Thursday, May 31, 2018

City Leaders Lash Out At Each Other

The controversy over the Council's vote on May 14th to eliminate funding for the Arts Coordinator position, and its unsuccessful over-ride of the Mayor's veto (which restored that funding), has become intensely personal since the Tuesday Council meeting, when at least 50 people came to protest in favor of the Arts.

Mayor Dan Drew used Facebook to lash out at Councilman Seb Giuliano over a message Giuliano sent to each member on the Commission on the Arts. Drew called the message "unhinged" and its author "arrogant"; he calls past accusations by Giuliano "wild and untrue".

Giuliano, in his letter to the Commission members, accused them of selfish, lawless behavior, and accused one of them of insulting him.  

The text of the messages are below (click to enlarge). 

Mayor Drew's Facebook post. Click to Enlarge


Councilman Giuliano's letter to the Arts Commission

The Buttonwood Tree: May 30th - June 5th

                                                   

Friday, June 1 @ 8 - 10PM, $10 Admission

Everyone enjoys a good story, especially this diverse troupe of storytellers. Based in the capitol of Hartford, these individuals are trained in the art of the Moth Formula: enthralling, true stories that are often funny, personal, poignant, or ironic. As with every show, their stories all revolve around a single theme. Audiences are invited to come up and share their stories, too!
Join us for a night of good stories and greater company.


Saturday, June 2 @ 8 - 10PM, $15 Admission

Jen Allen is a composer whose craft is praised for being blunt, real; not unlike a diary, written from her own life and shared with the world without trepidation. Jen's newest album, 'In a Time of Change,' is her encapsulation of our changing world and the complicated feelings that come with it. 
Share this personal revelation with us, this Saturday. 
Sample of Jen's Jazz Quartet: 


'Remembering Nature' by Candice Weigle-Spier 
Friday, June 1 - 30, Free Admission

Have you ever wondered what people see in nature? Why they are passionate about our world’s natural beauty? Or are you just an art fanatic? Local collage and watercolor painter, Candice Weigle-Spier, is one herself. Throughout the month of June, she will be hosting her newest collection at the Buttonwood Tree: Remembering Nature, a series constructed entirely from discarded materials representing the beauty of nature in media that are instrumental in its demise.
Come by, and understand nature through the eyes of a truly passionate artist.

Monday, June 4 @ 7 - 10PM, $5 Admission

Got a talent you just have to share with the rest of the world? Then come on by to The Buttonwood Tree, where the mic is open to any and all who've got at least one creative bone within them. This time, our hosts is the guitarist double team, Terri Lachance, who is the songwriter, and Rob Desorbo.
Come on down, even just to watch! Performances are interspersed with 'Moments of Gratitude,' where we take a second to remember the hidden good in life underneath all of the apparent bad. 
Terri and Rob Sample: 


Tuesday, June 5 @ 7 - 8PM, Free Admission

While your typical yoga class is centered around freeing the body of tension, laughter yoga does the very same but for your mood! No yoga mats required. Simply dress comfortably, and engage in an hour of easy and fun meditation that is sure to brighten your mood and reduce stress. 

605 Main Street / PO Box 71, Middletown, CT 06457
Contact Anne-Marie at 860.347.4975

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Council Fails To Override Mayor's Budget Veto

The Common Council, after hearing 90 minutes of impassioned pleas, voted to sustain funding for the Arts Coordinator, Environmental and Planning Specialist, and a librarian, along with several other minor programs.

The majority on the Council was clearly swayed by the large crowd of people who came out to support the arts, the environment, and the library. Thirty people spoke, most of them testifying to the importance of the arts for the community.

After the public spoke, Councilman Daley defended the Council's support for the arts, the environment, and the library, by pointing to the overall size of the appropriation that was given. He conceded, however, that for the sake of continuity, he would be supporting the funding of the three positions.

Councilman Pessina spoke at length about how important the arts were to him to the city, and especially to the children, "Arts play a pivotable role ... I, for one, have always supported the arts ... I have always advocated for children since the day I put the badge on my chest."

Councilman Blanchard said, "Arts ... are the cornerstone of the community."

Sebastian Giuliano seemed to acknowledge that the Council had made a mistake in not funding the three positions, "Stuff falls through the cracks all the time." He nevertheless voted against the mayor's budget veto, claiming that the budget as vetoed was not balanced. He was corrected by Gerry Daley, who said that the result of the mayor's veto would be a budget that was budgeted to the nearest rounding of the tax rate.

The 7 to 3 vote was a reversal of position for most of the council members who were present. The two who voted AGAINST the council's proposed budget on May 14, voted to protect that same budget from the mayor's veto on May 29th. And 7 of the 10 who had been FOR the council's proposed budget on May 14, voted to agree with the mayor's veto on May 29th.


