Thursday, May 6, 2021

Oddfellows Playhouse presents Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992


Oddfellows Playhouse is bringing in-person theater back to central Connecticut! Get tickets here.

The Teen Repertory Company will be performing Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, by Anna Deavere Smith

Twilight is a powerful piece of documentary theater exploring the riots following the acquittal of the police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King. Originally performed as a one-woman show by author Deavere-Smith, the play features over 20 characters representing many perspectives on the incident - including Rodney King’s aunt, Korean grocery store owners, LA Police Chief Daryl Gates, gang members, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, truck driver Reginald Denny, the leader of the Black Panther Party, and others. The play remains relevant today -- the two weekend run will coincide with the one year anniversary of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Oddfellows Executive Artistic Director Dic Wheeler, who is directing the production, says “This has been an amazing piece to work on right now, especially with our very diverse cast and production team. Watching the trial of Derek Chauvin unfold while immersing ourselves in the story of Rodney King has been powerful and painful for everyone; we’re all in the journey, and we’re aiming to bring ourselves and the audience to a place of Hope and Justice at this moment in history”.

Choreography for the production is by Felicia Goodwine; Vocal Director/Assistant Director is Diamond Wynn; Costume Designer is Vijor McCray; Properties Designer Pamela Lang; Sound Designer Rowan Trowbridge-Wheeler; Stage Manager Jen Rankin; and Sound Engineering by Thunder and Lighting.

Tickets for this production are $15 for adults and $8 for students. “Big Heart” tickets for $25 are available for anyone wanting to support Oddfellows’ work with young people, the arts and social justice.

Dates: May 20th - 22nd & May 28th -29th

Time: 6 pm - 745 pm

Location: Salvation Army's Rear Parking lot, 515 Main St, Middletown, CT

Get your tickets today!

***The production contains mature material and strong language and is not recommended for small children.

Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. Additional support is provided by the Middletown Commission on the Arts; Connecticut Office of the Arts/DECD; The Fund for Greater Hartford; American Savings Foundation; State of Connecticut Judicial Branch (Youth Violence Prevention); Middletown Youth Services Bureau; Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation; Thomas J. Atkins Memorial Trust Fund; Middlesex United Way; CHEFA Cultural Relief Grant; New England Foundation for the Arts/New England Arts Resilience Fund; George & Grace Long Foundation; and many generous individual donors.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Rockfall Foundation Awards Scholarship to Joseph Bradley of Old Saybrook

The Rockfall Foundation has selected Joseph Bradley of Old Saybrook High School as recipient of the 2021 Virginia R. Rollefson Environmental Leadership Scholarship. 

Bradley’s leadership was demonstrated by his successful efforts to create and lead the Coastal Cleanup Coalition, a group of 20 regular volunteers who pick up trash around Old Saybrook with a mission of preserving Old Saybrook’s coastal wildlife and ecosystems. Bradley first started his project picking up trash alone a few days a week. 

Just a week before he intended to get a widespread initiative underway, COVID-19 restrictions were implemented and OSHS was quarantined. Bradley used this time wisely: working independently, he was able to figure out the best places in town to clean and began to understand the patterns of where trash would accumulate in town. Once restrictions lifted, Bradley used the resources available to him as President of the OSHS Ecology Club and as student liaison to the Conservation Commission of Old Saybrook to spread the word about his new initiative. Soon, he had over 20 students and adults participating in the effort. Now, Bradley has a dedicated group of volunteers that he can rely on when he organizes a cleanup. He is encouraged by their enthusiasm, and believes that his generation will be the one to pioneer environmental reform.

Bradley will attend Harvard University in the fall, and plans to pursue a dual concentration in physics & astrophysics with a secondary in environmental science.

