Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Democrat Mary Bartolotta Adds Carpenters Endorsement to Growing List of Union Support in Mayoral Race

From a press release by the Bartolotta campaign.
This week, Democratic mayoral candidate Mary Bartolotta was officially endorsed by the carpenters union, adding to her list of union endorsements. Last month, the Building Trades Council, which represents over 14 trades here in Connecticut, also voted to endorse Bartolotta.

Martin Alvarenga, Business Representative for the greater Middletown area for Carpenters Local 326, shared his excitement for Bartolotta’s campaign on Tuesday. "Mary has been a strong advocate for labor during her past eight years on the common council and we are proud to support her campaign for mayor,” Spokesman Martin Alvarenga stated.

“Her work on the new Woodrow Wilson School and the sewage treatment plant, two projects that used union carpenters and apprentices, showed us that she shares our values and cares deeply about worker’s rights. Mary is determined to create an environment in Middletown that prioritizes everyday working people over corporations and developers and she has the work-ethic and moral fortitude to get results.”

Carpenters Local 326 represents nearly 4,000 union carpenters in Connecticut and is affiliated with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters which represents more than 28,000 carpenters throughout New England and New York state.

Bartolotta shared her gratitude for the endorsement on Tuesday. “Strong unions like the Carpenters are on the frontline of fighting for working people here in Middletown and across our state,” Bartolotta stated.

“I am honored to receive their endorsement because we share a fundamental belief that working people deserve a voice at the table. I come from a union family, and belonged to a union myself for nine years, and know firsthand the tremendous support they provide not only members but their families. We need to move Middletown towards a future where we are supporting all workers to fight for these same rights and stability.”

Mary Bartolotta currently serves as Deputy Majority Leader on the Middletown Common Council and Commissioner of the South Fire District. She announced her candidacy for mayor in March.

Democrats Endorse Ford and Mangiafico to Complete Common Council A Slate

At a special meeting of the Democratic Town Committee on Monday, the DTC endorsed Darnell Ford and Anthony Mangiafico to the Common Council slate.

Ford and Mangiafico replace DTC chair and current Common Council member Rob Blanchard, and BOE chair Chris Drake both of whom dropped out of the race last week.

Ford is a clinical care worker for the state who specializes in working with children and youth.  He's a member of SEIU 1199.

Mangiafico is a longtime educator and principal at East Hartford High School.

Ford and Mangiafico join a slate of veteran and newcomer candidates for the Council.  Those candidates, who now make up the A slate on the ballot include Gene Nocera, Jeanette White, Bobby Knoll Peterson, Vinnie Loffredo, Grady Faulkner and Ed McKeon

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Democrats to Endorse Two Council Candidates Monday

The Democratic Town Committee is holding a special meeting on Monday, 7PM, in City Hall, to choose two candidates to run as endorsed candidates for the Common Council.

The meeting is open to the public.

Two previously endorsed candidates, Rob Blanchard and Chris Drake, withdrew their names from  consideration last week.

Any registered Democrat can be endorsed as a candidate on Monday. Individuals who wish to be endorsed must be nominated and seconded by a member of the Town Committee. 

The membership of the Town Committee is public information, voting is public.

For more information, contact the chair of the Town Committee, Robert Blanchard: rsblanch2036@gmail.com.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Opinion: Florsheim Is Best Candidate For Mayor

Submitted by Kellin Atherton.
Middletown Residents,

I am writing this letter to talk about why I am supporting Ben Florsheim for Mayor of Middletown.

There are many reasons I have chosen to support Mr. Florsheim. He is the only candidate I’ve spoken to about Riverfront development who puts preservation and sustainability at the beginning of the conversation. He is the only candidate I’ve heard talk about the importance of providing public pre-school – a centerpiece of the bipartisan plan to close the achievement gap in Middletown. Mr. Florsheim also collected the most individual donations of any candidate running for Mayor. To me, this indicates a level of energy and enthusiasm that will be required to win in the September 10th primary and November 5th election.

As a community advocate, volunteer, and father of three, I’ve spoken to hundreds of Middletown residents from every corner of town in the seven years I’ve lived here. So often in these conversations folks will bring up the duality of Middletown. We are a progressive city, but we are also set in some of our ways. We are a city that advertises our exceptional university and community college, but pushes away young people because “they’re just going to move anyway.” We are a diverse city, but our leadership is generational and entrenched. We are a city that claims it is open to all, but says things like “we are going to show them who Middletown really belongs to.”