How They Voted: Lesser Votes Against Venture Capital Tax Break

The 2018 regular session of the State Legislature has come to a close. There were a number of bills that were controversial. This is the sixth of a series of brief reports on how those who represent our city voted in the capitol.  The description of the bill is from a State publication, Major Public Acts.

Previous posts: Gun Safety MeasureEducational Assistance for Undocumented ResidentsGreenhouse Gas EmissionsNew Clean Energy Program, Health Care Minimums.
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A new law seeks to increase the flow of venture capital to the state by allowing a state personal income tax deduction for the income a venture capital fund’s general partners receive from investing in Connecticut-based bioscience businesses. They may claim this deduction only for income from eligible investments made on or after January 1, 2018 through a fund established on or after that date (sSB 266, as amended by Senate “A,” effective July 1, 2018, and applicable to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018).


The Senate vote was 36 to 0, the House passed the bill 139 to 11.
S.B. 266: AN ACT CONCERNING INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE THE GROWTH OF BIOSCIENCE VENTURE CAPITAL IN CONNECTICUT. 
  • Paul Doyle (Senate District 9)    YES
  • Len Suzio (Senate District 13)    YES 
  • Joseph Serra (House District 33)    YES
  • Matthew Lesser (House District 100)  NO


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Lesser Holds Office Hours Tomorrow

Rep. Matthew Lesser (D), who represents our city in the State Legislature, is inviting people to meet with him for coffee and a discussion of issues and any concerns they may have or if they need assistance with matters involving the state.

Representative Lesser will be available from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 30, at Dunkin Donuts, 648 South Main Street.

Cat Tales 2018 Cat Walk ~ Walkathon/Run on 6/23


Cat Tales ~ Cats of the Week ~ Belle/Loris

Cat Tales ~
Cats of the Week

Names:  Belle (mom) & Loris (kitten)
Gender:  Female (both)
Breed:  Domestic Short Hair (both)
Color:  Black & White (Belle), Torti (Loris)
Ages:  1 year old (Belle), 2 mo old (Loris)

Hello,  My name is Belle and I was found as a young pregnant stray by Cat Tales. And this is my last kitten left, Loris. We are hoping to get adopted together because we love each other very much. I’m a very good mommy and very protective over my babies. Loris is a very sweet little girl who loves to play although she can be shy at times. We both love to be petted and just crave attention as we’re both basically kittens!  We can go home in June after our spays, hopefully together! Call or email Cat Tales to put down a deposit to hold us or come to meet us – ask for Belle & Loris. Please adopt us both today!
No Dogs / No Children 
Phone:   860.344.9043
Watch our TV commercial:  https://youtu.be/Y1MECIS4mIc

How They Voted: Suzio Votes Against Minimum Requirements For Health Care

The 2018 regular session of the State Legislature has come to a close. There were a number of bills that were controversial. This is the sixth of a series of brief reports on how those who represent our city voted in the capitol.  The description of the bill is from a State publication, Major Public Acts.

Previous posts: Gun Safety MeasureEducational Assistance for Undocumented ResidentsGreenhouse Gas Emissions, New Clean Energy Program.
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A new law requires individual and small employer group health insurance policies to cover 10 essential health benefits and prohibits the policies from including annual or lifetime limits on their dollar value. The benefits, which most policies must already cover under the federal Affordable Care Act, include ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn health care, mental health and substance use disorder services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative and habilitative services, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services, and pediatric services. The new law also requires insurance policies to cover contraceptive drugs, devices, and products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including a 12-month supply when prescribed by a licensed physician, physician assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse .


The Senate vote was 19 to 17, the House passed the bill 97 to 42 (11 absent).
H.B. 5209: AN ACT CONCERNING LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE PREMIUM RATE INCREASES 
  • Paul Doyle (Senate District 9)    YES
  • Len Suzio (Senate District 13)     NO 
  • Joseph Serra (House District 33)    ABSENT
  • Matthew Lesser (House District 100)  YES

