July 19, 2018

Chestnut Hill Presents Four Chamber Music Concerts in August at the Kate 


Now in its 49th season,Chestnut Hill Concerts will present four programs of chamber music this August at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook. The prestigious series is highly-regarded, not only for its programming, but also for the world-class musicians that artistic director Ronald Thomas invites for the performances.

The concerts will take place August 3, 10, 17, and 24, all Friday evenings at 8 p.m. Cellist and artistic director Ronald Thomas will host and perform in each concert.

The Aug. 3 concert features Ronald Thomas performing the 5th Bach Cello Suite. The rest of the concert presents John Novacek’s Rags for Violin and Piano, and the Brahms Piano Quartet in  G minor, Op. 25. In addition to Ronald Thomas, artists include Steve Copes, violin; Matthew Sinno, viola; and Randall Hodgkinson, piano.

On Aug. 10, Chestnut Hill presents two string sextets and a string quartet. Chestnut Hill welcomes the Amernet String Quartet, whose members include Misha Vitenson, violin; Franz Felkl, violin; Michael Klotz, viola; and Jason Calloway, cello. The quartet will perform Schubert’s String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 125, No. 1. The quartet will be joined by Vivek Kamath, viola and Ronald Thomas, cello to perform two string sextets: Richard Strauss’ String Sextet from Capriccio, Op. 85 and Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70

The program on Aug. 17 presents music by Debussy, Kodály, and Dvořák. Ronald Thomas and Mihae Lee will perform Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano; Catherine Cho, violin, Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violin, and Todd Phillips, viola will perform Kodály’s Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 12; and the ensemble will perform Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81.

The season finale on Aug. 25 explores the music of Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Schumann, including the rarely-heard Horn Quintet in E-flat by Mozart, K. 407, written for one violin and two violas. The concert also includes Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49 and Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47. This performance introduces Frank Huang, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, to the Chestnut Hill audience, and brings back some of its favorite performers: William Purvis, horn; Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violin and viola, Cynthia Phelps, viola; Ronald Thomas, cello; and Mihae Lee, piano.

The 2018 season of Chestnut Hill Concerts is made possible with support from the Connecticut DECD Office of the Arts.

All concerts are Friday nights at 8 p.m. at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate), 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Subscriptions to the four concerts are $140 (orchestra) and $120 (balcony). Single tickets are $40 for orchestra seats and $35 for the balcony. Kids and teens come free. To purchase tickets, contact The Kate’s box office at 860-510-0453, or visit www.thekate.org.

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Rep. Carney Earns 100 Percent Voting Record During 2018 Legislative Session

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) earned a perfect voting record during the 2018 legislative session. There were 317 votes taken this year according to information released by the House Clerk’s office.

“I have always made it a priority to be present for every vote,” said Rep. Carney. “In my opinion, the most important part of my job is to ensure the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook are heard on each and every piece of legislation that comes before the General Assembly. I am proud to have achieved this distinction for the district for the fourth year in a row.”

Rep. Carney currently serves as ranking member of the Transportation Committee, is on the Environment Committee and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

For an overview of important legislation addressed in the 2018 legislative session, visit the Office of Legislative Research website at www.cga.ct.gov/olr.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Rep. Carney’s office at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Local DTC’s Host Reception Today in Old Lyme for Congressman Courtney

Congressman Joe Courtney

The Lyme Democratic Committee (DTC) – together with the DTCs of Old Lyme and Old Saybrook – is holding a reception to honor Congressman Joe Courtney on Saturday, June 30, from noon till 2 p.m., in Old Lyme.

The event will be held at the home of Alison Mitchel at 21 Lieutenant River Lane, Old Lyme. All are welcome but RSVP’s to Nick Boreen at nicholas.d.boreen@gmail.com are requested.  Suggested contribution levels start at $25.

Hot dogs and hamburgers will be grilled, there will be some entertainment, and Congressman Courtney and other invited mid-term election candidates will address the attendees.

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Sing for Joy! Cappella Cantorum Hosts Vocal Camp in Old Saybrook, July 23-27

Bring the joy of singing to your summer by attending Cappella Cantorum’s Summer Vocal Camp July 23 to July 27 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Great Hammock Road in Old Saybrook.

Founder of the Salt Marsh Opera and Cappella’s music director Simon Holt and nationally known tenor Brian Cheney will lead instructive sessions on improving singing skills and how to sing in a choral environment.