Young people, young families like mine, folks that married into a Middletown family, young professionals working or renting in town, we hear these comments, we feel this contrast. And yet, we want to work together. We want to be acknowledged and welcomed into leadership. We want to learn more from you about Middletown’s history. We want to build a stable future for Middletown.

I respect and admire the foundation that has been built here in Middletown. Words like Legacy, Community, and Family have become a part of my daily conversations. And with my endorsement of Mr. Florsheim comes the primary reason I support him – because he is a thoughtful leader and change maker supported by a coalition of passionate and caring community members. Mr. Florsheim doesn’t plan to do this alone because from the very beginning he has made clear to the people of Middletown that he can’t. That no one can.

That is why I am supporting Ben Florsheim for Mayor of Middletown and I hope you do too.


Kellin Atherton

Kellin is a father of three and Democratic candidate for Planning and Zoning Alternate Commission member. You can often find him kicking a soccer ball or knocking doors on West Lake.

Tasty Chicks Comedy at Oddfellows Saturday

Headliner Carmen Lagala

Oddfellows Playhouse will be a hosting a night of comedy this Saturday with the Tasty Chicks Comedy Show, featuring headliner Carmen Lagala. Doors open at 7 pm for the 7:30 performance at the Playhouse, which is located at 128 Washington Street.

The line-up is top notch, with each performer bringing their own unique perspectives and clever jokes to the stage. The headliner, Carmen Lagala, has been featured on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert & on Comedy Central's digital platform. She's also headlining festivals as well as touring the country opening for Hari Kondabolu. Carmen's versatility of style is matched by her content, as she shifts easily between one-liners and stories about everything from serial killers to mittens made out of her dead dog. 

This show also features the fan favorite Darren Sechrist, whose joke writing and delivery is unmatched. Special guests include Ang Buxton, who brings their own unique blend of charisma and off-the-cuff quips, and Worcester's own Ben Bosunga, a staple at the Woohaha Comedy Club.

The show is hosted by the Tasty Chicks, who are Oddfellows alumna Tricia D'Onofrio, and Aviel Stern. 

Tickets are $15, or $10 if you bring 3 canned goods to donate to our local Amazing Grace Food Pantry. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or get them in advance HERE. For more info go to https://www.facebook.com/tastychickscomedy/ .
Contact info@oddfellows.org, or call (860) 347-6143 for information.

Russell Library Pigeon

The pigeon that is in front of the Russell Library has quite a story. Here are the basics:

It is a tame pigeon. It has been hanging around in front of the library and across the street in the parking lot for a couple of weeks.
It originally had a tag, but someone took it off. A person who saw the tag and remembered a partial number did some research, and it seems as though the pigeon hails from Austin, TX. The person who found this out has been trying to reach various pigeon clubs without success.
Animal Control responded to several calls, finally picking the pigeon up. It has returned.
We at the library have not been feeding it, though other people may have. Here is a website about finding lost pigeons:

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Drake and Blanchard Withdraw From Council Slate

One week after being endorsed for Common Council by the Democratic Town Committee, Chris Drake and Rob Blanchard have withdrawn their names from the slate.

Blanchard, in a letter to the Town Clerk announcing his decision, enumerated the reasons that attracted him to our city, one with "character and culture, and incredibly hard-working people ... unlike anywhere else ..."

And the reasons he chose to serve in our city's government in the first place, "... [to] accomplish in Middletown if we all worked together to enhance our vibrant downtown and make our education system a top-tier school district while ensuring a predictable and affordable tax rate."

But Blanchard has been juggling the demands of campaigning and governing at both the state and the local level for over 7 years, and he said, "I no longer possess the time or commitment I feel the people who first elected me deserve."

Blanchard concluded, "I cannot thank the residents of our city enough for giving me the honor of a lifetime and look forward to helping our great city in other capacities. I wish our future city leaders the best of luck."

Drake too praised the city and said he was proud that of his service on the Board of Education, and his part in the documented improvements in our city's public education.

But Drake said that in the past year, the fractures in the Democratic party had taken a toll on him, "For me personally, those fractures have led to countless hours of bickering and stress, straining relationships with people that I like."

