Saturday, December 28, 2019

Godfrey Memorial Library - Genealogy Club

Date:  Saturday, January 04, 2020
Time:  9:30 - 11:00 am
Topic:  New Year’s Resolution:  Get Organized!

Resolve to start 2020 off right by getting your genealogy in order.  This is a Work & Share session.  If you have a great system for organizing your digital or paper files, share it with the rest of us!  After the group discussion, you can spend time actually organizing your stuff.  Bring that pile of disorganized papers, folders, and binders, and get to work clearing the clutter.  Bring your laptop loaded with a genealogy software program, and start using it to full advantage to organize your digital files.

Free to Godfrey Premium members.  $10 per session for all others.  Open to the general public.  Attendees will have time after the meeting to do research at the library.

134 Newfield Street, Middletown
Tel. (860) 346-4375

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Saturday: Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center Dedication Concert at MHS

Submitted by Frank LoGiudice, Naming Committee Member, MHS Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center.
A dedication concert for the Middletown High School Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center will
take place on Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 7 p.m. located at 200 LaRosa Lane.  Fragilio was a former Music Teacher, MHS Band Director and Arts Consultant for the Middletown Public Schools since 1948. Fragilio died in 2017.

Fragilio's name will be displayed on the outside and inside of the new MHS Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center along with artwork depicting Mr. Fragilio hung in the foyer done by Naming Committee member Mike Eagle.  Plus, banners will be displayed outside signifying the MHS Santo Fragilio Performing Arts Center on light poles in the parking lot.

The Middletown Symphonic Band will be one of the main acts at this year's Annual Holiday Spectacular and will feature the Middletown High School Music Department and the Connecticut Trombone Christmas Ensemble.  An assortment of concert fanfare such as fantasias & medleys will highlight the evening performance with holiday tunes such as "Joy To The World," "Deck The Halls," "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" and other holiday classics.

Admission is $10 and all proceeds will go to the MHS Music Department.  Tickets may be purchased at the Middlesex Music Academy on Main Street, the MHS Music Department, sending an e-mail to  or at the door.

Editor’s Note:  I would like to dedicate this article to my mother Josephine LoGiudice who died on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at Middlesex Hospital and my late father Rosario S. LoGiudice.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

12 Alternatives To Unrecyclable Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper is not recyclable in Connecticut - not even if it’s made from recycled paper. Decorative ribbons, bows, and glitter-laden decor aren’t either.

How can you avoid using wrapping paper while keeping the holiday spirit? Here are 12 ways to avoid unrecyclable wrapping paper.

1. Gift an experience, not an object. Besides saving on wrapping paper, gifting an experience eliminates bulky product packing as well. Gift cards, tickets and memberships for things like museums, plays, concerts, a gym, a river cruise or train ride, or restaurants and cafes can be tailored to almost anyone, any age. Or make a donation to a charity in honor of the recipient.

2. Wrapping materials from around the house. Paper options include old maps, newspaper, magazines, old calendars, your child’s artwork, sheet music, leftover wallpaper, or brown paper bags – plain or decorated with your own drawing or painting. If you sew, you probably have fabric scraps you could use. Yarn and twine can be used to secure and decorate packages. Add sprigs from your tree for a seasonal touch.

3. Baskets. Rather than hiding the gifts, turn them into a lovely display in a basket. Visit your local thrift stores to find affordable baskets.

4. Mason jars. Not just for jam and sauce! Anything that would use a small box, such as jewelry, can be placed in a mason jar with fabric scraps, yarn or cotton as packing.

5. Reusable shopping or produce bags. Place the gift in a tote bag or produce bag and you’ll turn the wrapping into a gift that can be used over and over again!

6. Towels, Blankets, Bandanas or Scarves. If you are giving a kitchen-themed gift, wrap it up with a dish towel. Nestle baby gifts inside a soft, new, baby blanket. Gifts for ladies can be wrapped in a pretty scarf. Larger gifts for the home can be bundled in a throw blanket. Tie up a gift for the outdoor enthusiast in a bandana. Here’s how to tie a fabric package.

7. Reusable Gift Wrap. There are many options on Etsy for gift wrap that the recipient would be able to use on their next gift.