Physical therapist Bonnie Brenneman will talk on strengthening diaphragm muscles to improve breathing.

Each evening will consist of two workshops – one in vocal production and one in music theory. A short concert will be given by participants at the end of the week. Camp will be limited to 100 singers. Anyone interested in improving their singing from high school students to adults are encouraged to come and perfect their art.

The church is air conditioned. Cost will be $85. For more information or to register, visit CappellaCantorum.org. or e-mail wrspearrin@yahoo.com.

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‘Run for Something’ Endorses Matt Pugliese for Connecticut General Assembly

Matt Pugliese

Matt Pugliese has received the endorsement of Run for Something (RfS), the groundbreaking organization that recruits and supports strong voices in the next generation of progressive leadership.

“I am excited and honored to be endorsed by Run for Something. Hearing about the work that was being done by this organization to help encourage candidates to step forward was a motivating force in my own decision to run for office. I want to work to make a difference in our community.  This is a crucial moment in our state and our nation. I’m proud to be among the candidates stepping forward,” said Pugliese.

“RFS endorses candidates on two major criteria: heart and hustle. That’s what defines viability to us,” said Ross Morales Rocketto, RFS co founder. “These are candidates who are going to work hard to run grassroots, community-led campaigns. We are a critical time in history and the momentum these candidates generate will have a lasting impact for years to come.”

A selection of statistics from RfS are:

  • 40 first or second time candidates endorsed this month
  • RFS has endorsed 409 candidates total, from 45 states. 256 candidates have upcoming elections.
  • Campaign budgets range from $3000 to $300,000
  • Win numbers range from 645 to 100,000 votes

The endorsement process includes an extensive internal review with background check, staff interview and insight from local state experts.

Amanda Litman and Ross Morales Rocketto launched RfS on Jan. 20, 2017 with a premise to help young diverse progressives to run for down-ballot races in order to build a bench for the future. RfS aims to lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and access to trainings needed to be successful. So far, about 18,000 young people from across the country have signed up as candidates and gained access to RfS resources.

Run for Something recruits and supports talented, young people who advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench.

Matt Pugliese is running for State Representative in the 23rd District.  Pugliese is a non-profit theatre arts administrator and Chair of the Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission.  He holds his Masters in Public Administration from UCONN and lives in Old Saybrook with his wife and their two daughters. Learn more at mattpugliesect.com and at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at mattpugliesect.

For more information, visit www.runforsomething.net

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Carney Receives Republican Nomination for Re-Election to the 23rd District

Celebrating Devin Carney’s unanimous endorsement as Republican candidate for the 23rd District are, from left to right, Cathy Carter, Dave Evers, Dan Montano, Carney, and Jackie Miano.

State Representative Devin Carney received the unanimous endorsement of the Republican delegates representing Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and coastal Westbrook at the 23rd District convention on Wednesday, May 16. The convention was held at the Teresa Mulvey Municipal Building in Westbrook.

“It is truly an honor to be nominated for a third term by the Republicans of the 23rd District,” said Carney. “I have worked incredibly hard over the past four years as State Representative and always put the people of the district first. In these past two terms, I have advocated for small businesses and small towns, opposed massive tax increases, and worked across the aisle in order to achieve the best legislative results for the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. Connecticut still faces significant budgetary hurdles, so I plan on continuing to work to stabilize government finances while helping  to create an economic environment that provides opportunity for all.”

Carney was nominated by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna.

“As First Selectman of Old Saybrook, I often interact with the state legislature on issues that affect small towns and I always know I can count on Devin,” Fortuna said. “In these past four years, Devin has always stood up for his municipalities by supporting local education, pushing back against unnecessary unfunded mandates, and opposing legislation that would negatively affect the quality of life in shoreline Connecticut.”

In only his second term, Carney was named the highest ranked House Republican of the Transportation Committee where he has advocated for roadway improvements, local public transportation, and highway safety. In addition, he used that role to campaign against the Federal Railroad Administration’s NEC Future plan bypass, which would have devastated Southeastern Connecticut.

“Serving in leadership on the Transportation Committee has given me the unique opportunity to fight for local transportation concerns, including Shore Line East and 9-Town Transit, and also to call attention to issues that affect the region such as I-95 safety and the FRA’s NEC Future proposal,” added Carney.