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants. Founded in 1935, the Foundation is celebrating its 86th anniversary in 2021. As one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations, it continues its mission set by founding philanthropist Colonel Clarence S. Wadsworth. 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 Virginia R. Rollefson Environmental Leadership Scholarship or The Rockfall Foundation, please visit

From Tight Hips to "Snake Hips" in 4 Minutes

Worth a Try: Exercise
for Easing Hip & Leg Pain 

If you are of a certain age and have spent much of your working life at a desk, chances are you'll eventually experience tight hips, with symptoms of tightness or pain, a change in your gait (the way you walk) or both. And frustration because you don't know know why this happened or how to fix it.

Resolution for hip & leg pain may be less complicated than you think. My recent discovery and practice of targeted exercise videos on youtube (Silver Sneakers & others) has resulted in an apparent complete recovery from what seemed on its way to debilitating pain in legs and hips. I also have an inclination to spread the good word of something that might help.* 

Try this
4-Min Stretch Routine for Hip Mobility  

Lower Body Workout for Active Exercisers

About Tight Hips (from What does it mean to have tight hips? A feeling of tightness across the hips comes from tension around the hip flexors. The hip flexors are a group of muscles around the top of the thighs that connect the upper leg to the hip. These muscles allow you to bend at the waist and raise your leg. (Some of the main hip flexors are the Iliopsoas, rectus femoris, tensor fasciae latae, sartorius.)

Many people have tight hips, including both people who spend several hours a day sitting as well as regular gym-goers and professional athletes. Some people are more prone to tightness in that area of their body, too. Tight hips may put you at increased risk for injury due to the increased demands on tissues that aren’t moving properly. Before going to a physical therapist or doctor for treatment, try some of these exercises and see how you respond. Practice slowly and carefully at first, and see your doctor if you feel a need for reassurance.

More advanced stretches
7 Stretches to loosen up tight hips

*Snake Hips Tucker
(1920s-30s dancer)

Earl 'snake Hips' Tucker (1905-1937)

Monday, April 26, 2021

Happy Arbor Day Middletown, April 30th! Arbor Day Celebration At Middlesex County Historical Society on Friday, 4-30-21 At 2 P.M.



Happy Arbor Day, Friday, April 30th!


What is Arbor Day and how did it start?


"Its purpose is to encourage people to plant trees, and many communities traditionally take the opportunity to organize tree-planting and litter-collecting events on or around the holiday," according to the Old Farmer's Almanac article "Arbor Day 2021: Learn Why We Celebrate Arbor Day-And Plant A Tree!


How did Arbor Day begin? It came about through Nebraska resident Julius Sterling Morton. After he was married, he moved to Nebraska with his wife where they bought 160 acres of treeless farmland and made it their home. There he planted thousands of trees such as an apple orchard, peach, plum, pear, and more noted the Old Farmer's Almanac's article. 


Morton was an American politician and journalist. As Editor of the Nebraska City News, he wrote articles about agriculture and he urged his readers to plant trees. Morton believed that trees had a purpose such as effective windbreaks, protects crops from erosion and overexposure to the sun, according to's article "Arbor Day."


Morton wrote "Other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future."


April 10, 1872 was when the first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska. In 1885, Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska. Twenty years later Arbor Day was recognized in every state except Delaware which eventually celebrated Arbor Day. In 1970, President Richard Nixon recognized Arbor Day nationally & declared the last Friday in April will be Arbor Day. 


Birdsey Grant Northrop of Connecticut was also an advocate for trees and Arbor Day. His contributions were the involvement of school children in this event and he also turned Arbor Day into a ceremonial event "...that laid the foundation of this now well-established tradition," according to the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection website. Mr. Northrop was the Secretary for the Connecticut Board of Education.  He went to Europe to study schools. As a result of this trip, he wrote a report in 1879 "Forestry In Europe" which the Connecticut State Board of Agriculture took note of. Due to this report the Board of Agriculture "...requested an investigation and report on promoting forestry in Connecticut. As a result of this investigation, the State Legislature declared in 1886 that "The Governor shall annually, in the spring, designate by official proclamation an Arbor Day, to be observed in the schools and for economic tree planting," according to the CT DEEP website. 


