Friday, August 31, 2018

World-class Jazz at The Buttonwood Tree This Weekend

The Buttonwood Tree is proud to present the one and only Deborah Davis!  This lady has been the US Jazz Ambassador, opened shows for Diana Ross, Celine Dion, Chicago and so much more! Bringing her trio of musicians from NYC for a show exclusively for us here in Middletown, All are invited!

Reserve your seats here

Deborah Davis And A Few Good Men

August 31 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

$20. Reservations suggested - online at
Free ample parking next door - behind It's Only Natural market. 
Refreshments are available, Buttonwood is handicap accessible.
605 Main Street, Middletown - at corner of Liberty and Main.
(860) 347-4957.

A jazz vocalist fused with Texas blues, gospel, and soul, she has a natural flowing charm and flawless stage presence that draws you into her show. A native of Dallas, Texas, Deborah’s musical development lead her to New York City, where she has carved out a niche for herself on the international jazz scenes.

Deborah’s distinct style of phrasing, extraordinary singing ability and professionalism has earned her invitations to perform with legendary jazz greats, Ray Brown, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Randy Brecker , Delfeo Marsalis, and countless others.

Deborah has been praised for her powerful voice and the passion with which she sings her stories. Come by Buttonwood and see this marvel of Jazz live, backed by her entire quartet! Featuring Essiet Essiet on bass, Spike Wilner on piano, and Ali Jackson on drums.

Deborah’s distinct style of phrasing, extraordinary singing ability and professionalism has earned her invitations to perform with legendary jazz greats, RAY BROWN, LIONEL HAMPTON, CLARK TERRY, and a rare opportunity to substitute for ABBEY LINCOLN. FREDDIE HUBBARD, ART BLAKEY, LOU DONALDSON and HAROLD MAYBURN have all shared their stages with Deborah inviting her to sing.

Deborah has lead her own bands featuring many of New York’s younger jazz lion’s such as DELFEAYO MARSALIS, BENNY GREEN, CYRUS CHESTNUT, GERALD CLAYTON, CHRISTIAN McBRIDE, PETER WASHINGTON,  RUSSELL MALONE, GREG HUTCHINSON, BRIAN BLADE, EVAN SHERMAN,  and to many others to name.
Deborah has lit up the stages of well established NEW YORK jazz clubs, concert halls and festivals including BLUE NOTE, BIRDLAND, VILLAGE VANGUARD, SWEET BASIL, SMALLS, SMOKE, JAZZ STANDARD, IRIDIUM, RAINBOW ROOM, and the former TAVERN ON GREEN and WINDOWS OF THE WORLD.

She has sung for dignitaries at the UNITED NATIONS & U.S. EMBASSY affairs including a performance for PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON. In 2004 Deborah and her band were chosen by the U.S. State Department and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, to represent the U.S. as Jazz Ambassadors traveling to Latin America fostering good will and presenting jazz awareness.  Deborah has performed in Japan, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Iceland, Paris,  Monaco, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Dubai, Jamaica, Russia, Kazakhstan Dagestan, Croatia, all over Siberia, etc. The world is her playground as she continues gaining international recognition during extensive tours annually.  She has performed with THE SHIRELLES, jammed with BON JOVI and BILLY JOEL, and opened for DIANA ROSS, CELINE DION, SANTANA, CHICAGO, ERIC CLAPTON, Z.Z.TOP, JILL SCOTT, ALICIA KEYS, MACY GRAY, ALANIS MORISSETTE, and more.
She is on her way to Buttonwood, where she will sing her heart out.


Russell Library Will Be Open Longer

Patrons will be able to enjoy the library longer beginning September 4.
Beginning September 4, 2018, Russell Library will be extending its hours!
The new hours will be:

Monday - Thursday 9am - 8pm;
Fridays 9am - 6pm
Saturdays 9am - 2pm
Sundays (Oct 14 - Mar 31) 1pm - 5pm.

In addition to the new hours, you may want to stop in to view the new lobby design!

The Friends of the Russell Library has a small ongoing Book Sale in the lobby area, complete with a seating area to read or enjoy a cup of coffee.

The first BIG Friends' Book Sale will be Friday September 7th 9am - 6pm and Saturday September 8th 9am - 2pm.