Monday, May 28, 2018

Wheeler Asks Common Council to Think Big About The Arts in Middletown

Dear Council Members and other friends, 
So, as we head toward Tuesday evening’s Council meeting (with pre-show entertainment provided by the City’s incensed community of artists, arts organizations, arts advocates, and others who recognize the arts and culture as an economic  catalyst, enhancer of the quality of life, magnet for creative thinkers and “the abstract and brief chronicles of the time”) I am frustrated by the lack of information and lack of response provided by the members of our Council.
Why has the Council chosen to select this little micro-office for abandonment? What is the plan going forward for managing the granting programs and many other programs and events  supervised by the Arts Office over the past 40 years? What is the message intended by selecting this specific office for dissolution?
I have received little niblets of information through the town’s rumor mill, but several direct communications with my friends and acquaintances on the Council have been met with silence.   One rumor has something to do with taking a year to look at and revise the job description for the Arts Coordinator? Another tells me about making it a half-time position and moving the coordination of things like Kids Arts to Parks and Rec? 
Why does this conversation seem to be happening in the world of back room deals, in coffee shop cliques of council members or side rooms of the Democratic Town Committee? Why is there no public dialog at this important moment of transition when the town should be thoughtfully and democratically moving forward to create a stronger and more empowered Arts Office?
Now is the time, frankly, with downtown pretty healthy and Middletown something of a magnet for visitors in search of food and drink, to expand this office and its mission, not eliminate, shrink or devalue it. The Arts deserve a full-time director with full-time administrative staff person. In that configuration the Director might be able to do what a Director should really be doing – being a strong advocate for the arts; working closely with the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development to craft the place of the arts in the economic and cultural future of Middletown; providing support, advice and assistance to artists, arts organizations, businesses, educational institutions, government, foundations and others wanting to impact and drive our City’s future through the arts and arts-related activities. By making the arts office small and unempowered, we are engaging in small thinking about our future. Now is the time to recognize the impact of the arts on the life, economy and image of a community and increase and support that position.
You want an updated job description? I can give you one in 30 minutes that will be just as adequate and accurate as anything that comes out of a year going through the Arts Commission, General Counsel, Finance Committee and Government Committee -- and it will save a lot of time and money. Advocacy. Empowerment. Vision. Economic Development. Support for our cultural assets. 
I will see you all tomorrow evening, but am happy to dialog with anyone before then. My cell phone number is (860) 202-2868. Every smidgen of information that has come to me so far just seems wrong, politicized, and short-sighted. The arts don’t cost money. The arts make money for a community. Arts support is not a subsidy, it is an investment that historically pays off many times over. Don’t think small and act from a place of caution, personality and politics. Think big and work from a place of vision, potential and investment in our future. Restore the Arts Office to the City Department that it once was, give the Arts and Culture Director a seat at the City Directors’ table, believe in the fantastic future of Middletown. Do the right thing.
Thanks for your time, patience and commitment. I really respect the work that you all do.
Sincerely, 
Dic Wheeler
119 Highland Ave
Middletown, CT 06457

Learning the Value of Ethics Through Music

In a week when Middletown residents will protest the elimination of the position of Arts Coordinator for the City on Tuesday evening, guitarist/composer Amanda Monaco and her ensemble will perform music inspired by the "Pirkei Avot" translated as "Ethics of Our Fathers." These ethical and moral principles are teachings gleaned from the Mishnah, described as "an edited record of the complex body of material known as oral Torah that was transmitted in the aftermath of the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E.


The performance takes place at 7 p.m. on Thursday May 31 in the Hubbard Room of The Russell Library, 123 Broad Street in Middletown as part of Noah Baerman's refreshing "Jazz Up Close" series.  Pianist, composer, author, and educator Baerman created the series when he was "named Artistic Director of Resonant Motion, Inc., an organization that seeks to explore and deepen connections between music and social causes" (read more at www.noahjazz.com).  He has brought musicians from around the country to the Library where they perform original material and answer questions from the audience.  Ms. Monaco, who has been a friend and musical associate of Mr. Baerman since high school, is the first performer for the "Sound Belief" series, a program of music inspired by the artist's religious beliefs, faith, and studies. (Author's note: I had the honor of presenting Ms. Monaco's "Pirkei Avot: Volume I" at Congregation Adath Israel several years ago. The performance was quite moving.)

For Thursday's event, the guitarist and Baerman will be playing  newer songs based on the "Pirkei Avot" alongside the expressive vocalist Tammy Sheffer, recorder master Daphna Mor, bassist Henry Lugo, and percussionist Rogerio Boccato.   Like all events at The Russell Library, the performance is free and open to the public.  For more information, click on bit.ly/2IO0hFz.

Here's a piece from Volume 1 of "The Pirkei Avot Project" featuring Ms. Monaco and Ms. Mor plus bassist Sean Conly, percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, and vocalist Ayelet Rose Gottlieb:

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Friday, May 25, 2018

Try Tibetan Kitchen at O'Rourke's Diner Tonight

Talk about good neighbors!
If you were planning to dine at Tibetan Kitchen tonight (Fri, 5/25), you would have been out of luck, since a water main break in the Ferry St. neighborhood has forced them to close temporarily.
But the good folks at O'Rourke's Diner are allowing Tibetan Kitchen Restaurant to use the diner tonight instead! So head to O'Rourke's for some Tibetan food tonight (cash only), and stop by for breakfast with Brian in the morning.
Love a small town! Spread the word!