Carney also serves on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and the Environment Committee. Last year, Carney was recognized by the Connecticut Counseling Association with their “Legislative Service Award” for his work in support of licensed professional counselors and for supporting efforts to curb elder abuse and to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

Carney also co-founded the legislature’s bipartisan Young Legislators Caucus and the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus. Carney is active in many community organizations including serving on the Board of Trustees at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, on the Board of Saye Brook Village senior housing, and as a member of both the Old Saybrook and Lyme-Old Lyme Chambers of Commerce.

“As the next phase of the election begins, I look forward to discussing my accomplishments and bringing my message of fiscal stability and economic growth to each and every doorstep in the 23rd District,” said Carney.

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Pugliese Accepts Democratic Nomination for 23rd District, Will Challenge Carney in November Election

Last Wednesday, delegates from the 23rd District unanimously nominated Matt Pugliese (fourth from right) as the Democratic candidate for the 23rd State House District. Photo by Janis Esty.

On Wednesday, May 16, at a convention held in Old Saybrook at the Vicky Duffy Pavilion, Matt Pugliese accepted the Democratic nomination to represent the 23rd House District in the upcoming November election. The District includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern portion of Westbrook.

Democrat Matt Pugliese will challenge Devin Carney on Nov. 6.

Pugliese, a non-profit arts executive, announced his candidacy in early March. He is challenging incumbent Devin Carney-R, who is running for a third term.

He was formally nominated by Karen Brodeur, a member of the Old Saybrook Board of Education.  In her remarks, Brodeur said, “Matt has experience as a business leader, as a community leader, as a civic volunteer, and as a caring husband and father. Matt is focused, disciplined, hard-worker.  He is an empathetic listener.  Matt cares about his family and he cares about his community.”

In accepting the nomination, Pugliese said, “I’m a Democrat. I’ve always believed that the Democratic party valued everyone, especially those didn’t have a voice. I will represent everyone in our community. I believe in communication, in compromise and consensus building. That is the style of leadership and the values I promise to bring to Hartford.”

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

Pugliese, the Executive Producer and Managing Director of Connecticut Repertory Theatre, serves as the Chair of Old Saybrook’s Economic Development Commission.  He holds his BA in Theatre and his Masters in Public Administration, both from UConn.

Pugliese’s formal nomination drew praise and remarks from others in attendance including Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal and Mary Stone from Lyme, who was herself a candidate for the 23rd District in 2014. The delegates in attendance unanimously voted to select Pugliese as the candidate.

Pugliese, who is participating in the public funding option in the Citizen’s Election Program, announced that he had raised the required funds to qualify.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

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“Follow the Fibers” to Bushnell Farm Today, 11am to 4pm

‘Follow the Fibers’ at Bushnell Farm, May 19, in Old Saybrook.

The family that occupied the 1678 Bushnell House in Old Saybrook were weavers as well as farmers. Each spring Bushnell Farm hosts activities that that allow visitors to step back to a time when hand-woven cloth was derived from the family’s own plants and animals.

On Saturday, May 19, visitors to this privately-owned 22 acre farm site can witness Warner Lord demonstrate the difficult, multi-step process that turned the flax plan into a  thread that could then be woven into linen on the family loom.  The Loom House, with weaver Bev Lewis, is one of the six original buildings on the property that will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free to the public, on May 19.

Sheep owned by Herb and Sherry Clark of Essex, who own the property, will be shorn of their winter wool by Lara Sullivan of East Haddam, Conn. Sullivan has a busy shearing schedule and she hopes to be at Bushnell Farm  around 11:30 a.m.

Westbrook’s Gary Noth, a life-long archaeologist and primitive technologist, will be at the wigwam in the Grove at the Farm talking about Indian tool technology and their preparations for spring.

In the Bushnell Farm House, one of the five oldest houses in Connecticut, they’ll be turning out the bedbugs from the mattresses; ironing without electricity; and taking advantage of the early fish run. In the Barn, we’ll be sharpening the tools for haying and looking over the seeds saved from last year’s crops and getting ready to plant.

Bushnell Farm is an educational site that provides school and public programs devoted to preserving the agricultural and enterprising past in Connecticut through seasonal events and hands-on activities.

If you have questions, call the Curator at (860) 767-0674.