Not only are there books at the book sale, but they have DVDs, CDs, and magazines, all at bargain prices. Come in and enjoy the library!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Spoke Art At Spoke and Spy

Modified from a release from Spoke and Spy Ciderworks.
Spoke + Spy Ciderworks is featuring the block print work of artist Mark F. Grindell, on display through October 28.

Grindell’s exhibit, entitled “Spoke Art,” includes a series of twenty-four hand carved block prints that capture the essence of the cycling experience. Take a journey through a life time of cycling memories by way of unique artistic interpretation in this format. Grindell continues to add to the series and rotate out images as the project evolves. The images have a broad appeal to persons of all ages, bike enthusiasts and the everyday person.

“Many of the images resonate with the inner child in each of us,” noted Grindell.

The prints translate to screen printed shirts, note cards, coasters, pins and stickers. These items as well as framed and signed prints are available for purchase.

Grindell is a New Haven area artist who has been riding and creating all his life. A graduate of Paier College of Art, Mark has been an advertising and creative professional for nearly 30 years.

Spoke + Spy Ciderworks is located at 180 Johnson Street, in the building formerly known as the Remington Rand Building.

The location has historic relevance as it is the former home to the Keating Wheel Company which operated in our city from 1896-1901.

Ample parking is available onsite – follow signs to the Ciderworks.

For additional detail on the venue and art go HERE.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Cat Tales presents PAINT NIGHT at the Baci Grill on October 3!! Come join the fun!!

Cat Tales presents An Evening with Spirit on 9/22 from 6-10pm in Glastonbury

Have a fun and spiritual night out with psychic medium Kim Gedney. The night will consist of spiritual readings (7:30 pm – 9:00 pm), buffet dinner, music, and raffle prizes! Tickets are $35 each and can be bought by calling Rhonda at (860) 538-2079.

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ ARCHIE

Cat of the Week


Breed:Domestic Short Hair


Age:        10 months old

I'm a sweet, laid back boy who is very social, playful, love to be held and love affection and cuddling! I'm also very playful.  However, I need to be the only pet in the house because I'm not accepting of other animals/pets. If you would like a "buddy", I'm your cat!  Please call Cat Tales and ask to come see me, Archie!
No Dogs / No Cats 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Registration open for Oddfellows Playhouse Fall programs

Registration is now open for classes and productions for young people ages 5 – 20 at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater in Middletown. Most programs begin the week of September 17.
Oddfellows has been offering fun and challenging theater and circus programs to central Connecticut young people since 1975, and has repeatedly been recognized by Connecticut Magazine as the State’s “Best Children’s Theater”.

Programs for teenagers include the Teen Repertory Company, the Playhouse’s senior performing group, and Circophony, a circus training program for ages 12 – 19. This fall the Teen Repertory Company will be producing Sophocles’ classic tragedy Antigone, directed by ARTFARM Artistic Director Marcella Trowbridge. Auditions are open to anyone ages 14 – 20 (must be in at least ninth grade) and all who audition and make the commitment to rehearsals and performances will be cast. Two free workshops will be offered on September 13 and 17 in preparation for auditions, which will be held Thursday, September 20, 6:30 – 9 pm. Performance dates are November 29 – December 1 and December 7-8.
In addition to Antigone, teens may enroll in a series of Playwriting and Directing classes which will begin October 7 and culminate in a New Plays Festival on February 1 & 2.

Circophony offers structured and rigorous circus training for teens. This fall students may choose from one evening or two evening per week options during two four-week sessions. Topics available include Contortion & Flexibility, Juggling (introductory and advanced), Partner Acrobatics, Stilting, Mini-Trampoline, Handstands and Physical Comedy. Students can select the specific disciplines in which they wish to train.

For young people ages five to fourteen programs are broken down into Stage One (ages 5 – 7), Stage Two (ages 8 – 11), and Stage Three (or Junior Repertory Company, ages 12 – 14). Classes are offered weekly starting September 17 in an eight week after school session culminating in a “Share Day” on Saturday, November 10. A variety of classes are offered at each stage on weekday afternoons starting at 4:30 pm and on Saturday mornings. Stage Two performers can join Grimm and Grimmer, a mini-production developed by the cast and director from some of the lesser known stories by the brothers Grimm. Stage Three students can choose Filmmaking at our Fingertips or Intermediate ImprovMiddletown public school students enrolled in Monday through Thursday classes may opt to join “Oddbridge”, in which a school bus will drop them at the Playhouse after school and they can get a snack and engage in supervised arts activities until classes start at 4:30.