Drake concluded, "As I have knocked doors this cycle, I have found myself admiring the people on the other side, who are going about their regular life, working in their garden, or tinkering with their motorcycle, or just sitting outside on a nice day reading a book."

"I am going to try to be that person for a while."

Monday, July 22, 2019

Florsheim to Push for Primary

Press release from Ben Florsheim.
Following last Thursday’s meeting of the Middletown Democratic Town Committee, where Town Committee members voted 29-28 to endorse Mary Bartolotta for mayor, mayoral candidate Ben Florsheim said he would collect signatures to appear on the primary ballot and compete for the Democratic nomination on September 10.

“Council Member Bartolotta is a dedicated public servant whose leadership I admire, and I congratulate her on winning the party endorsement,” said Florsheim.

“But the fact of the matter is this: we walked into the room on Thursday with more supporters than any other candidate, and we walked out with more supporters than any other candidate. The only thing that changed on the second ballot was strategic voting by 19 delegates for one candidate and 10 delegates for another to put them over the top."

“That’s how party conventions work-- but it doesn’t change the fact that grassroots support for
our campaign is real, it’s strong, and it’s ready to take this campaign to the streets and finish
what we started: building a movement behind our positive vision and progressive ideas for
Middletown’s future."

“I have been honored and humbled by the number of people who have reached out to me with encouragement and asked me to stay in the race. Primaries are healthy for democracy and I am absolutely committed to running a clean, issues-oriented campaign and working with everyone to bring our party together in the fall, whatever the outcome.”

Volunteers will be circulating petitions to be signed by registered Democrats in Middletown ahead of the August 7 deadline. Those wishing to sign or assist with circulation should call, text, or email 860-250-4188 or bobbye@benflorsheim.com and a volunteer will arrange a time to drop off a petition.

Opinion: Boyce Boosts Bartolotta

Submitted by David Boyce. Boyce ran for a seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission in 2009.
I am a proud supporter of Mary Bartolotta to be the next Mayor of the City of Middletown. Mary, who has served on the city’s Common Council for the last 8 years, has been a steadfast supporter of equality for all. Mary has also been a huge supporter of education, public safety, green policies, unions, along with many other policies, contributing to the betterment of Middletown.

Mary does her homework. When it’s decision time, she makes those decisions with integrity, not with
what is politically expedient. Middletown residents benefit from Mary’s demonstrated leadership. Mary is honest, decisive, inspiring, focused, diligent, to name just a few of her qualities. She is ready to be the next Mayor of Middletown!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Middletown Republican Candidates for office in 2019

From the Chair of the Republican Town Committee, Bill Wilson
Sebastian Giuliano

Tami Kapacziewski

Common Council
Matt Scarrozzo
Tony Gennaro
Linda Salafia
Mike Marino
Ed Ford
Phil Pessina
Jon Pulino
Hope Kasper

Board of Education
Dina Ford
George Souto
Scott Wilcox
Laura Krayeski
Tami Kapacziewski

Planning and Zoning
Chris Sugar
Marcus Fazzino
Molly Salafia
James O'Connell

Planning and Zoning Alt.
John Sloan
Ken McClellan

Board of Assessment Appeals
Lesile Spatola
Vin Szynkowicz

Bartolotta Endorsed as Democratic Mayoral Candidate

Full disclosure, Ed McKeon was elected on the endorsed slate for Common Council.

In a contentious, hours-long meeting that included challenges to a slate of candidates, Common Council member Mary Bartolotta was elected as the mayoral candidate endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee.

Bartolotta won that endorsement by one vote over the candidate recommended by the Nomination Committee, Ben Florsheim.  Parking Director Gene Thazhampallath, who was also nominated from the floor came in a distant third in the first round of voting.

Declared democratic candidate, Bill Russo, did not appear at the meeting, nor was his name nominated.  Russo supporters on the DTC were noticeably absent from the meeting.

Russo declared that he will attempt a primary challenge by collecting signatures to get on the ballot.  Thazhampallath has also declared he will collect signatures.  And Florsheim is also considering a primary run.

In the first round of voting for endorsement, no candidate reached the simple majority of 29 votes.  Florsheim received 28.  Bartolotta received 19.  Thazhampallath received 10.

In the second round of voting, all of Thazhampallath's votes migrated to Bartolotta.