The first Arbor Day in Connecticut was on April 29, 1887. Connecticut held Arbor Day festivities every year since then and occurred between the first week of April & the second week of May noted the CT DEEP website. But when President Nixon formally declared that Arbor Day Celebrations be held the last Friday in April Connecticut followed his lead according to the CT DEEP website.


The City of Middletown Urban Forestry Commission will be presenting a program on Arbor Day, on Friday, April 30th at the Middlesex County Historical Society at 151 Main Street in Middletown at 2 p.m. Mayor Benjamin Florsheim will issue an Arbor Day Proclamation. There will be a Tree Dedication ceremony for Middletown's Connecticut Legislative Delegation which includes Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, State Senator Matthew Lesser, State Representative Brandon Chafee, State Representative Quentin Phipps, former State Representative Joseph Serra & Executive Director for the Jonah Center John Hall. Jane Harris, the Chairperson of the Urban Forestry Commission and Jesse Nasta, the Executive Director of the Middlesex County Historical Society will also speak. 


Middletown will be receiving a "Tree City USA" award for the 31st year from the National Arbor Day Foundation and it will be presented by Ms. Danica Doroski, the Urban Forestry Coordinator from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. 


If you attend this event, please enter through the Spear Park gate to access the back-lawn area. Most importantly please wear a mask and follow the social distancing guidelines by remaining six feet apart. Please continue to do your part to help flatten the curve due to the COVID-19 pandemic and if you have not done so already please get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.


For more information about the Arbor Day event in Middletown please call 860-638-3500 ext. 3506.  For more information about Arbor Day please see the following websites:


Again, Happy Arbor Day!

Enjoy the videos.





Friday, April 23, 2021

President Biden's First Speech Before Congress On Wednesday, April 28, 2021 At 9 P.M.




According to Article II Section 3 of the United States Constitution regarding the executive branch and the duties of the President it states, "He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient...." 


President Joe Biden accepted U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress on April 28th. According to CBS News the President’s first joint meeting before Congress is "...not an official State of the Union….” The President's first speech before Congress is an opportunity for new presidents to lay out their goals of their new administration and the country according to CBS News.  President Biden’s first speech before Congress comes two days before the end of his first 100 days in office.  


President Joseph R. Biden’s speech will be broadcast on most of the four major commercial television networks, Public Broadcasting & C-SPAN along with the various cable news channels plus radio stations and YouTube. President Biden's speech will air at 9 p.m. according to &


South Carolina Senator Tim Scott will deliver the GOP's rebuttal to President Biden's State of the Union speech next Wednesday.


For more information about the State of the Union speech please see the following websites:


Enjoy the videos.




The Middlesex Community College Foundation invites you to participate in the GRAD DASH, a 5K/10K run/walk with a virtual* option. The event takes place on Saturday, May 15, along the beautiful tree-lined roads near the campus, located at 100 Training Hill Road in Middletown. In-person start times will stagger to maintain social distancing and will follow the the state's COVID-19 guidelines. Taking part in the Grad Dash helps the MxCC Foundation support students with scholarships and more.


Entry Fees

5K Run • $25

10K Run • $35

Student Rate • $20 (5K or 10K run/walk)

Walk/Virtual Run* • $25*
*For the virtual option, you can choose to run/walk the course anytime between May 14–17, but results will not be part of final scoring. Be included by posting #runyourwaymxcc on Instagram and Facebook.

Medals will be awarded to overall champions (M, F, and Nonbinary) and top finishers in each division. Winners to be announced online following the event.

Questions? Send an email or call 860-343-5886.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021




On Earth Day Eve, Tonight 4-21-21 at 8:30 p.m. eastern time there will be a live concert/virtual celebration streamed on the National Geographic website and YouTube channel. Here are the links.


Enjoy the video.




Monday, April 19, 2021



In Celebration of Earth Week 2021, you can make choices that are good for your health and the planet! Choosing a healthy and environmentally sustainable diet is the most powerful thing the average person can do to have a positive impact on the environment.

A few easy choices you can make are to eat foods that are: 1) in season and grown locally; 2) grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers; and 3) ethically raised animal products that enable animals to graze freely on open pastures.