The Fall program at the Playhouse also features several exciting special events. On Saturday, September 15 at 2 pm Oddfellows presents Casey Carle in Bubblemania, a unique and thrilling family show featuring comedy and magic with bubbles of all sizes and shapes. The first Middletown Teen Talent Search will be held at the Playhouse on Saturday, October 6. Middletown young people ages 12 to 19 will have the chance to compete for cash prizes, culminating in a public final round at 7 pm, hosted by Connecticut State Troubador Nekita Waller. ARTFARM’s Circus for a Fragile Planet  will debut its new show at Oddfellows on Saturday, November 3 at 2 pm & 7 pm. This four person show uses circus to promote environmental advocacy.
For adults, Oddfellows is partnering with Russell Library and ARTFARM to offer a free day-long workshop with Congolese theater artist Toto Kisaku on October 20. The workshop runs 10 am to 5 pm, lunch is included, and space is limited. Minimum age 16.
On November 16 & 17 Middletown’s Vintage Players will present Vintage Ventures, a benefit performance for Oddfellows Playhouse.

For details about any of the above programs, including tuition and financial aid, or to register, go to or contact Oddfellows at or call (860) 347-6143. Oddfellows Playhouse is located at 128 Washington Street in downtown Middletown. Playhouse programs are made possible due to generous support from the United Way of Middlesex County, Middletown Commission on the Arts, Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Liberty Bank Foundation, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, Middletown Youth Services Bureau, Connecticut Office of the Arts and the Stare Fund.
Teen Rep photo above by Seth Lerman. Children's Circus photo below by Bill De Kine.

This Weekend at The Buttonwood Tree: The Bluegrass Characters Pay Tribute to Stacy Phillips, Workshop and Gypsy Jazz by Django's Reserve

It was a sad day when the world lost Stacy Phillips, a beloved musician, teacher, friend and so much more to so many people around CT and beyond. A Grammy-winning dobro player, Stacy charmed many at The Buttonwood Tree over the years with his many bands, the latest of which was with "His Bluegrass Characters.  Tonight, AUGUST 24th, his Characters will go on without him - physically that is, we trust he will be there in spirit, and certainly in our hearts.

It was 1995, Stacy Phillips and Paul Howard were in the middle of a song, and a fire broke out at the original location of The Buttonwood Tree (TBT) on Rapallo Avenue, formerly Ibis Books. After two years of homelessness, TBT found a new home in the former Arriwani Hotel. A beautiful space with 13' high ceilings, exposed brick and floor to ceiling windows lining Main and Liberty Streets, it's an oasis of light, creativity and loving community spirit. And the first to welcome people to that space, two years later, in 1997 - were Stacy and Paul. They started playing at the exact place in their song where they had stopped. It was a heartwarming moment, and no doubt a happier one than we'll experience tonight. Though sadly missed, he touched so many people's lives with laughter, love and harmony. Tonight we'll revel in that, we'll hear his contributions in the songs and we'll uplift his legacy through the spirited and lively music of The Bluegrass Characters.

Reservations are strongly suggested for this 8 pm show. Seats are $15. Refreshments are available. Plenty of FREE PARKING behind It's Only Natural market, just next door to TBT. Call (860) 347-4957 or go online to guarantee your seat for this special event.

Friday, August 24  
$15  Reserve your seat online

The Bluegrass Characters deliver straight-ahead traditional mountain-style Bluegrass with soaring vocals and hard-driving instrumentals, following the recipe laid down by Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, The Stanley Brothers, and other pioneers of the genre. Longtime veterans of the New England Bluegrass music scene Phil Zimmerman (mandolin), Andy Bromage (guitar), Rick Brodsky (bass), and Pete Kelly (banjo) form the core of The Bluegrass Characters. Their performances have featured guest appearances by leading Bluegrass musicians like Tony Trischka, Andy Statman, Chris Brashear, Betsy Rome, Sofia Chiarandini, Joe Lemeris, and Korey Brodsky.
The Bluegrass Characters were assembled in 2007 by the legendary Grammy-winning fiddler and Dobroist Stacy Phillips, and led by him until his untimely death in 2018. They continue to champion Stacy’s mission of bringing authentic Bluegrass music to Northern urban audiences.