Godburn Calls for Arts Protest Tuesday

From Lee Godburn, Chair of the Middletown Arts Commission.
---------------------
Fellow citizens,

I have served on Middletown’s Arts Commission for many years now. Most of you who know me know I strongly involve myself in arts related issues but try to stay away from political ones. I have, through my own discovery and that of other Commissioners thoroughly listened to all sides of this debate. Explored all options, weighed all valid points and collectively have come up with the conclusion that the loss, even temporarily, of the arts coordinator’s position would be not only a backward step for the city of Middletown, but a disastrous blow to the community in a multitude of areas for years to come. Anyone who does not see the drastic effect that this will cause has no business governing an “arts city”.

The only lucid move to end all the current and future turmoil associated with this veto is to have the council vote not to override it and agree to equitably handle some current points of contention. This answer of course is based on what would be the best course of action for the people, and not what would best satisfy the personal agendas of certain individuals. Therefore, I’d like to ask all concerned individuals and arts advocates to join us in a united front to save this position and thus the quality of life you’ve come to expect in this city.

 I have great respect for our Councilmen, their tireless efforts, long hours and devoted service to making Middletown the best place it can be. No one can be expected to have all the right answers though which is why the community must show them HOW IMPORTANT the ARTS are to us!

We will be assembling at City Hall on Tuesday May 29th @ 6pm for a peaceful protest prior to the common council’s meeting when they will vote yes or no on the veto. It will be your chance to see how each council person views the importance of the arts in Middletown. It will be your last chance to keep Middletown moving forward in its politics and the arts. The media will be present. We have two themes of attire for those inclined to join in. One is any type of artful or performance related wear meant to signify support of the arts. The other is mops, brooms, cleaning attire meant to signify it’s time to clean the house of those in power who don’t see the importance of our city’s arts. Signs are always welcome as well. Please come and show your support it’s the only way to make a difference and keep the City we love growing!

Lee Godburn

Commission on Equity and Opportunity Town Hall Meeting


The Commission on Equity and Opportunity (CEO) was created through SSPA 16-3 with the mandate to focus its efforts on the quality of life for members of the African-American, Asian Pacific American and the Latino and Puerto Rican populations in the state of Connecticut. Through best practices models and partnerships with local, state and national organizations, the CEO uses a cross-cultural lens to inform public policy and involve traditionally underserved populations in the legislative process to unite minority communities in the policy arena.

Wesleyan University's Jewett Center for Community Partnerships welcomes you to participate in a Town Hall Meeting with CEO. Learn more about their work, hear from Middlesex Coalition for Children and the Middletown Racial Justice Coalition, and share your thoughts and experiences.

The event will take place on June 6th at 5:30 pm, in Usdan Room #108, 45 Wyllys Ave. Middletown.
Food will be served and RSVPs are not needed.

Any questions can be directed to engage@wesleyan.edu







How They Voted: Suzio Votes Against New Clean Energy Program

The 2018 regular session of the State Legislature has come to a close. There were a number of bills that were controversial. This is the fourth of a series of brief reports on how those who represent our city voted in the capitol.  The description of the bill is from a State publication, Major Public Acts.

Previous posts: Gun Safety MeasureEducational Assistance for Undocumented Residents, Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
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New legislation requires the Department of Energy  and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to develop new tariff-based renewable energy programs that generally require electric distribution companies (EDCs, i.e., Eversource and United Illuminating) to develop a procurement plan and 20-year tariffs (detailed rate schedules) for purchasing energy and renewable energy credits (RECs) from certain low-emission, zero-emission, shared clean energy, and residential Class I renewable energy sources.

The new law sets various requirements and  conditions for the programs, including eligibility criteria for participants and caps on the aggregate total megawatts annually available under certain programs. Customers in certain programs will also be able to choose between a (1) “buy-all, sellall” tariff under which the EDC will purchase all energy and RECs generated by the customer's system or (2) “net export” tariff under which the EDC will purchase any energy the customer produced but did not consume during a PURA-determined time period, plus all RECs generated by the customer’s system (PA 18-50, § 7, effective upon passage).