In other voting, the Common Council selected a slate in a vote that included a floor challenge from DTC member Pat Alston.  While Alston received many votes, she ultimately failed in her bid to be included on the endorsed slate.

The endorsed Common Council slate, and slates for other commissions are as follows:

Common Council

Rob Blanchard
Chris Drake
Grady Faulkner
Vinnie Loffredo
Ed McKeon
Gene Nocera
Bobbye Peterson
Jeanette White

Board of Education

Deborah Cain
Rose-Daniels DeLita
Sanji Lawrence
Justin Taylor
Anita Dempsey-White


Steven Kovach

Planning and Zoning

Beth Emery
Catherine Johnson
Thom Pattavina
Rich Pelletier

Planning and Zoning Alternate

Kellin Atherton
Shanay Fulton

Board of Assessment Appeals

Kathy Adams
John Kilian

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Rockfall Foundation Offers New Environmental Education Grant

New Multi-year Grant to Supplement Existing Annual Program

The Rockfall Foundation has opened applications for its 2020 Annual Environmental Grant Program, available to non-profit organizations, municipalities, and schools, and has announced a new multi-year grant for schools. The 2020 Annual Environmental Grants are for projects that contribute to the general environmental education of the public, or promote responsible environmental planning, or contribute to the preservation of the Connecticut River watershed.

The new multi-year grant, Fostering Future Environmental Stewards, is available to schools seeking funding for preschool to 8th grade environmental education programs. The new grant aims to support continuous environmental literacy for children that offer nature discovery and real-world, hands-on, place-based learning.

Both grant programs have a competitive application process and must benefit at least one of the towns in the Lower Connecticut River Valley, which includes Middlesex County as well as Lyme and Old Lyme.  Applications are due by November 7.  All interested applicants are encouraged to attend an informational workshop on September 10, 5 to 6:30pm, at The Rockfall Foundation, 27 Washington Street, Middletown.  Application and guidelines for the 2020 Annual Environmental Grant are available at www.rockfallfoundation.org/grants/annual. Information for Fostering Future Environmental Stewards is available at www.rockfallfoundation.org/grants/ffes.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, The Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants. The Rockfall Foundation has awarded over a half million dollars since the inception of its grant program in 1972. In addition, the Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center, which offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations.

For additional information about The Rockfall Foundation and the grant programs, or to make a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

Today at Wesleyan: Bread and Puppet Theater

Bread and Puppet Theater: The Diagonal Life Circus
Thursday, July 18, 2019 at 7pm
Fayerweather Beckham Hall, 55 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown, Connecticut

The Connecticut premiere of The Diagonal Life Circus is funny and moving—a colorful, tonally and formally diverse tumult of short acts on the urgent themes of the day, powered by a riotous brass band. Before the evening performance, there will be a free conversation with the company at 12:10pm in Ring Family Performing Arts Hall.

Click here to read more about these events on the Center for the Arts website.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Panciera Endorses Thazhampallath

On Thursday, July 18, the Middletown Democratic town committee will endorse one of the five candidates currently seeking the party’s support in the mayoral election. After reading the positions of the five, and evaluating their backgrounds, I have reached the conclusion that Geen Thazhampallath would be the best choice.

My decision was based on the following criteria: character, competency, and a comprehensive plan that will most effectively deal with the issues the town has to face. Like all the candidates, Geen is a person of good character who shows respect for those who come in contact with him. What sets him apart is the variety of experiences in his background that have prepared him to be Mayor.

He is a graduate of Middletown High School, UCONN ( economics major) , and the UCONN law school. He has also served an elected position here in his hometown on the Middletown Board of Education from 1999 - 2003. Many of us have learned from past experience that a good working relationship between City Hall and the Board of Education cannot be taken for granted and I am confident Geen will bring those lessons learned to the Mayors Office.

He has experienced some of the challenges a town leader faces while serving as the Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Stratford. Before that experience, here in Middletown, he served as a mayor’s chief of staff, and is currently in his eighth year as the city’s director of parking. In addition, he has worked in the private sector at Aetna where he built a leadership program and served as an executive officers chief of staff. No other candidate can tap into this wide a background with all its multiple roles. His detailed plan for his first term makes some convincing arguments in areas such as economic development, environmental sustainability, and putting the public and service back in public service. I urge everyone to visit geen2019.com to learn more about Geen and his platform for change and accountability.