The Bluegrass Characters Sizzle

Stacy Phillips and Paul Howard

On most Saturday mornings, TBT is honored to host Annaita Gandhy's 

Aligned with Source:
Personal Development Workshop & Guided Meditation

August 25 
10:30 am
- 12:00 pm

$10 suggested donation (Give what you can, ALL are welcome)

This Weeks Topic: In Divine Order

Another in the Spiritual Laws subtle series, we will talk about order and time. What exactly is it, and how do we flow with it?

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.

Saturday, August 25  

$15 - Reserve your seats

Django’s Reserve is an acoustic jazz trio featuring guitarists playing "Gypsy Jazz" with European-style Selmer-Maccaferri guitars. Their repertoire consists of jazz standards popularized by Django Reinhardt in the 30s & 40s, as well as contemporary music ranging from video game themes to arrangements from other genres.
  • NYC transplant Luke Hendon
  • Norwalk native John Florio
  • Preston Parish, out of Torrington.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Common Council Member Gerry Daley Delineates His Investigation Concerns

Common Council member Gerry Daley has expressed concern with the investigation instigated by the Common Council and carried out by Attorney Penny Mason.  Daley expressed this concern at the Common Council meeting when the investigation report was presented, and since then has asked two resolutions be placed on the Common Council agenda asking for explicit information from the report.  Both the executive committees of the Democratic and Republican town committees have expressed concern about the release of identities of those interviewed during the investigation.  Daley has stated that he is not interested in the names of those who were interviewed, but more interested in billing and other information that was uncovered, but not explicitly provided.

These are the communications Daley has shared with the Middletown Eye, in chronological order:

From: Gerald.Daley@MiddletownCT.Gov
Date: August 14, 2018 at 12:27:25 PM EDT
To: Linda.Reed@MiddletownCT.Gov

Linda :

At last evening’s Common Council workshop, Attorney Mason indicated that the billing / invoices from LeClair / Ryan regarding their recent engagement by the Common Council were submitted through you.

The copies of theses billings / invoices available through the City Finance Department had numerous instances of missing pages of supporting documentation as well as large sections that were redacted.

Since it appears that you received the original billings / invoices prior to submission to the Finance Department for payment, please provide each member of the Common Council with copies of the complete billings / invoices as received, with all supporting documentation that was included.  We need this information to determine exactly for what work we paid.

Also, please advise who, if not you, is responsible for withholding the missing pages and redacting the sections that were obscured.  If you are responsible, please advise who instructed / authorized you to omit such information from what was submitted to the Finance Department.

Finally, I request that you make this information available to each member of the Common Council (i.e. LeClair Ryan’s client) by the close of business tomorrow and advise if you will transmit it via e-mail or if we should pick it up at the Council office.

Thank you.
Gerald E. Daley

From: Gerald.Daley@MiddletownCT.Gov
Date: August 14, 2018 at 1:45:46 PM EDT
To: Margaret Masson

Subject: Request for Information

Attorney Mason:

I wanted to reiterate and document the request for  information that I made at last evening’s Common Council workshop.

As the Common Council made an appropriation of $40,000 for LeClair Ryan’s investigation and report, I believe that we are within our absolute authority to have access to everything that was produced or compiled in its formulation. All of it is the property of the Common Council, as your client.

Therefore, I am requesting that ALL supporting materials, either in the actual or constructive possession of LeClair Ryan be produced or made available to me as a member of the Common Council (i.e. your client).   This includes all communications, whether via e-mail, text message, or any other form of written communication between  anyone associated with LeClair Ryan and any member or members of the subcommittee named in Common Council Resolution 10-18 adopted on January 2, 2018 as well as any notes made from meetings or discussions with any member or members of said subcommittee.  This also includes all communications, whether via e-mail, text message, or any other form of written communication between  anyone associated with LeClair Ryan and any of the 29 interviewees referenced in your report, as well as any interviewee / witness statements that were taken and / or LeClair Ryan’s notes / summaries of such interviews.