The Senate vote was 29 to 3 (4 absent), The House passed the bill 100 to 45 (5 absent).
S.B. No. 9: AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT'S ENERGY FUTURE. 
  • Paul Doyle (Senate District 9)    YES
  • Len Suzio (Senate District 13)     NO 
  • Joseph Serra (House District 33)    YES
  • Matthew Lesser (House District 100)  YES

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Serra, Phipps, and Lisa Santangelo gain Democratic Endorsements

The city's Democratic Town Committee met Thursday evening as a nominating convention to endorse candidates for the State Legislature and for the Registrar of Voters.

To represent the 33rd House District, Joe Serra was nominated for a 14th term by Gerry Daley, and seconded by Tom Serra, Domenique Thornton, and Rob Blanchard. He was described as quiet but respected, and effective at bringing state resources to our city. With no other nominations, he was endorsed by acclamation.

To represent the 100th District, Quentin Phipps was nominated for a first term by Jeanette Blackwell, and seconded by LIsa Loomis. Robert Santangelo was nominated by Robert Blanchard, and seconded by Tom Serra. Phipps received 47 votes, Santangelo received 6.

In the Registrar of Voters endorsement,  Charlotte McCoid was nominated by Patricia Charles, and seconded by Leslie Beaudry and Christine Bourne. Lisa Santangelo was nominated by Rob Blanchard, and seconded by Matt Lesser and Steven Kovach.  Santangelo received 31 votes, McCoid received 21 votes. 

How They Voted: Suzio Votes Against Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction.

The 2018 regular session of the State Legislature has come to a close. There were a number of bills that were controversial. This is the third of a series of brief reports on how those who represent our city voted in the capitol.  The description of the bill is from a State publication, Major Public Acts.Previous post: Gun Safety Measure, Educational Assistance for Undocumented Residents.
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The legislature passed a law establishing a new interim greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction requirement. Existing law requires the state to reduce its GHG emissions to a level that is at least (1) 10% below 1990’s emission level by 2020 and (2) 80% below 2001’s emission level by 2050. The new law requires the state to also reduce its emissions level to one that is at least 45% below 2001’s emissions level by 2030. It also integrates GHG reductions into various state planning efforts and documents, such as the state’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy and its plan of conservation and development

The Senate vote was 34 to 2, The House passed the bill 137 to 11.
S.B. No. 7: AN ACT CONCERNING CLIMATE CHANGE PLANNING AND RESILIENCY. 
  • Paul Doyle (Senate District 9)    YES
  • Len Suzio (Senate District 13)     NO 
  • Joseph Serra (House District 33)    YES
  • Matthew Lesser (House District 100)  YES

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How They Voted: Suzio Votes Against Educational Assistance For Undocumented State Residents

The 2018 regular session of the State Legislature has come to a close. There were a number of bills that were controversial. This is the second of a series of brief reports on how those who represent our city voted in the capitol.  The description of the bill is from a State publication, Major Public Acts.
Previous post: Gun Safety Measure
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A new law allows certain students without legal immigration status, including honorably discharged veterans, access to institutional aid to attend a state public higher education institution. The act extends eligibility to these students if they meet certain residency, age, and criminal history requirements and file with the institution an affidavit about their intent to legalize their immigration status.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 30 to 5, with one absent. It passed the House by a vote of 91 to 59.
AN ACT ASSISTING STUDENTS WITHOUT LEGAL IMMIGRATION STATUS  WITH THE COST OF COLLEGE. 
  • Paul Doyle (Senate District 9)    YES
  • Len Suzio (Senate District 13)     NO 
  • Joseph Serra (House District 33)    YES
  • Matthew Lesser (House District 100)  YES

Happenings at The Buttonwood Tree - May 23rd to 27th

                                                  605 Main Street / PO Box 71, Middletown, CT 06457
  Contact Anne-Marie at 860.347.4975


Middlesex Drum Circle
Thursday, May 24 @ 7-9PM

Enjoy a good rhythm? Looking to spend quality time with quality people? Join our drum circle for a spell of peace, steady beats, and positivity! No reservations are necessary, and extra percussion instruments will be provided. Though if you own one already, we encourage you bring it. 

Andrew Collins Trio
Friday, May 25 @ 8-10PM, $15 Admission 



The winner of seven Canadian Folk Music Awards is coming to our neighborhood! Bear witness to the instrumental interplay between Andrew Collins, Mike McEleney, and Mike Mezzatesta, featuring their unique blend of Celtic, swing, jazz, folk, chambergrass, and more! 
Purchase Tickets Here!