 Healthy PlanEat works with farms that use sustainable growing practices so you can support sustainable growing practices that replenish the soil, promote biodiversity, and fight climate change at every meal!

 Place your order by this Thursday, April 22nd (Earth Day) at 11 pm for pick up on Saturday, April 24th from 1 - 2 pm on the South Green.

 Items are in limited supply. Please pre-order early here:

 If you'd like to learn more about healthy and sustainable diets, explore the Planetary Health Diet developed by the EAT Lancet Commission.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Earth Day Talk and Discussion Thursday, Earth Day

The United States has rejoined the Paris Agreement.  The Keystone XL pipeline has been canceled.  Proposed legislation would spend billions on infrastructure to support the energy transition.  Here in Connecticut, Governor Lamont's executive orders and Middletown's Climate Emergency Declaration are indications of seriousness.  Finally things are turning around.  Not a minute too soon: 2020 was tied for the warmest year in history.

It is difficult to know where this is all headed, but it is not hard to see that even these laudable and fairly dramatic steps, even if undertaken throughout society, will not by themselves put us on a path that avoids the worst impacts climate has on offer.  Please join me at noon on Earth Day for a discussion of where we are, and what it is necessary to do now to mitigate these impacts.  (Hint: it's a lot....). The title is "Last Call", and you can access it via Zoom (live at 11:50 a.m.)

If everything works, there will be a recording.  If so, I will post it here for those who cannot participate in the live event.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Saturday: Want to Act Local?

Do you want to determine our future, but don't know what's involved in running for office? 

In November, voters will elect new members of the Board of Education and the Planning and Zoning Commission, both of which have profound effects on the future of our city. 

This Saturday there will be an informational session on what it means to serve in office, and what it takes to run and serve as an elected official. The Chair of the Board of Education, Deborah Cain, and the Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Stephen Devoto will be there, as well as Mayor Ben Florsheim and Chief of Staff Bobbye Knoll Peterson. 

The event will be held via Zoom, from 10AM to 11AM on Saturday, register at WWW.BIT.LY/BOEPZ417.

It will also be streamed on the Democratic Town Committee Facebook page.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Happy Earth Day Middletown, April 22nd! Virtual Earth Day Event On Tuesday, April 20th At 7 P.M. With City Recycling Coordinator Kim O'Rourke & The Russell Library.




Happy Earth Day, Thursday, April 22, 2021! This year will mark the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day! The theme for this year's Earth Day is "Restore Our Earth."


What is Earth Day and how did it begin?


Earth Day began on April 22, 1970. It was started by San Francisco activist John McConnell and Wisconsin U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson. They asked Americans to demonstrate their desire to do something about the dangerous and serious issues of air pollution, toxic drinking water, and the harmful effects of pesticides on the environment. The result 20 million Americans peaceably demonstrated outdoors to take action about the environment according to "Earth Day 2021" from the Old Farmer's Almanac. 


This peaceful protest for Mother Earth led President Richard Nixon to create the Environmental Protection Agency, along with laws that successfully protected the environment such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.


What can you do today and every day to save our planet? Pick up litter in your neighborhood or a public park, recycle, compost, plant a tree, don't use pesticides in your garden and on your lawn, & conserve water are a few examples of what you can do. 


On April 20th at 7 p.m. there will be a free virtual Earth Day event titled "Beyond Recycling: Zero Waste Swaps at Home" with Middletown Recycling Coordinator Kim O'Rourke and the Russell Library. Learn about ways to reduce waste and learn simple tips to recycle. Registration is required to receive the zoom link.


You can register at the Russell Library event page at  Their phone number is 860-347-2520.


Middletown Recycling Coordinator Kim O'Rourke said the city will be holding a paper shred event on April 24th at the Veteran's Memorial Park from 9 a.m. -11 a.m. located on Walnut Grove Road for Middletown residents only. 