Finally, as I indicated last evening, the copies of LeClair Ryan’s  billings / invoices available through the City Finance Department had numerous instances of missing pages of supporting documentation as well as large sections that were redacted.  You indicated you were not responsible for the omission of this supporting information.  Therefore, I am requesting that you please provide each member of the Common Council with copies of the complete billings / invoices as submitted, with all supporting documentation that was included.  We need this information to determine exactly for what work we paid.

Thank you.

Gerald E. Daley

From: Gerald.Daley@MiddletownCT.Gov
Date: August 21, 2018 at 12:06:31 PM EDT
To: CommonCouncil@MiddletownCT.Gov
Subject: LeClairRyan Investigation Report and Recommendations

Common Council Colleagues:

I am very dissatisfied with the LeClairRyan investigation report and recommendations we were presented on August 13th.   From what I have heard, most of you, and many taxpayers and residents, are dissatisfied as well, believing that the report raises more questions than it answers.  I believe our dissatisfaction is well justified and stems primarily from one central question: what did we get for our $40,000?

Consider these points:

  *   There were 29 interviews conducted. Based on the "blended" hourly rate of $300 agreed upon in the LeClairRyan engagement letter, and assuming an average of two billable hours per interview - I believe that is a very generous allowance of time per interview - the projected cost incurred for ALL of the interviews would be $17,400.   Perhaps more time was spent on each interview, but if not, how do we account for the remaining $22,600 that was paid from our total appropriation of $40,000?
  *   Investigations are intended to develop "findings of fact" and present a conclusive substantiation or unsubstantiation of allegations.  To accomplish such an objective, LeClairRyan, in its engagement letter, accepted a clear assignment, “to represent the Common Council of the City of Middletown (“Common Council”) in conducting an independent investigation of the Office of the Mayor and the Office of the General Counsel in connection with a complaint of alleged violation of the City’s sexual and other harassment policy, as well as in responding to correspondence from the UPSEU Local #6457”.  LeClairRyan failed to achieve this objective as its investigation did not yield any clear evidence-based conclusions and did not make any recommendations concerning responding to the letter we received from UPSEU Local #6457.
  *   The LeClairRyan report "found" a number of "themes" that were "common among those who reached out to us and requested to be interviewed."  But it did not provide any summary of what was actually stated, did not indicate how many interviews provided information relating to each theme nor how many of the interviewees supporting each theme were City employees or others (e.g. Common Council members).  Some of the "themes" appear based upon "concern", "perception", or "frustration" without any report of specific instances of problems or wrongdoing.   In order to fairly consider these "themes" and the related recommendations, don't we need more information?
  *   The LeClairRyan report states, "With regard to the DiMauro claim specifically, several interviewees reported that the Mayor stated that she would not be getting and/or did not deserve a raise, and that he commented about her being related to certain Common Council members."  Without knowing whether such interviewees reported witnessing such comments by the Mayor directly or whether their reports were based on hearsay / rumors, and without knowing if such reports were made by City employees, Common Council members (Attorney Mason stated in her presentation that several Common Council members had called her), or others - how can we determine how weight to give to the interviewee reports or the Mayor's denials?   This question seems to be central to the original complaint that prompted the investigation.
  *   When questioned, Attorney Mason stated that she had reviewed the detailed (17 pages) Memorandum of Decision in Step 2 Grievances issued by the Director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management on February 14, 2018 wherein the Director found insufficient information or proof to support the grievance allegations of discrimination and/or Mayoral interference in the reclassification of the Manager of Human Resources (Board of Education) position.  However, the LeClairRyan report makes no reference to the conclusions and findings in the grievance hearing decision even though it appears the grievance decision provides information that is exculpatory for both the Mayor and the City Director of Human Resources.
  *   The Common Council, and the public, were provided with much more detailed information relating to the 2012 investigation concerning Deputy Chief McMahon and the 2014 investigation concerning Chief McKenna.

I understand that some people are claiming that my main purpose in requesting the additional information related to the LeClairRyan report and recommendations is to expose the identities of City employees who were interviewed.  That is simply untrue.  I do believe that anonymous allegations, particularly if they are based on hearsay or rumor, should be given less weight.   I would prefer that City employees who can provide relevant, first hand testimony would have come forward and done so on the record.  I am troubled that it does not appear that LeClairRyan advised City employees who contacted them that they had protections under their union contracts, through State CHRO, and under State whistleblower statutes as administered through the State Labor Department.   Had they done so, perhaps some of these interviewees would have been willing to go on the record and provide statements attesting to the truthfulness of the information provided.