It has been my pleasure to know Geen as a student, a public official, a family man, and a born leader. I encourage the Democratic town committee of Middletown to put the strongest candidate on the ballot in November.

Harold Panciera

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Friends of Russell Library Ends Year on High Note

Submitted by The Friends of Russell Library
The Friends of Russell Library finished the 2019 fiscal year with much to celebrate at its Annual Meeting.  Held in the library’s Hubbard Room, Friends members reviewed the year’s activities, which support a variety of programs at the Russell Library. The evening’s highlight came when Friends President Howard Rulnick announced the Friends had received a $10,000 donation from the Peach Pit Foundation.

Founded in 2005, the foundation is a private grant-making organization whose mission is to “plant seeds of opportunity” in the local community. “We are excited by the possibilities this donation represents. The Peach Pit Foundation has given us the opportunity to further expand our efforts to support the Russell Library and the important programs it brings to the City of Middletown,” Rulnick said.

After the election of officers for 2020-2022 (Howard Rulnick, President; Barrie Robbins-Pianka, Vice-President; Joan Fung-Tomc, Secretary; and Sandy Becker, Treasurer), Chief Public Services Officer Mary Dattilo thanked members for their dedication and support.  She also reviewed Russell Library’s achievements in the past year and offered a peek at what’s ahead.

For more information or to join the Friends, please call 860.347.2528, email friendsatrussell@gmail.com, or stop by Russell Library’s Main Circulation Desk.

The Friends of Russell Library believes libraries play an essential part in creating and maintaining dynamic communities. Since its founding in 1983, the Friends has contributed more than $500,000, funding a wide range of educational and cultural programs.  Through monetary gifts, volunteerism and program support, and advocacy, it continually supports Russell Library’s objective: creating a community where learning, reading and imagination thrive through the free and open access to the information libraries provide. The Friends of Russell Library is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Florsheim Leads Candidates in Individual Donations

From a press release for the Ben Florsheim for Mayor campaign.  Full disclosure, Ed McKeon who reposted this press release has donated to the Florsheim campaign.

Democratic candidate for mayor Ben Florsheim announced today that his campaign has raised $18,112 with 189 individual donations. This figure places him ahead of other Democratic campaigns in grassroots financial contributions, and second in terms of cash on hand, despite being the last candidate to enter the race.

“I’m humbled by the outpouring of support for this campaign and thrilled by the fundraising success we’ve had during our first month in the race,” said Florsheim. “Ours was never going to be the big-money campaign, especially since we pledged to decline contributions from lobbyists and city contractors. But as we’ve seen time and time again: big money doesn’t win local elections. People do.

“I am deeply grateful to all of our donors, including friends, family, and progressive leaders nationwide, as well as elected officials from across Connecticut who I’ve had the opportunity to work with over the years. But, of course, what makes me proudest is that the plurality of our donors were people right here in Middletown, giving $5, $10, or $25-- because they believe, like I do, that our city has a bright future if we’re ready to work to make it so.

“As we head into next week’s convention, I couldn’t be more optimistic about the direction this campaign is taking. I’m excited to bring our vision and our movement to the Democratic Town Committee and to the voters of our city.”


Ben Florsheim Entered race: 5/30
Total raised: $18,112
Cash on hand: $12,972
Number of individual donations: 189
Average individual donation: $92

Mary Bartolotta Entered race: 3/19
Total raised: $18,247
Cash on hand: $9,191
Number of individual donations: 169
Average individual donation: $95

Bill Russo Entered race: 4/24
Total raised: $48,570
Cash on hand: $38,629
Number of individual donations: 126
Average individual donation: $380

Geen Thazhampallath
Entered race: 4/3
Total raised: $12,530
Cash on hand: $8,835
Number of individual donations: 91
Average individual donation: $131

Opinion: Mary Bartolotta for Mayor

Submitted by John Kilian, Middletown Democrat.
The Eye welcomes all signed opinion pieces.
Mary Bartolotta has distinguished herself as a public servant for our city with her tireless and selfless service. She has used her position of trust to defend people who otherwise would have been defenseless and encouraged people in the right to not give up the fight. It should not come as a surprise that she is now the target for arrows thrown her way by those who, uncontested, promise more of the same, to the detriment of a city that needs reform in its municipal government.

