Monday, August 31, 2020

Public Service Announcement; regarding the great new incentives available to folks who schedule a home energy assessment THIS FALL, while the visit is FREE and includes terrific rebates for insulation and other weatherization measures

"The Home Energy Solutions (HES) program that is funded by a small fee on our electric bills is offering FREE home energy audits until the end of 2020.  There are new, more generous rebates for efficiency improvements, with no-cost efficiency work for those who are income eligible.  There are larger incentive payments for windows, air or ground source heat pumps, or insulation, and the audit includes several free conservation measures during the visit.  The program is free if you have not had an audit in the past 36 months.  This revised program is designed to make up for the time lost this year because of the pandemic, and includes new safety procedures to cope with COVID19.  One of them is a virtual pre-audit by phone.  You can apply for a free home audit by phone at 1-877-WISE-USE (9473-873) or online at ."

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Middletown Common Council To Consider Declaration Of Climate Emergency

As you may have noticed, our national government has utterly failed to provide leadership in the face of the global climate crisis. Once we get through the Covid-19 pandemic — another area of failed leadership — we will still face this even more threatening, though slower moving, crisis. Regardless of what you hear on the evening news lately, climate change has not been put on pause. What are concerned, climate-conscious citizens to do? In addition to reducing our own carbon footprint, we need to take action at the local level.

Middletown’s Sustainability Team and Clean Energy Task Force have proposed a resolution to Mayor Florsheim and to the Common Council, declaring a climate emergency and resolving to take local action to reduce carbon emissions and to pressure state and federal leaders to face this crisis. 

To illustrate the magnitude of the climate crisis, consider this. For the past 800,000 years, the concentration of atmospheric CO2 varied between 180 and 280 parts per million (ppm) as the earth’s climate fluctuated between ice ages and warm spells. In the last 170 years, since 1850, when the industrial revolution accelerated the burning of fossil fuels, atmospheric CO2 has increased from 280 to over 410 ppm. Is that serious? The last time the earth’s atmosphere had 410 ppm was in the Pliocene era, approximately 4 million years ago. In the Pliocene, sea level varied 10-25 meters higher than at present, and the coastline of Virginia was 90 miles inland from its present location. (See photo.) If we stay at 410 ppm, eventually the delayed warming will catch up to the CO2 level and the eastern seaboard of the United States will be completely underwater. (Green dots show location of shoreline in the Pliocene era.)

To avoid the worst climate catastrophe, we need to look beyond the pandemic and the November elections that are consuming the public’s attention. Since state and federal governments have proved themselves incapable of an adequate response, action needs to come from the grassroots and local governments. To register your support of local climate action, sign the petition which will be forwarded to city officials. You will be informed when further support for climate action is needed.

Petition Text: "In light of our national government's failure to address climate change adequately, I support the City of Middletown's Declaration of a Climate Emergency, directing our city government--both elected officials and municipal departments--to lead our community in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to advocate for urgent climate action at the state, federal, and international levels."

Sign The Petition on the Jonah Center website here.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Immediate Job Opening for Program Manager

August 31st Start Date - Apply Now!

Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater in Middletown, CT is hiring a Program Manager for the fall season of outdoor and online classes and potentially beyond. This is a part-time, hourly position, approximately 25 hours per week.

Responsibilities include:

coordination and support of our fall series of outdoor classes in Middletown

managing enrollment

communication with families


coordination of teaching staff and teaching assistants

marketing and outreach, including social media

managing program safety according to CDC guidelines

updating website

communication with bus company, schools and other partners


*The position will require some in-person work indoors in a safe work environment, as well as supervising outdoor after-school classes. 

The ideal candidate has:

an attention to detail

is completely reliable

communicates well with families, students and staff

understands the unique attributes of teaching performing arts

can assess and respond to risk factors effectively

has experience as a teacher

is comfortable  maintaining safety protocols and managing behavior

enjoys working in a fluid, diverse environment

has a positive attitude and will represent the organization well


People of color are encouraged to apply. Spanish a plus.

This is an immediate opening, scheduled to start work August 31.

Please send a short cover letter and resume to as soon as possible.

We're an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status

Thursday, August 20, 2020

August 22 & 29 Outdoor Yoga Classes


Yoga at the Mansion

to benefit The Rockfall Foundation

2 Classes Remaining - Register Now!

We're entering the final weeks for yoga classes in Wadsworth Mansion’s rose garden. Register now with Starr Mill Yoga for this Saturday August 22, and the final class next week on August 29. Enjoy the healthy benefits of breath, movement and being outdoors, while supporting The Rockfall Foundation with your $20 registration. Classes begin at 10:30 a.m. All levels welcome. Capacity is limited to allow 6 feet spacing. After class, enjoy the mansion’s expansive grounds, walking trails, notable trees and exotic plants.