That said, I am not really interested in the names, job titles, or other identifying information of the City employees who provided information to the investigator.   However, at the very least, we should receive the supporting documentation to the billing statements / invoices that were submitted to the City Finance Department with missing pages and large sections redacted.   I would expect that since the interviewees requested anonymity, LeClairRyan took steps to not disclose identifying information in the billing statements they submitted to the Clerk of the Common Council.  Seeing that supporting documentation will help the Council understand exactly what was paid for with taxpayer money:

  *   Specifically, how much time was spent conferring with Common Council members and non-employees vs. employees, how much time was spent reviewing relevant documentation (e.g. City policies, Personnel Rules, Task Force Reports, grievance decision concerning the same issues that were the focus of the investigation, etc.)?  Why were there no recommendations concerning the City policy on Sexual and Other Harassment which was the basis of the complaint that prompted the investigation?
  *   How much of the information and inquiries that was considered was directly related to the complaint that the investigator was engaged to investigate vs. other, largely unrelated opinion / grievances?   How much time (and money) was spent looking into inappropriate lines of inquiry that when questioned Attorney Mason admitted (e.g. a City employee’s custody arrangements with his spouse, legally protected political activities of City employees)?

We have responsibilities:

  *   to account for how taxpayer money was spent;
  *   to ensure that a full and fair investigation of the original complaint was conducted;
  *   to ensure that the due process rights of the Mayor and others accused of improper conduct are protected from any cloud of "concern", "perception", or "frustration" not substantiated by a preponderance of evidence; and finally,
  *   to City employees and others who provided information to LeClairRyan in good faith to consider their concerns, assess the validity of those concerns, and determine what should be done to address them.

To help us fulfill these responsibilities, I am placing two Resolutions on the agenda for the September 4, 2018 Common Council meeting:

  *   Demanding that the Clerk of the Common Council provide each member of the Common Council with copies of LeClairRyan’s complete billings / invoices as received, with all supporting documentation that was included, and inform the Common Council who instructed / authorized withholding supporting documentation from what was submitted to the Finance Department.

  *   Demanding that Attorney Margaret Mason and/or LeClairRyan provide copies of supporting materials and communications related to the compilation and formulation of a report and recommendations she presented to the Common Council in a workshop / Special Meeting held on August 13, 2018, as well as copies of LeClairRyan’s complete billings / invoices as received, with all supporting documentation that was included.

In accordance with our Rules of Procedure, I will be filing the full Resolutions with the Clerk of the Common Council shortly and will copy each of you on the filing.  I ask you to review them and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I urge your support in adopting these Resolutions.

Gerald E. Daley

From: Gerald.Daley@MiddletownCT.Gov
Date: August 21, 2018 at 12:41:02 PM EDT
To: Linda.Reed@MiddletownCT.Gov
Cc: Common Council <
Subject: Resolutions to be placed on Common Council agenda

Pursuant to our "Rules of Procedure of the Common Council", Section I paragraph 2 and Section I paragraph 2B, please place, without edits or omissions, the two attached Resolutions on the Common Council agenda.  I have attached both MSWord and PDF versions of each Resolution.

The summary of each Resolution that will appear on the agenda (with the full Resolution attached on Granicus) is to read:

Demanding that the Clerk of the Common Council provide each member of the Common Council with copies of LeClairRyan’s complete billings / invoices as received, with all supporting documentation that was included, and inform the Common Council who instructed / authorized withholding supporting documentation from what was submitted to the Finance Department.

Demanding that Attorney Margaret Mason and/or LeClairRyan provide copies of supporting materials and communications related to the compilation and formulation of a report and recommendations she presented to the Common Council in a workshop / Special Meeting held on August 13, 2018, as well as copies of LeClairRyan’s complete billings / invoices as received, with all supporting documentation that was included.

Thank you.

Gerald E. Daley

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Rockfall Foundation's 2019 Grant Cycle is Now Open. Grants Workshop on 9/12.

Interested in applying for a grant from the Rockfall Foundation to support your organization's environmental programming? Apply by November 8th for a 2019 grant.