Her defense of the Clerk of the Common Council, who has been put under extreme pressure by those who feel unrestrained by law and common sense, is a case in point, illustrating the benefit that would be felt by people whose integrity is being challenged by the current regime. We need a break with the past. We need a woman who is not going to let other women get pressured and marginalized. As our Mayor, the needed changes, allowing employees of our city to make constructive criticisms of the status quo without feeling the threat of reprisals, would come to fruition, and in short order. This is just a small sampling of why I am supporting Mary Bartolotta for Mayor and encourage my fellow Middletown residents to do the same.

Middletown WORKS turns ‘me first’ concept on its head

By Rebecca Lemanski, Director | Middletown WORKS
What do flower pots and foster parents have to do with each other? Well apparently, when you bring together people from various backgrounds and diverse perspectives, unlikely things happen.

These unlikely combinations have been emerging as a result of our Community Cafés, which began in January 2019. During these events, community residents, staff from nonprofit agencies, business owners and parents gather together to talk, share food and participate in unique activities, such as  “table talks” and a “marketplace.”

During a marketplace, community members have an opportunity to state their name and make an offer, a request, a declaration or simply pass.

Members have offered things like clothing, art supplies and handmade slippers. Others have made requests such as, “If anyone is able to offer me a ride to the grocery store this Saturday, please let me know,” or “I’m looking for new flower pots — mine are broken,” or “We are looking for foster parents in the Middletown/Middlesex area, so if you know of anyone, please let me know!”

After sharing this story at a team meeting, one of our partners shouted, “from flower pots to foster parents!”

Our culture is highly individualized — placing a huge focus on self-expression and self-interest, with little regard for the collective whole.  Creating intentional space(s) where people can be themselves, and gather with others they may not normally see on a regular basis allows for these unlikely ideas to emerge.

How many times have you heard the phrase: “Just do you.” Middletown WORKS is working to change that.

We intentionally put relationships first. In the words of David Brooks, an op-ed columnist for The New York Times, “Culture changes when a small group of people, often on the margins of society, find a better way to live, and other people begin to copy them. We need to create hubs where these decentralized networks can come together for solidarity and support,” Feb. 18, “A Nation of Weavers”.

For just under a year, we have been working diligently to create hubs for people to come together to dialogue across differences, and connect with others in our neighborhood. Along with offering a monthly café, we have also been offering monthly conversation circles.  These are more intimate and take place on the third Thursday of the month from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Family Wellness Center, 635 Main St. We welcome all single parents and/or anyone who cares about single-parent families in Middletown to join us for conversation and light refreshments.

As Middletown WORKS expands, we are looking to grow not only good ideas, but also our social network. All individuals and businesses who would like to make a difference for Middletown’s single-parent families are invited.  Increasing the prosperity of Middletown’s single-parent families will take all of us coming working together.

We invite you to reach out and get involved by visiting us on Facebook, going to our website or joining us at our next Community Café, scheduled for Thursday, August 8, from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. at Wesleyan University.  You might be pleasantly surprised by what you experience!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Films on Foss 2019 is Here!

Films on Foss kicks off it's 5th summer of offering free, family-friendly, outdoor movies on July 13th. Join us for... 
Picnic starts at 7pm and movies at 8:30pm (or shortly after depending on the sunset).
This completely youth-developed and youth-led project by Middletown's Mayoral Youth Cabinet wouldn't be possible without the generosity of our community. A HUGE thanks to our lead sponsors Wesleyan University's College of Film, Middlesex United Way, and Eli Cannon's. 
For weather updates and cancelations be sure to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Public Input Sessions For Long-term City Plan

The author is Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The consultants hired by the city to facilitate the writing of the next Plan of Conservation and Development will present what they have learned about the priorities of residents with respect to sustainable development and infrastructure at the beginning of tonight's meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission (7PM, City Hall).

The summary of input at the previous public workshops is available HERE.

Tonight's meeting is dubbed a "listening session" for the consultants and for the Planning and Zoning Commission: members of the public are encouraged to provide further input into what they feel are important considerations to be included in the city's most important long-term planning document.

According to the consultants:
  • Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Doing so must integrate and balance economic, environmental, and social goals.
  • Infrastructure refers to the basic facilities and installations that help a government or community run, including roads, schools, phone lines, sewage treatment plants and power generation, plus services including law enforcement, transit, emergency services, healthcare, education, etc.
At the listening sessions, the consultants will give a brief presentation of many of the issues identified in the surveys and community input sessions that took place in the spring.