8. Boxes. Save the brown boxes from shipments and dress them up with paint, twine, evergreen boughs, or fabric ribbons.

9. Clay Flower Pot. You can even use a drip tray as a lid, tied with twine.

10. Inside-out Chip Bags. The shiny, silver inside of potato chip bags makes beautiful wrap, and it’s easy to do. Here’s how. 

11. Reused Gift Bags. If you aren’t already saving the paper gift bags and tissue paper that you receive gifts in, start now and use them for next year!

12. Don’t Wrap. Some people hate wrapping and skip it altogether. A family tradition that you could start at home would be to hide the gifts throughout the house. A holiday scavenger hunt with clues will add fun and teamwork to your family’s holiday.

There you have it - 12 ways to keep wrapping paper out of the trash. What do YOU like to do? Please comment to share your ideas!

Thank you for joining efforts to conserve resources and live more sustainably!
Brought to you by The Rockfall Foundation, 27 Washington Street, Middletown

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.  In addition, The Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center that offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations. For more information, visit our website or call 860-347-0340.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Winter 2020 After-School Classes!

Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater in Middletown has announced its Winter 2020 programs in the arts, for young people ages 6-20. Programs begin in early January and range from classes in theater, music, and visual arts to Mainstage theater and circus Productions.
Oddfellows has been offering fun and challenging theater and circus experiences to central Connecticut young people since 1975, and has consistently been recognized by Connecticut Magazine as the State's "Best Children's Theater". This Winter, the Playhouse will be offering young people of all ages opportunities to create, train and perform. 
Young people ages 6 – 12 are offered a host of classes in the after-school hours Monday through ThursdayClasses for ages 6 – 8 include Culture Couture, Seuss on the Loose, Circus Arts 1, Musical Mentoring and Complete Actor 1. For ages 9 -11 there is Musical Mentoring, Complete Actor II, Circus Arts 2, Intro to Musical Theater and Hip Hop Dance. Students ages 11-14 can join in Circus Arts 3, Technical Theater & Design, Teen Hip Hop or join our Junior Repertory Company's Mainstage Production of The Love of Three Oranges-- directed by Dic Wheeler. Performances will take place March 12-14. All classes & rehearsals begin the week of January 13. Middletown Public School students ages 6 – 14 can also sign up for Oddbridge, an extended-day program in which students take the bus directly from school to Oddfellows and participate in Arts Programming before formal classes start at 4:30pm. Oddbridge is designed to take you from the school bus to performing arts classes, while preparing you for successful class and production experiences.
Saturday "Circrobatics" classes are also being offered for students 18 months- 8 years old. Starting January 11. 
The Teen Repertory Company-- the Playhouse's senior company for ages 14 -20, will be doing Romeo and Juliet this upcoming Spring. In preparation for this Mainstage Production, Oddfellows is offering a Compleate Shakespearean Actor class, designed to train students in classical acting, voice, text analysis and stage combat. Class will meet Monday evenings, starting January 6. Teen Rep. students also have the opportunity to join a Writing Plays Class, that will meet on Thursday evenings, starting January 9. Lastly! Teenagers can join Circophony's Mainstage Winter Production: Spysight is 20/20. Circophony Teen Circus is a collaboration between ARTFARM and Oddfellows Playhouse. Performances will be February 27-29. 
Oddfellows programs are tuition based, but the Playhouse is committed to making these experiences available to every young person, regardless of ability to pay. Please refer to the website for financial aid information, official class listings and registration.
For details about any of the above programs and more go to or contact Oddfellows at or call (860) 347-6143.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

2019, First Church Candlelight Christmas Concert, SUNDAY, Dec. 15

Annual Candlelight Christmas
Concert a
t First Church
on Court Street

Sunday, December 15, 4 pm

You are invited to the Annual Candlelight Christmas Concert at First Church on Sunday, December 15, at 4 pm. Relax in the quiet of the sanctuary as our choirs sing carols and anthems of the season. Join in congregational singing of familiar favorite hymns. It's a great time to decompress from the holiday hustle and enjoy the stillness of the moment.
Our beautiful stained-glass window.
First Church Senior Choir, Celebration Singers, and Heart in Hand Bell Choir are directed by Music Minister Shari Lucas, with Court Street Singers men's choir, led by Curt Weybright. Our pastor, Rev. Julia Burkey, will lead worship.

First Church is located at 190 Court Street in Middletown, a half block from Main Street. The congregation is an open and affirming (O&A) all are welcome.   