Aligned with Source: A Personal Development Workshop & Meditation
Saturday, May 26 @ 10:30AM-12PM

This week, join our resident Spiritual and Holistic healer, Annaita teach us how to channel our higher frequencies so that we may find our own light. If you're tired of this world's overwhelming sense of spiritual corruption and inequality, we recommend joining us so that you may rise above this negativity. This week's topic: Channeling Higher Frequencies. Personal coaching available, contact us at The Buttonwood Tree

Andrew Biagiarelli & Someone You Can X-Ray
Saturday, May 26 @ 8-10PM, $15 Admission

Andrew Biagiarelli is a composer whose range is about as diverse as the world we live in, and the stories he weaves within them as grand as the life he lived. He will be joining us this Saturday to regale his travels in jazz, folk, and more. Joining him is Someone You Can X-Ray, an ensemble of electronic music and hilarious improvisations, they're sure to make your eyes bug out of your head more than once!
Purchase Tickets Here!



John Basinger Presents: "Lear Alone"
Sunday, May 27 @ 7-8:30PM
In a world where we can hardly remember each other's phone numbers, John Basinger had long ago taken it upon himself to keep the traditions of storytelling alive with emotional and enthralling vocal performances, typically unscripted. This upcoming Sunday, he will present a unique performance about a man who obsessively identifies with King Lear, the title character of William Shakespeare's timeless tragedy. This is a free event, donations for TBT are always appreciated.

WE WILL  BE CLOSED on MEMORIAL DAY
Thank you to all our Veterans .... God Bless us All


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How They Voted: Suzio Votes Against Gun Safety Measure

The 2018 regular session of the State Legislature has come to a close. There were a number of bills that were controversial. This is the first of a series of brief reports on how those who represent our city voted in the capitol.  
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The new law generally makes it a class D felony for anyone to sell, transfer, purchase, possess, use, or manufacture a “rate of fire enhancement” (e.g., a bump stock).

The law passed the Senate by a vote of 26 to 10, it passed the House by a vote of 114 to 35.

AN ACT CONCERNING BUMP STOCKS AND OTHER MEANS OF ENHANCING THE RATE OF FIRE OF A FIREARM.
  • Paul Doyle (Senate District 9)    YES
  • Len Suzio (Senate District 13)     NO 
  • Joseph Serra (House District 33)    YES
  • Matthew Lesser (House District 100)  YES

Monday, May 21, 2018

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ BELLE

Cat Tales presents...

Cat of the Week!



Name:
Belle
Gender:Female
 
Breed:Domestic Short Hair
 
Color:Grey & White
 
Age:1 year old

I'm a quiet and mellow kitty most of the time, but I also love to play. I especially enjoy chasing wand toys. I am affectionate and seek attention from the people I know, but tend to be a bit shy with strangers. However, I have recently come out of my shell and have been very friendly with many of the Cat Tales volunteers. I love it when they pet me. I will purr and rub against their hands for more attention. I still prefer to stay in my cage though where I feel safe. I would love a home with someone who has a very outgoing, affectionate cat that can be my buddy. I will take a some time to adjust and will need to be kept in a small room until I am comfortable. I am keeping my paws crossed that a very patient and understanding person will adopt me soon!

No DogsNo Children
Phone:   860.344.9043
Watch our TV commercial:  https://youtu.be/Y1MECIS4mIc



Cat Tales ~ Annual Cat Walk Fundraiser 2018 set for June 23rd at MxCC lot



Cat Tales will be holding their Annual Walk-A-Thon/Run on 6/23/18!   Our goal is to raise awareness and much needed funds to care for the shelter and foster kitties!

WHEN:  Saturday, June 23, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. for Registration (Walk/Run begins at 10:30), RAIN OR SHINE!!
WHERE:  Middlesex Community College, upper parking lot, 100 Training Hill Rd., Middletown, CT
WHAT:  2.2 mile walk (or 4.4 mile run!), trail is easy/intermediate

Please visit http://www.cattalesct.org/walk-a-thon-run/ to register, view the details.  To donate or sponsor a Cat Tales participant, please see  https://www.crowdrise.com/2018CatTalesWalkRun
Friendly dogs on a leash are encouraged to join the walk. We have ​fresh ​water stations throughout the trail for thirsty dogs.  For any questions not addressed, please email info@CatTalesCT.org or call 860-344-9043.

Trails & Bike Routes -- Let's Get Organized!

(Pictured above are various bike-friendly road treatments, applicable to the projects to be discussed on May 23.)

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art and The Rockfall Foundation invite the public to learn about recreational trails and bike routes being constructed, planned, or envisioned in the greater Middletown area. The program will take place on Wednesday, May 23, 7- 8:30 p.m. at the deKoven House, 27 Washington Street, in Middletown.

The main presenters will be John Shafer and Kathy Herron, members of Portland’s Air Line Trail Steering Committee and Complete Streets Group; Howard Reid, co-chair of Middletown’s Complete Streets Committee; and John Hall, Executive Director of the Jonah Center.