There will also be regional recycling events too during the year such as household waste collection and white paper recycling. The first regional household waste collection will be on Saturday, April 17th at the Clinton Public Works Garage located at 117 Nod Road, followed on Saturday, June 19th at the Colchester-East Hampton Pollution Control Facility located at 20 Gildersleeve Drive in East Hampton; Saturday, August 21st at the Woodside Intermediate School at 30 Woodside Road in Cromwell and Saturday, October 9th at Middlesex Community College at 100 Training Hill Road in Middletown. The times for these events are the same from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 

There will be two regional paper shredding events at the Colchester-East Hampton Water Pollution Control Facility on Saturday, May 22nd in East Hampton and the Middlefield Community Center located at 405 Main Street in Middlefield on Saturday, September 11th.  The times are 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Call your Town Hall to learn what your town is doing this Earth Day.


For more information about these events contact Middletown Recycling Coordinator Kim O’ Rourke at 860-638-4855 and her email is 


For more information about Earth Day 2021 please see the following websites:


Enjoy the videos.



Saturday, April 10, 2021


ZOOM Genealogy Club — April 17, 2021 – 11:30 AM (EDT)

Topic:  Understanding Evidence, Proving Your Point

Godfrey Memorial Library Board Chair and Senior Researcher Al Fiacre will discuss what is involved in doing professional quality genealogical research, something we all can aspire to. Are your sources original, derivative, or authored? How about the informant for that source – primary, secondary, or undetermined? Is your evidence direct, indirect or negative? Have you studiously ignored conflicting information, or found and resolved it? Why does any of this matter? Al will present a couple of case studies to help illustrate his points.

GML Premium Godfrey Scholar members can register for free at the following email:

If you are not a GML Premium Godfrey Scholar member and want to view the presentation, you can pay $10 via PayPal at the following web address:    Then register at the email above.

Please register by 4:00 pm Friday, April 16.

Saturday, April 3, 2021




Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine? This question probably has been on everyone’s minds these days. 


Governor Ned Lamont revised the COVID-19 distribution. He is not calling it phases any more but now it will be based on age according to Middletown Acting Director of Health Kevin Elak.  


Connecticut modified the COVID-19 Vaccination eligibility. Beginning April 1, 2021 all adults in Connecticut over the age of 16 can now schedule a vaccination appointment.    


According to the Middlesex Health website regarding the vaccination of minors it states a parent or guardian must attend the COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic with their underage relative to give consent. Plus, they must bring a government issued identification card such as a birth certificate, or driver’s license that shows proof of age.   

Their website further states “Those under the age of 18 cannot legally give their consent to be given the vaccine, so a parent or legal guardian must accompany the minor to their appointment.  The parent or legal guardian will need to sign the "Consent to Treat" form before we are able to administer the vaccine.”  For more information about the Middlesex Health COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic please call 860-358-7050.


Health Director Elak stated “You do not have to register with VAMS to make an appointment for the vaccine. You can check with your doctor to see if they are giving the vaccine at their office.” He also stated people can call the Connecticut Vaccine appointment line at 877-918-2224. 


Salvatore Nesci the Acting Director of Health for the Town of Cromwell said, "it depends on the provider," regarding if a person would have to preregister on the VAMS website to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine.  If you have any questions about your need to register on VAMS call your medical provider.


After you receive the COVID-19 Vaccine please do not forget to complete the "Daily Health Check-In."  Go to on your smart phone or computer. Follow the prompts to register and answer how you are feeling after you had the vaccine. They will send you a daily text message to see how your reaction was to the vaccine. They will do this for several days after receiving the vaccine. Please do not think of this as Big Brother is watching you or trying to invade your personal privacy.  I hope this does not deter you from getting this vaccine against the deadly COVID-19 virus. 


President Joe Biden said on March 2nd “We're now on track to have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May." Dr. Anthony Fauci stated “"We project so anyone who wants to get vaccinated would have gotten vaccinated by the time we get to the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall."


When you become eligible to receive the vaccine take the opportunity to get vaccinated and protect yourself along with your relatives and friends.


For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine please see the following websites:


Please get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.  


Enjoy the videos.