join the Middlesex Land Trust on an afternoon guided hike at our Palmer-Taylor Preserve in Portland.  Hike an easy loop through the beautiful wooded Palmer-Taylor preserve at a family-friendly pace. This trail has large rocks to climb and a scenic spot overlooking the Connecticut River. This 90-acre preserve features the historic Erinmore Barn, wooded uplands, large hay fields, two ponds and Taylor Brook on the property. Meet at the Barn at 258 Middle Haddam Road in Portland at 1 p.m. For more information,

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Westfield Residents Association (WRA) Dessert Night & Fire Safety Presentation

From Jen Mahr, Chair, WRA.
The Westfield Residents Association invites interested members of the public to a dessert night and Fire Safety Presentation on Monday, April 24th at 7pm in the Fellowship Hall of the Third Congregational Church (94 Miner Street). Bring a dessert to share: homemade desserts will be entered into a contest judged by the Westfield Fire Department with prizes awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

Following the WRA business meeting and the dessert eating, the Westfield FD will give a CPR demonstration and fire safety presentation.

If you are unable to attend, be aware that you can contact the Red Cross for further fire safety information. If you do not have working fire alarms in your home, the Red Cross will install one for free. Visit for additional information and to submit a request for an in-home consultation appointment.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fool Me Once, Shaman Me! -- The Colonel Carries On

by N. Bye

Epigraph: “No! No! No! No! No! No! No!” --Joseph Kennedy

“If I have an apple and give it to you, I have no apple. But if I have an idea and share it with you, we both have it.” --Bertrand Russell to the then-young G.E. Moore

My conclusion from that quotation is that cultural appropriation is a positive good, and that plagiarism isn’t a privilege, but a right.

Accordingly, herewith a treasure trove of stolen loot: clickbaits, but with the links sadistically removed.

Naked mole rats can survive in oxygen-free environments.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Concert: The Survivors Swing Band at Russell Library

Jules Bashkin of The Survivors Swing Band.

On Saturday, April 22 at 1:30pm in The Hubbard Room of Russell Library, The Survivors Swing Band will be generating energy and excitement as they play classic melodies from the Swing Era for concert goers listening -- and dancing- pleasure! Bring a dance partner, or come with friends and family to enjoy some of America’s most beloved songs.

The band features musicians from all over Connecticut, each with many years of experience. Lauren Humpage is on bass and vocals; Jeremy Alston on drums; Jules Bashkin on alto sax; Greg Butko on reeds; Bill Steinhauser on banjo and guitar; Dave Mechler on trumpet; and Sandra Wittman on piano. Based in Connecticut, the group plays the classic melodies from an era gone by--hot tunes and soothing ballads of the Swing Era--plus many of the wonderful melodies from the two decades that followed.

Families with children are welcome.  
Sponsored by The Friends of the Russell Library.

Ticks and Lyme Disease Agent Are Abundant This Year

Copied from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture weekly newsletter.

The Tick Testing Program at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) is reporting higher tick abundance and infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens this spring throughout Connecticut.

According to program director Dr. Goudarz Molaei, of the more than 450 ticks CAES has received so far this year, nearly 38 percent have tested positive for Lyme disease spirochetes, 10 percent for Babesia microti, the causative agent of babesiosis, and 5 percent for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis.

The higher tick abundance appears to be related to warmer winter temperatures in Connecticut during the last two years.

The greatest risk of being bitten exists in the spring, summer, and fall. However, adults may be out searching for a host any time winter temperatures are above freezing. Stages most likely to bite humans are nymphs and adult females.

There were 2,553 reported cases of Lyme disease, 286 cases of babesiosis, and 120 cases of human granulocytic anaplasmosis in Connecticut in 2015, the latest data available.

Over the past five years, the Tick Testing Laboratory has received 12,483 ticks from Connecticut residents or health departments for testing. On average, 27 percent tested positive for the Lyme disease agent.

“Although we have yet to reach peak tick activity this spring, adult deer ticks, Ixodes scapularis, are already active and biting residents in greater numbers,” said Dr. Theodore Andreadis, Director of CAES. “At this time of year, personal protection measures and conducting tick checks remain the most effective ways to reduce the risk of tick-borne diseases.”

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vectorborne disease in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lyme disease affects an estimated 329,000 people in the U.S. each year and can cause severe damage to joints and the nervous system.