The presentations will cover the large number of current projects at various stages of development in Portland, Middletown, and extending west through Meriden to connect the Air Line Trail with the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail in Cheshire. A section of the Air Line Trail in Portland is scheduled to open on June 2. Other trails and routes in Middletown are under construction, or construction is scheduled to begin soon, or projects are in the concept and planning phase, or awaiting funding.

Those in attendance will have ample opportunity to ask questions, offer ideas, and join other advocates in exploring strategies to support these walking and bicycling infrastructure improvements. Many studies have demonstrated the health, economic, and quality of life benefits that come with safer and more convenient places to exercise and use non-motorized transportation. But these improvements are not likely to happen without an informed and mobilized citizenry. The need for public awareness and coordinated action is behind the Jonah Center’s Speak Out For Trails & Bike Routes campaign that was launched in February 2018.

For more information, contact John Hall at 860-398-3771 or via “contact us” from www.thejonahcenter.org

Friday, May 18, 2018

Famous Folk Duo Returns to The Buttonwood Tree with David Davis' "Sax in the City"

The Buttonwood Tree is proud to present former Middletown resident, David Davis and his jazz group Friday night and on Saturday night, the lively and talented duo, the Kennedys. Both shows start at 8 pm.
See more and reserve your seats here for The Kennedys or for David Davis "Sax in the City".

The Kennedys are an American folk-rock band, consisting of husband and wife Pete and Maura Kennedy. They are recognized for their harmonies and instrumental prowess, blending elements of country music, bluegrass, Western swing and janglepop.

At well over a million miles of roadwork, including two stints as members of Nanci Griffith’s Blue Moon Orchestra, Pete and Maura Kennedy show no signs of slowing down either on tour or in the creative realm.

Originally based in Austin, Texas, they spent a few years in the Washington DC area before moving to the East Village in New York City, where they have been based for most of the last two decades. The Kennedys are known nationwide as the hosts of the late lamented Dharma Café program on Sirius Satellite Radio, and on Broadway, they are regular cast members of Theatre Within's annual tribute to John Lennon — working in that capacity with Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper and a host of others.


Maverick Magazine (UK) says, "Another wonderful album from New York duo comprised of sweet and soulful acoustic alternative folk-pop music...You will truly enjoy the wonderful songs on this marvellous album. Maura's voice is sweet & charming. There's a geniune emotion at work here..."

The Sunday New York Daily News' Jim Farber "...is floored by the Kennedys." 
 FRIDAY night we're excited to host for the first time, our dear friend David Davis with two fabulous musicians, Isaac Monts and Wayne Brown. The trio will serve up a tasty dish of  contemporary jazz, funk, instrumental pop and originals from Davis’ latest cd “Dig This” which is getting radio play across the country.
Isaac is currently the Percussion instructor for the Bushnell’s Noah Webster Jazzicians Program, and works both live and in the studio with artists including Ace Livingston, David Davis, Klokwize, Lawrence V. White, and Brittney Crush. Isaac also serves as the Music Director at Liberty Christian Center International in Hartford, Connecticut, and continues his pursuits to inspire and impact others through his music.
Wayne Brown has collaborated with a wide and diverse array of artists as both a writer and producer including Billy Ocean, Ruby Turner, Earth Wind and Fire, Junior Giscombe, Stevie Winwood, Jonathan Butler, George Michael, Janet Kay, Lulu, Yazz and many more, and played with jazz greats such as Coleman Hawkins and Tal Farlow.
Wayne studied Jazz at the prestigious Leeds College of Music. After his time at the College he delved into the mainstream music world and went on to sell several million records as a writer and producer with his international top 5 hits “Heartache” and “Goodbye Stranger”.
Reserve your seat - Free parking behind It's Only Natural market after 6 pm and on Sundays

 Saturday programs:

This workshop empowers you to see your Light and be your best. Topic this week: 
Changing Perspectives How do you flow in today’s constantly shifting realities?
Personal Life Coaching opportunities may be arranged with Annaita through The Buttonwood Tree. Email: TheButtonwoodTree@gmail.com

Teens are welcome to present any artistic forms on Third Saturdays from 3-5 pm. Thanks to Middlsesex Music Academy, we can accommodate bands with advance notice. Please call or write us at (860) 347-4957.
The Buttonwood Tree is located at 605 Main Street, Middletown. www.Buttonwood.org

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mayor Vetoes Council Budget

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Susan Allison (1961-2018), Poet Laureate of Middletown.

Susan Allison, Poet Laureate of Middletown, passed away Tuesday. 

Susan Allison, the poet laureate of Middletown, passed away Tuesday evening. 