And if you'd like to learn more about the grant application process, join us at 5pm on September 12th at Rockfall's deKoven House Community Center for our Grants Workshop. The deKoven House is located at 27 Washington Street in Middletown.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Register for Classes at Middlesex Community College

Hurry, classes at MxCC in Middletown and Meriden begin on August 28!
registration graphic
Stop by Middlesex Community College on Saturday, August 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to take the placement test, meet with an advisor, and register for classes. Testing for the Basic Skills Assessment begins at 9 a.m. by appointment or walk-in testing until 11 a.m. 
Saturday booked? Come next week!
Tuesday, August 21
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. OPEN REGISTRATION at 100 Training Hill Road, Middletown
Walk-in advising and registration is available to students who have taken the Basic Skills Assessment, and/or have eligible SAT/ACT scores, and/or college credit with copies of transcripts with them (unofficial copies acceptable).
Wednesday, August 22
3 to 8 p.m. OPEN REGISTRATION at Platt High School, 220 Coe Road, Meriden
Basic Skills Assessment begins at 1 p.m.
Click to learn more:


DATE: AUGUST 23, 2018
TIME: 4:30PM

On behalf of the Middletown Tree Warden, William Russo, the Urban Forestry Commission will conduct a Show Cause Public Hearing to discuss the pruning and removal of trees that were posted on July 12, 2018 by the Deputy Tree Warden Rick Romano.
Pursuant to Section 277-1 (TREES) of the Middletown Code of Ordinances “It is the purpose of this chapter to promote and protect the public health, safety, general welfare, and environmental well being by providing for the regulation of the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees and shrubs, and the management of City-owned forested areas within Middletown, CT”

1. Call to Order, Tree Warden, William Russo
2. Report from City Forester, Dana Whitney
3. Report from Urban Forestry Commission Chairman, Jane Harris
4. Public Open Discussion
5. Adjournment

City Residents Honored For Their Motorcycles

Modified from Chamber of Commerce Press Release.
This year's Motorcycle Mania is over, having seen more than 7,000 bikes and over 12,500 spectators fill our downtown area for what has become the largest one day summer motorcycle event in New England.

Photos of the event are HERE.

Chamber President Larry McHugh noted, “The 13th Annual Middletown Motorcycle Mania was a huge success. I want to thank our sponsors, our vendors, City of Middletown personnel, especially the police, fire, public works, Mayor Drew, The Common Council and everyone who came out to support the event. Finally, I want to express my sincere appreciation to Event Chairman Rich Greco and our over 100 volunteers for their unbelievable support of Motorcycle Mania. This event gets bigger every year, and we are proud that its proceeds go to support Middletown youth programs. We are already looking forward to next year.”

The show bikes that were entered for awards were impressive, and the following motorcycle owners from our city won awards:

  • Joe Crescimanno for his 1978 Triumph Bonneville 750, Best Vintage British Bike Award – presented by Hunter’s Ambulance & Hunter Limousines
  • Tony Schiavone for his 2007 Harley Davidson Ultra, The Haymond Law Award – presented by Haymond Law Office
  • Gary Roegiers for his 2009 Custom Prostreet, Dimitri Moore Memorial Award - presented by Eli Cannon’s
  • Bob Vincent for his 1997 Harley Davidson Heritage Springer FLSTS, The Gengras Elite Award – presented by Gengras Motorcycles
  • John LaRosa for his 2005 Harley Softail, The DBD Farkle Award – presented by Downtown Business District
For more photos of the event, SEE HERE.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Texan Couple Play Folk at The Buttonwood Tree Thursday Night

Adler & Hearne – Jazz Folk Duo

Thursday, August 16 @ 8:00

A spirited blend of original Folk Jazz with deep Texas roots.
From Texas’ upper east side, award-winning singer-songwriters Lynn Adler and Lindy Hearne are looking to reach audiences from one coastline to the other. Their music has a little bit of everything for everyone – an original blend of hearty folk, somber jazz, bluer blues, and wholesome Texas roots.
With over twelve recordings and decades of touring between this duo, their repertoire is one that is playful, poignant and poetic – including sparky love ballads, historically based tributes, children’s music, quirky story songs, modern-day spirituals, and anthems of justice and peace.
Raised by musical families and nurtured by choirs through college, the two met in Nashville, and now pay it forward together in performances from listening-room venues, festivals and community events to churches, libraries and schools. Lynn co-wrote the theme song for the hit PBS children’s TV series “Wishbone.” Her diverse writing background brings added experience to the duo’s workshops and presentations. Lindy sang in the famed Texas Boys Choir as a child, and for several years he and his band were Roy Clark’s backup group performing with Roy from Las Vegas to Hee Haw to Carnegie Hall. How to describe Adler & Hearne’s music and vibe? Think ‘song circle’ between Johnny and June Cash, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto, and Gordon Lightfoot and Joni Mitchell.