The presentation for Wednesday's session is HERE. Following the presentation, members of the public will be given ample opportunity to make suggestions and comments on what should be included in the POCD.

Below is the full schedule of listening sessions.

July 10th at 7:00 PM 
Sustainability and Infrastructure (Presentation)
  • Ecologic/Economic Sustainability
  • Resiliency (Hazard Mitigation, Adaptation, Response and Recovery, Energy)
  • Complete Streets Sustainable CT, Environmental Justice Input
  • Community Facilities and Services, including General Government
  • Education, Social Services and Public Safety
  • Vehicular Systems and Transit
July 24th at 7:00 PM
Development and Revitalization:
  • Downtown
  • Riverfront
  • Corridors/Key Nodes
  • Business, Economic Development, Housing Needs

August 14th at 7:00 PM
  • Natural Resources
  • Open Space
  • Historic Resources
  • Community Character/Scenic Resources

Democratic Mayoral Candidates Forum Saturday

From the Rob Blanchard, Chair of the Democratic Town Committee.

Please join us and hear from our 5 declared Mayoral candidates! Everyone is welcome, invite a friend!

Saturday, July 13th 11:30am-1pm
Exley Science Center- 265 Church Street, Room 121

Parking is available in the lots on Church Street, and behind the building on the Lawn Street side.

*We ask that you please reserve the first row of seating for folks needing accessibility, and for the hearing impaired.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Crystal Lake Hike and Picnic

Saturday, August 3, 2019 (rain date 8/4)
Group Hike: 11:30am

Picnic: 1 – 4pm

Crystal Lake at McCutcheon Park, Livingston Road, Middletown

Join a group walk led by The Rockfall Foundation through the hilly, wooded trails of McCutcheon Park. Experience large mountain laurel groves and rock formations from the early Jurassic period, 201 million years old. Narrow, packed dirt trail with some flat and some steeper sections. Approximately 1.5-2 mile hike meeting at the Crystal Lake pavilion at 11:30, wrapping up around 1pm for a picnic**. Time permitting we’ll also explore a short lakeside trail where blue heron and other birds may be spotted. Bring water and tick repellent. Wear sneakers (no sandals). Rain postpones hike and picnic to August 4th. No dogs on the hike, please.

**Enjoy a Summer Picnic with The Rockfall Foundation environmentalist community on August 3, 1-4pm. Burgers and hotdogs (meat and non-meat options), corn-on-the-cob, watermelon, and soft drinks to be served at the pavilion on Crystal Lake at McCutcheon Park, Middletown. Potluck dishes to share would be a welcome addition. Swim in Crystal Lake or bring your paddleboard or kayak. Wildlife, birds, and hiking trails surround the area, with a guided walk beginning at 11:30am, concluding in time for the picnic. All are welcome to join the hike and/or the picnic. Free for members of The Rockfall Foundation and their immediate family or a plus one guest. $5 donation for non-members for the picnic. RSVP required for the picnic. Please RSVP to amanda@rockfallfoundation.org by 7/31 with the number in your party, and a potluck dish, if you’re bringing one.  Bring your own place setting or we’ll have recycled paper plates, cups, napkins and utensils available. Rain date for both activities is August 4th, at the same times.

Directions to Crystal Lake at McCutcheon Park: From Randolph Road (Route 155), turn south onto Millbrook Road. Follow Millbrook for 1.5 miles and take the fifth right onto Livingston Road. After 0.2 miles, take the first right off Livingston into McCutcheon Park.  (Don’t rely on GPS, but if you do, “Crystal Lake Park” is the most accurate destination in Google Maps.) After passing the guard booth, turn left and park at the far end of the lot where you will see our pavilion.


Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, The Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants.  Learn more about our work and other events, such as our monthly Meet Your Greens networking social, at www.rockfallfoundation.org.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Wednesday at 7pm: Free Outdoor Concert by Phat A$tronaut at Wesleyan University

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 at 7pm
Center for the Arts Courtyard, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown, Connecticut

Bring a picnic, then dance with family and friends at a free outdoor concert at Wesleyan University by New Haven's experimental soul ensemble Phat A$tronaut, who have created meticulously crafted arrangements with pop-sensible songwriting since 2016.

Click here for more information about this event.