For more information, or to book multiple dates or multiple attendees at once, email or call 860.740.4939.

The Rockfall Foundation is a Middletown-based non-profit organization supporting environmental education and conservation in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Environmental Grants Available from The Rockfall Foundation

 Information Session to be Held September 10

The Rockfall Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2021 Annual Environmental Grants Program, available to non-profit organizations, municipalities, and schools. The Environmental Grants are for projects and programs that support the environment through conservation, preservation, restoration or education in the Lower Connecticut River Valley, which includes Middlesex County as well as Lyme and Old Lyme. 

“Through all the challenges this year, The Rockfall Foundation remains committed to supporting community projects,” said Amanda Kenyon, Grants and Communications Coordinator. “It’s been a hard year for many organizations, and we’re adapting our grants process to acknowledge that. We want to ensure a sustainable future.” 

All interested applicants are encouraged to attend a virtual information session on September 10. Applications are due by November 10.  More information is available at

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education and conservation in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants. Founded in 1935, the Foundation is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2020. As one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations, it continues its mission set by founding philanthropist Colonel Clarence S. Wadsworth. The Rockfall Foundation has awarded over a half million dollars since the inception of its grant program in 1972. The Rockfall Foundation also operates the historic deKoven House Community Center that offers meeting and event room rentals 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 or call 860-347-0340.



Sunday, August 16, 2020

Cat Tales Annual Walk-A-Thon/Run and our New VIRTUAL WALK for 2020

Cat Tales Walk-A-Thon In Person or VIRTUAL WALK!

Come out and join us at MXCC or *NEW* Walk in YOUR AREA due to COVID-19 concerns

The Walk/Run takes place at:
Middlesex Community College,
100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, CT (Upper Parking Lot)

Date: August 22, 2020

Check in: Arrive and register between 8:30AM and 10AM, then immediately begin your walk/run!
NEW THIS YEAR – VIRTUAL WALK! Anyone can participate in the Cat Tales 2020 Virtual Cat Walk. Just set up your fundraising page and begin collecting pledges. Form a team with family and friends no matter where they live. Complete the 2.2 mile walk where you live, on your favorite walking path or hiking trail on a date of your choice – on or before August 22. Don't forget to take photos and send them to Cat Tales to include on our Facebook page.

We thank you for supporting this fundraiser and hope for your continued support.

Without you and our volunteers, we could not fulfill our mission.

If you are interested in participating in this event please register here and a packet will be mailed to you. If you are interested in sponsoring someone for this event please click here.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Middlesex Community College In-Person Registration: August 15 "Super Saturday"

Welcome to Middlesex Community College's campus for Super Saturday—a one-stop, in-person fall semester registration event on Saturday, August 15. Hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The campus is located at 100 Training Hill Road in Middletown.

Meet with an advisor, finalize your schedule, and register for fall classes. Representatives from student services, financial aid, and the business offices are available to assist you along the way. The MxCC Bookstore will also be open. Please click here for mandatory covid-19 guidelines and event details.

With fall classes starting on August 26, now is the time to take advantage of affordable and high-quality education at MxCC. Stay on track and save thousands in tuition cost over four-year universities.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday! 

For other fall semester registration options, please click here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Sign Here: "I'm a Racist"

COMMENTARY: This opinion piece is written by Ed McKeon who is one of the founders of The Middletown Eye, and a Common Council member.  This is McKeon's individual opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any other elected official, or the City of Middletown.  

To say I am disappointed is an understatement. 

I am shocked.  I am angry.  And I am disgusted.

Yesterday I found out that a former Common Council member had filed a request to gather petition signatures for referendum item to rename the new middle school for President Woodrow Wilson.

Amos G. Beman
Amos G. Beman
The new middle school has a name - Beman Middle School, honoring an influential, historical African American family from Middletown.

Despite being president, there is no historical doubt that Woodrow Wilson was a self-avowed segregationist and a racist.

Don't get me wrong, any citizen has a right to petition the government, by our charter (though there is still some consideration in this case whether the petition request is legal).  Such a petition is required to acquire signatures from 10% of the registered voters in town by a deadline 60 days before the election. All petitions, and the signatures thereon, are public information.

In this case, considering the facts, I can only come to a single conclusion.

If you are gathering signatures to honor a racist. It's a racist act.

If you sign a petition to honor a racist.  It's a racist act.

I'm shocked that proponents of the "Wilson" name are still beating a dead horse. 

The name was vetted by a Board of Ed naming committee, approved by the committee and the Board of Education, was approved by the City's Public Works commission, was given a public hearing according to charter by the Common Council, and was voted in a unanimous majority by the Common Council (with one abstention).