If you wish to share memories with her family, contact her husband, Stephan by email: stephan.allison (at) gmail (dot) com. 

The family is planning a memorial service for the early evening of Saturday, June 16th. Details will be forthcoming

For Want of an Arts Coordinator


I am posting this in response to the Common Council’s recent decision to eliminate the Arts Coordinator position from the budget. Rather than my usual snarky comments, I have decided to present what I am calling a curated Google search of quotes about the importance of the arts.

"Politicians don't bring people together. Artists do."
–Richard Daley, Former Mayor of Chicago

“The arts are the best insurance policy a city can take on itself.”

–Woody Dumas, former Mayor of Baton Rouge

"Art is fundamental, unique to each of us…Even in difficult economic times - especially in difficult economic times - the arts are essential."
–Maria Shriver

"The arts are not a frill. The arts are a response to our individuality and our nature, and help to shape our identity. What is there that can transcend deep difference and stubborn divisions? The arts. They have a wonderful universality. Art has the potential to unify. It can speak in many languages without a translator. The arts do not discriminate. The arts can lift us up."
–Former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, first African-American elected to Texas Senate.

"The strength of every democracy is measured by its commitment to the arts.”
–Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation

". . . in any civilization - ours included - the arts are inseparable from the very meaning of the term 'education.' We know from long experience that no one can claim to be truly educated who lacks basic knowledge and skills in the arts."
–National Standards for Arts Education

The arts empower. The arts give a voice to the voiceless. The arts help transform American communities and, as I often say, the result can be a better child, a better town, a better nation and certainly a better world. Let’s champion our arts action heroes, emulate them and make our communities everything we want them to be.”
 ~ Robert L. Lynch, Presiden, Americans for the Arts

“In my own philanthropy and business endeavors, I have seen the critical role that the arts play in stimulating creativity and in developing vital communities….the arts have a crucial impact on our economy and are an important catalyst for learning, discovery, and achievement in our country.”
–Paul G. Allen, Co-Founder, Microsoft

“The country is so wounded, bleeding, and hurt right now. The country needs to be healed—it’s not going to be healed from the top, politically. How are we going to heal? Art is the healing force.”
~ Robert Redford, National Arts Policy Roundtable 2012

“Arts and culture make considerable and necessary contributions to the well-being of communities. Arts and culture are powerful tools with which to engage communities in various levels of change. They are a means to public dialogue, contribute to the development of a community’s creative learning, create healthy communities capable of action, provide a powerful tool for community mobilization and activism, and help build community capacity and leadership.”
~ Creative City Network of Canada

“I must study politics and war, that my sons may study mathematics and philosophy…in order to give their children the right to study painting, poetry, music and architecture.”
–John Q. Adams

“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”
 –Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts

“When artists give form to revelation, their art can advance, deepen and potentially transform the consciousness of their community.”
~ Alex Grey

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him… We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.”
~ John F. Kennedy


“GE hires a lot of engineers. We want young people who can do more than add up a string of numbers and write a coherent sentence. They must be able to solve problems, communicate ideas and be sensitive to the world around them. Participation in the arts is one of the best ways to develop these abilities.”
– Clifford V. Smith, President of the General Electric Foundation


“The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic…music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.”
   –William Bennett, Former US Secretary of Education

"In the push for quality math, science, technical, humanities, and other programs, please be sure that the arts are not ignored or pushed to one side. Provide your political support for the total curriculum. The arts enrich all of us."
–Dr. Richard Miller, Executive Director American Association of School Administrators

“The Arts and Sciences, essential to the prosperity of the State and to the ornament of human life, have a primary claim to the encouragement of every lover of his country and mankind.”
–George Washington

"The creative arts are the measure and reflection of our civilization. They offer many children an opportunity to see life with a larger perspective...The moral values we treasure are reflected in the beauty and truth that is emotionally transmitted through the arts. The arts say something about us to future generations."
–Ann P. Kahn, Former President of The National PTA

“Logic will get you from A to B.  Imagination will take you everywhere.”
–Albert Einstein

"Pyramids, cathedrals, and rockets exist not because of geometry, theories of structures, or thermodynamics, but because they were first a picture-- literally a vision--in the minds of those who built them. Society is where it is today because people had the perception; the images and the imagination; the creativity that the Arts provide, to make the world the place we live in today."
–Eugene Ferguson, Historian

"How can we turn our back on an endeavor which increases our children's cultural intelligence, heightens individual sensitivity and deepens our collective sense of humanity? I suggest to you that we cannot."
–Alec Baldwin at Arts Advocacy Day 1997

 “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
 ~ Pablo Picasso