Seats are $15 - Reservations and more info
The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center is located at 605 Main Street
Free parking behind It's Only Natural market and on Main Street after 6 pm.
Refreshments are available and the AIR CONDITIONING is working GREAT!  :)

City Artists in Tea, Connecting Cultures Show. Opening Sunday

How many significant conversations throughout the world have occurred over a cup of tea? Whether with friends and family, or work colleagues, or even among nations through statecraft, talking over tea has been one of the few cultural expressions that unite us as a human family. This exhibition shares with you the works of 44 artists who expressed their interpretations of the human experience of connecting over tea.

Four of these artists are from our city: Julie Gladstone, Jean Rill-Alberto, Dina Pratt, Rose Petronella.

Image credit: Poured Out (Top View), Sammy Seung-Min Lee.
Medium: Hanji (Korean Mulberry Paper) persimmon juice, acrylic varnish,
12” x 15” x 2.5” | Artist’s website:

We now invite you to participate by looking, listening and conversing.

August 18 – October 15, 2018

Art Opening & Video Premiere: Sunday, August 19, 2–4 p.m.

Mary C Daly RSM Art Gallery
Mercy by the Sea, 167 Neck Road, Madison, CT
Gallery Hours: Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Motorcycle People Come To Main

Security was very tight
More below the jump.

Damn, Wish I Was a Man. Cindy Lee Berryhill Visits Middletown's Buttonwood, Friday

Cindy Lee Berryhill will perform at the Buttonwood Tree on Main Street in Middletown on Friday, August 17, 8 PM.

I've been doing a weekly radio show at WWUH (91.3, University of Hartford) since 1985.  Over those years, there have been more than a few artists who have created a lasting impression, and a lasting body of work to sustain the original impression.

Cindy Lee Berryhill is one of those artists.

Berryhill, from San Diego, sprang on the scene with a song released for an alternative compilation called Radio Tokyo Tapes (Volume 3).  When I first heard her song Damn, I Wish I Was A Man, I knew there was something special going on.  The quirky, dreamy, biting condemnation of male domination in society, was sung in a wistful yodel that made its feminist message funny and memorable.

Berryhill recorded the first album of original songs for Rhino Records, which had previously only released compilations.  With good notices for Whose Gonna Save The World in her fist, she moved to New York and helped start the anti-folk movement with other anti-folks like Michelle Shocked, Brenda Kahn and Beck.

Berryhill's second album, Naked Movie Star, released in 1989, featured a prescient protest song about a New York city real estate developer.  Trump, the song, may have been the very first of its kind written about a particular president who has come to haunt our dreams.

Back in California and several years later, Berryhill released the musically-complex Garage Orchestra, and a few years later Straight Out of Marysville, which included the poignantly autobiographical High Jump, that presaged the #metoo movement by many years.

Berryhill married Paul Williams, rock journalist, author and founder and publisher of the first rock music magazine, Crawdaddy. Their star-crossed romance was interrupted when Williams developed dementia after a brain injury suffered in a cycling accident.  Berryhill temporarily abandoned music to tend to her husband, whose illness became worse over time, until his untimely death in 2013.

After a decade of non-recording, Berryhill released Beloved Stranger, which was filled with songs reflecting the complex relationship she shared with her injured husband.  It also featured another protest song that captured a political movement that was turning Christianity on its ear.

It took nine years, but Cindy Lee's latest, The Adventurist, is a hallmark of her career, and has earned rapturous reviews.  It references the variety of styles and personas she's inhabited over the years, and it shows of depth of composition and performance that she's flirted with over her career.  Her playful lyricism belies an examination of a world that can be dark, dangerous and sorrowful, but can also provide unvarnished joy.

This is a rare Connecticut appearance by Berryhill, and her "trio" which includes cellist Renata Bratt and percussionist (including glockenspiel) Paula Luber.