The opposition offered a number of arguments in opposition (though they did not, with a very few exceptions, show support at the Common Council public hearing). Some arguments were more convincing than others: alumni had sentimental attachment to the old name (perfectly understandable); alumni had been promised the Wilson name would remain on the school (no evidence was offered); the minority, Republican party was not included on the original naming committee (a Republican member was appointed, but didn't or wouldn't show up to meetings, and even though he is chair of the local party, did not find a replacement); that bonding was somehow at risk (it wasn't and isn't); that there was more public support for the "Wilson" name than for Beman Middle School (there wasn't): and that "the process" was "not fair" or "not adequate" or "not thorough" (after nearly a year of research, consideration, debate and open, public decision-making, this argument is just silly).

So this last ditch effort to strip the school of a name honoring a prominent Africa-American Middletown family and to resurrect a name honoring an old bigot, is just a puzzle and a terrible shame.

Here's what I said the night the Common Council voted to accept the Beman name.

We live in terribly divided times. Today, our country has been saddled with a president who is a racist, and worse still, consistently encourages other racists to spew their bigoted hatred. I’m afraid we can’t view this controversy through any other lens.

Woodrow Wilson was a racist. He was a self-avowed segregationist. As president, he implemented Jim Crow segregation in federal offices by saying he was: “seeking, not to put the Negro employees at a disadvantage but ... to make arrangements which would prevent any kind of friction between the white employees and the Negro employees.” 

Imagine that, separate bathrooms. "Because it was good for them." Separate water fountains. "Because it was good for them." Separate pay scales. "Because it was good for them." 

You’ve heard it before, right? 

Separate schools. "Because it was good for them." Separate seats on the bus, in the back. "Because it was good for them." Separate voting rules. "Because it was good for them." 

You and I know what Woodrow Wilson, and every other bigot who followed him through the 20th century was really saying. Not, "it’s good for them." They were saying "it’s good for us.”

Legally sanctioned segregation no longer exists, but the shadow is long, and the prejudices and fears still scar our country. So, we will not again, name a school after a racist. Because if we did, we’d be honoring a racist. And when a community honors a racist, that community will be seen as racist. And we will not allow this for Middletown.

It is not rewriting history. It is “righting” r-i-g-h-t-i-n-g history. Making it right. Making it correct. Making it true.

And that’s what we’ll do tonight when we name the new middle school after the amazing Beman family. A family whose patriarch Cesar Beaman named himself after he found freedom fighting in the American Revolution. 

Talk about a founding father. He help found the country. He found his freedom. He found himself. He founded a community.  And he founded a family name. Beman, because he would no longer be a slave. He would no longer be someone else’s property. He would no longer be overlooked, and powerless. He would Be A Man. 

Beman. It’s a powerful name.

And his family, they were soldiers, and merchants, abolitionists, preachers, entrepreneurs, teachers, founders of a prominent Middletown Church, Cross Street AME Zion, founders of a free black community, respected fighters for the rights of African American men and women.

As I said, it’s a divided time. But we’re on the verge of important changes. We have been shocked, as a nation, into a realization that we must fight racism wherever we find it. We have come to a realization that Black Lives Matter, and that it’s time to stop talking and to take action. So tonight we will take action. And tonight we will recognize, finally, the Beman’s place in Middletown history, and the history of this country. We will bestow an appropriate name on a school so that every child can be proud learning in a school named for true giants in the history of fighting for freedom.

With that being said, I encourage my fellow Middletown resident to withdraw the request for petitions. And, if such petition goes forward, I request my neighbors and community members not to sign.

And I make a vow to spare no energy in my opposition to any referendum that supports racism in Middletown.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Weekly Zoom Events Schedule


The doors of The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts Center currently remain closed

as we continue to prioritize the safety of our community during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,

however, the show must go on! We remain dedicated to bringing music and art to our community

through our five ongoing Zoom programs which can be accessed via our website

Our weekly program schedule is as follows:


Mondays 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm ZOOM Anything Goes Open Mic & Moments of Gratitude:

Sign up starts at 6:30 pm, the open mic at 7:00 pm. During the open mic we also host

Moments of Gratitude, sharing our gratitude to build positive energy and encouragement!

A donation of $5 per person is suggested.

Tuesdays 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm ZOOM Laughter Yoga with MylĂ©ne: These days we must

increase our immune system - and laughter is a good, and fun way to do that. Laughter

decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies,

thus improving your resistance to disease. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins,

the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. This activity is sure to brighten up your day.

A donation of $5 per person is suggested.