Detailed information about the Tick Testing Laboratory, personal protection measures, tick control measures, and tick-associated diseases can be found at the following websites:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

April 19 - 25 at The Buttonwood Tree

605 Main Street / PO Box 71, Middletown, CT 06457 / 860.347.4957

The Painters
Friday, April 21 @ 8pm $12

The Painters return to The Buttonwood Tree with guest artist, Warren Byrd, playing all original music from their upcoming EP, as well as some of Byrd’s own original compositions. Their contemporary jazz music will be brought to new life with Warren’s voice on piano. This will be a great night of music, don’t miss this show!
Featuring: Dan O’Brien – sax, Mike Suddes – guitar, Silvain Castellano – bass, 
George Mastrogiannis – drums, with Warren Byrd – piano

Saturday, April 22 @ 8 pm $15

Say: “TET-trup-tick:” a four-paneled painting where each panel can stand on its own. Grounded in the lineage of the modern jazz saxophone quartet, Tetraptych brings a breathing conversant quality to the music, where movement, playfulness, sensitivity, and deep groove are ever-present in an openhearted chemistry.
Featuring: Hery Paz – tenor saxophone, Bert Seager – piano, Max Ridley – bass, Dor Herskovits – drums

Pieces of the Moment Artist Reception
Sunday, April 23 @ 3 - 5 pm 
“Pieces of the Moment” abstract collages by Bruce Blackman. 100% of proceeds go to the performing art center. Come and support this great nonprofit culture center.
Bruce Blackman is a visual artist from New Britain CT. He works with abstract collages made from dryer lint and other elements. Inspiration comes from: Nature, People, Music, and art history. He is active with the Art League of New Britain and also shows art at Gallery 53 in Meriden, and Gallery on the Green in Canton

Other Great Events this Week

Aligned with Source
Saturday, April 22 @ 10:30 am - noon $5
Topic: Bringing Divine Grace into Your Life
A Spiritual & Holistic Healer from India, Annaita seeks to empower, sharing her deep understanding of life, holism and spirituality, enabling you to rise above life’s challenges, live a healthy, fulfilled & confident life.

Anything Goes Open Mic and Moments of Gratitude
Monday, April 24 @ 7-10 pm $5
Sign ups start at 6:30 pm. Come share your talents and gratitude with us!

Intentional and Empowering Yoga
Tuesday, April 25 @ 1-2 pm Donations welcomed
Theresa Govert leads fun, accessible and supportive Hatha Yoga class.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bysiewicz Exploring A State Senate Campaign

Susan Bysiewicz has announced that she is considering running again for elected office, "I am filing papers to form an exploratory committee to run for the 13th Senate District."  Republican Len Suzio currently represents the district, he was elected last November, defeating incumbent Danté Bartolomeo.

Bysiewicz, a Democrat, said she had been encouraged to run by people in each of the towns and cities in the district: Cheshire, Meriden, Middlefield, and Middletown.

Bysiewicz represented Middletown and Middlefield as a State Legislator for three terms, and represented the state as the Secretary of the State also for three terms. She ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senator in 2012, losing in the primary to Chris Murphy. Bysiewicz is currently an attorney in private practice.

Bysiewicz said that last November's election spurred her to consider serving again, "I saw what extremist views Mr. Suzio holds." She said the contrast between the views of Suzio and those of his constituents was very stark.

She said that the three most important issues for her were job creation, the environment, and reproductive rights.

She said she would bring her Secretary of the State experience as chief business registrar for the state, and her more recent experience as a business lawyer to focus effectively on job creation in central Connecticut, "I bring a strong record of job creation as a public servant and in the private sector."

On jobs and the environment, she contrasted her record with that of Suzio's record of "bankruptcy, stiffed consumers, .... and environmental disasters," associated with his failed log cabin business in Great Barrington (Vito’s toxic venture: The story of New England Log Homes).

Bysiewicz said she had fought as a state legislator to protect an existing state law that guarantees a woman's right to privacy in her reproductive decisions. Suzio has introduced a bill in this year's legislative session to cut back on this right, and he has faced overwhelming opposition at his town halls (Suzio Ducks and Defends, In His Attacks On Abortion Access).

Bysiewicz said, "He didn't realize there are thousands of women in his district who have different views."

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ JAZZY!

Breed:Domestic Short Hair
Color:Black & White
Age:4 years old

I'm a very sweet girl, love to be pet and purr when you pet me. I'm FIV+ but it's ok. I need to be  kept healthy and need yearly vet exams, just like any other cat. Humans cannot catch this, and it is very hard for other cats to catch. I'm very healthy and can live just as long as any other cat. I prefer a quiet home without any other cats. I need a patient, cat experienced person who will give me time to adjust. I've been so patient but I'm waiting for my forever home too - is it with you? Please adopt me today!

No DogsNo ChildrenFIV

Phone:  (860) 344-9043
See our commercial!