Free parking is available nearby. The concert is free; offerings are appreciated. And a generous buffet reception follows the concert. 

For more information, please contact our church office manager at 860-346-6657 or at

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Protest, Plays and Planetary Paths

Protest, Plays and Planetary Paths

Calling Climate Activists, Artists and Everyone who can Imagine a Healthy Planetary Future!

ARTFARM and Oddfellows Playhouse invite you to join us for "Protest, Plays and Planetary Paths" on Saturday, December 7 at 3 pm.
The event will begin with a short demonstration/performance at 3 pm on the corner of Washington and Main Streets in Middletown. From there we will walk up the hill a short distance to Oddfellows Playhouse, where we will present staged readings of a few short Climate Action plays and some other examples of activism as performance.
Finally, we'll break into smaller groups for a short brainstorming session about creative activism toward real change on a local and global level.

"Protest, Plays and Planetary Paths" was inspired by a national initiative called "Climate Change Theater Action". For this dozens of theaters across the country are producing plays and creating actions to educate and provoke the population about climate change. The presentation is timed to coincide with the current UN Climate Change Summit in Madrid, and is the day after the National Climate Strike.
The event is free.

For more information, or to help making signs and other props for the Main Street demonstration, contact, or call (860) 346-4390.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Middletown High to Expand Academic Offerings for "New Collar" Careers

Middletown, Connecticut, December 2, 2019    No-College-Debt and high paying salaries is music to a parent’s ears… and it should be.  Middletown Public Schools (MPS) is leading the way in Connecticut by founding a new Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing program aimed at providing students with high-tech, employable skills in ‘new collar’ careers needed RIGHT NOW in Connecticut.  “We are Middletown, home of the Pratt & Whitney Engine Factory, Aerospace and Manufacturing is who we are,” says Paul Pelletier, Aerospace and Manufacturing Instructor. 
Beginning fall of 2020 Middletown High School will add two survey courses in Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing to its Career and Technical Education (CTE) offerings. Students will be able to earn college credit and industry certifications, as well as touring industry partner facilities, attending summer intensives, and learning about career opportunities in the region.
On Friday, December 6, 2019, as a precursor to the launch of the Aerospace & Advanced Manufacturing program, all 300 eighth grade students from Woodrow Wilson Middle School will have the chance to experience a Robinson R44 helicopter ‘up close and personal’ on the field opposite the school beginning at 9am. The Robinson R44 is the most manufactured helicopter in the world today.  Its mission ranges from law enforcement, to news media, executive transportation, agriculture, tours, and rescue. On hand to answer questions will be Tom Barclay, Director of Maintenance for Lifestar (30 years, RET), Dan Colt, Assistant Chief Pilot, Northeast Helicopters, Katelyn Gardiner, Civil Air Patrol Cadet, and Paul Pelletier, Aerospace and Manufacturing Instructor, Middletown High School. The helicopter represents the opportunities afforded by the aerospace industry, literally the sky’s the limit for students willing to invest their time and energy in the field.
David Reynolds, Coordinator of CTE at MPS noted, “There is such a need in Connecticut in aerospace that many companies will pay for college for motivated employees that want to work in their high-tech facilities.  These businesses are flush with high-tech gadgetry that is fun and interesting to students.  It is a Win-Win.”
Richard Aboulafia, Vice President of Analysis at Teal Group and keynote speaker at the November 20, 2019 Aerospace Components Manufacturers Association trade show noted, “There is absolutely no place in this business for anything that’s not ...high skill or high wage.
The new initiative ties directly to Middletown Public Schools’ Strategic Operating Plan: Middletown 2021 Keys to Innovation and Equity, Unlocking the Potential of ALL Students, that outlines the district’s collective journey focused on preparing students for the competitive global market of the 21st century and strives to position itself as the most progressive education enterprise in the state.
Dr. Michael T. Conner, Superintendent, Middletown Public Schools stated, “One of our district strategies emanating from the Strategic Operating Plan is to establish successful education models that promote choice and achievement through innovation. The new Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing program is a teacher and administrator driven initiative that will position our students for success in the marketplace and in life. I applaud their efforts in launching this landmark initiative.”
For inquiries regarding this initiative please contact The Office of the Superintendent, Middletown Public Schools, 860.638.1422.