Thursdays 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm ZOOM Acoustic Open Mic with Bob Gotta: Bob is creating and

performing his music and will host online Open Mic as usual. Sign ups start at 6:00 pm!

A donation of $5 per person is suggested.

Saturdays 10:30 am – 12:00 pm ZOOM Align with Source - A Spiritual Empowerment Workshop with

Annaita Gandhi: “As our world moves into a higher frequency, the 5th Dimension, our series of

ongoing workshops offer guidance in understanding events and making the required shifts within

ourselves. These are wonderful times and opportunities to create a beautiful new world on a higher

level, one of love, truth, and integrity serving ALL.” To attend this program please contact

The Buttonwood Tree directly for the Zoom information. 

Sunday, August 23, 1:00 pm: ZOOM Our newest episode of The Listening Tree: The Listening Tree

Talk Show's next guests are K9-Koda and Officer Matthew Bloom from the Middletown, CT, Police

Department. K-9 Koda is a well-trained dog who is very popular in the Middletown, CT community.

He is part of the Police K-9 Unit. In a team effort with his handler, Officer Bloom, Koda helps make

the community a safer place to live. Tune in to The Listening Tree on our Facebook Live and YouTube

channel. You can watch the first two episodes via our website. 

TBT Talk: In an effort to provide more digital content to our Buttonwood community, we have launched

TBT Talk, The Buttonwood’s new podcast. Each week, two of our “sensational six” summer interns will

sit down with artists, performers, instructors, and familiar faces at The Buttonwood to find

out the role they play in making The Buttonwood an internationally recognized performing arts center

and learn how they got involved in what they love to do.

TBT Talk is a weekly podcast and will be releasing new episodes every Saturday. It is streaming on all major podcast platforms like Spotify,
Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. The best part is that it is completely free! We know you’re dying to listen…
All you have to do is search “TBT Talk” on those podcast platforms! Episode one is already on Spotify featuring Terri Lachance and the next
episode will be released soon and featuring Deni Young.

We hope to see many new and returning faces in these weekly events and look forward to seeing

you all back in The Buttonwood Tree in the future!

Friday, August 7, 2020


 Your vote is important.
As a follow-up to the information received by Frank that I just posted, I called the town clerk's office because I have not yet received my ballot. The person I spoke to at the town clerk's office stated that 1,700 people still have not received their ballots, and the town clerk's office is working very hard to get all remaining ballots to the post office today.
As I understand it, the problem stems from an issue with the private company that was handling the ballots, and that company is no longer contracted by the state.
As long as you receive your ballot by Tuesday, you can fill it out and drop it off at one of the drop boxes, which is my plan as it certainly doesn't make sense to mail it back because it likely would not be received back on time.
What about those people who may not be able to drop off their ballots?
What about those who may never receive the ballot before Tuesday or at all?
What then?
Go to the poll if you are able to, and demand better for our November election.
Let's learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them.
Every vote is important.

Update: our state's absentee ballot woes made national news. Here ia a CNN article explaining more about it:

Primary Elections Information

Submitted by Frank Logiudice



Tuesday, August 11, 2020 will be the Connecticut Presidential Preference Primary across the state.  Voters affiliated with the Democratic & Republican political parties will be able to cast their ballots to decide who will be their party’s nominee for president for the November 3, 2020 presidential election.  The voting hours are from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.   


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order allowing all people to vote by absentee ballot by checking off the box labeled COVID-19.  Applications were sent out to all voters in July.  According to Middletown Town Clerk Ashley Flynn-Natale she stated "Absentee ballots by law cannot be issued until July 21st.  Around that time, you should be receiving yours in the mail." According to City Clerk Flynn-Natale "The ballots are being issued by a mail house and they are sending them out as fast as they can." 


 If you did not receive your absentee ballot yet please contact the Town Clerk's office either by phone at 860.638.4910 or by email at  There is still time to send in your application for an absentee ballot to vote by absentee for the Presidential Preference Primary on Tuesday, August 11th according to Flynn-Natale.  Just don’t delay much longer. 


Please vote on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 either by going to your polling place or by sending in your absentee ballot as soon as possible either by U.S. Mail or dropping it off in the designated boxes outside the Middletown City Hall Building.  There are two boxes near the corner of Mellili Plaza and Court Street and they are checked “every hour or so”  according to Town Clerk Flynn-Natale . To find out where your polling place is call either the Town Clerk's office or contact the Democratic & Republican Registrar of Voters: Elizabeth Santangelo-Democratic Registrar or David Bauer-Republican Registrar.  Their email addresses are and  The phone number is 860-638-4950.  If you vote in person please wear a mask and follow the social distancing guidelines by remaining six feet apart from the next person. Please do your part to help flatten the curve. 

Information above courtesy of Frank Logiudice