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Democratic Candidates Come to Town: Old Lyme Forum Offers Opportunity to State Positions, Take Questions

Ned Lamont, a Democratic candidate for Connecticut Governor, addresses the audience at Monday evening’s forum in Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.  All photos by M.J. Nosal.

Around 100 residents of Lyme, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook turned out at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Monday night for a Democratic Candidate Forum arranged by the Democratic Town Committees of the three area municipalities.  Local residents heard from and were able to ask questions directly of: Ned Lamont, candidate for governor (pictured above);

Old Lyme Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder stands at the podium to introduce Denise Merrill.

Denise Merrill, incumbent candidate for secretary of the state;

Shawn Wooden is one of the candidates running for State Treasurer — State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) is another.

Shawn Wooden, candidate for state treasurer;

Matt Pugliese will challenge State Rep. Devin Carney (R- 23rd) in the November election.

Matthew Pugliese, candidate for state representative in the 23rd District, which includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook;

Martha Marx.

Martha Marx, candidate for state senator in the 20th District, and

Lyme Selectman John Kiker (left) listens to Essex First Selectman and candidate for State Senator (20th District) Norm Needleman speak.

Norm Needleman, candidate for state senator in the 33rd District.

The Tri-Town Democratic Town Committees’ event started at 6:30 p.m. and lasted two and a half hours.

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Tri-Town DTC’s Host Democrat Candidate Forum Tonight in Old Lyme

04/30 UPDATE: Latest information on confirmed candidates is detailed at this link.

04/26: The Tri-Town Democratic Town Committees (DTCs) – the DTCs of Lyme, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook – have announced that they will present a Democratic Candidate Forum on Monday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.

The event is free and open to the public; all registered Democrats from the three towns are encouraged to attend.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the forum will start at 6:30 p.m.

The Tri-Town DTCs have invited a slate of candidates that they believe to be of greatest interest to the three area communities, DTCs and local delegates. At the forum, the candidates will present brief statements on their platforms and then take questions from DTC delegates.

The candidates invited to attend include:

Candidate for U.S. Senate:
Chris Murphy

Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives:
Joe Courtney

Candidates for Governor:
Susan Bysiewicz
Sean Connolly
Jonathan Harris – TENTATIVELY CONFIRMED
Ned Lamont – TENTATIVELY CONFIRMED

Candidate for CT Secretary of State:
Denise Merrill – CONFIRMED

Candidates for State Treasurer:
Dita Bhargava
Shawn Wooden – CONFIRMED

Candidates for State Attorney General:
Paul Doyle
Claire Kindall – CONFIRMED
Christopher Mattei – TENTATIVELY CONFIRMED
William Tong – TENTATIVELY CONFIRMED

Candidate for State Comptroller:
Kevin Lembo

Candidate for State Representative:
Matthew Pugliese – CONFIRMED

Candidates for State Senator:
Martha Marx – CONFIRMED
Norm Needleman – CONFIRMED

The Tri-Town DTCs hope each candidate who has been invited to attend will be able to do so. The group will provide updates on who is confirmed as attending on the Facebook pages of the Lyme, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook DTCs.

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AAUW Hosts Fundraising Luncheon Today Featuring Best-Selling Authors Brunonia Barry, Randy Susan Meyers

The Lower Connecticut Valley branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will sponsor a luncheon at the Saybrook Point Inn on Saturday, April 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Randy Susan Meyers, author of the bestseller, The Widow of Wall Street, and Brunonia Barry, author of the novels The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal, will discuss their books and their writing process.

Tickets are $50 and help to provide scholarships for local women pursuing higher education. There will also be silent and chance auctions.

For more information, visit http://lowerctvalley-ct.aauw.net.

If interested in attending, call Sara Keaney at 860-395-4298.

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‘March For Our Lives’ Draws Hundreds of Protesters in Old Saybrook

All photos by Valerie Chapman.

OLD SAYBROOK — People of all ages from across southeast Connecticut gathered on Main Street in Old Saybrook yesterday to march in support of action against gun violence and in solidarity with some 800 other marches taking place worldwide.  Those who had marched in the January 2017 Women’s March in Old Saybrook estimated that the crowd for yesterday’s event was substantially larger than the 2017 one.

The signs people held were many and various …

… but the message was loud …

… and clear.

Spirits were high …

… but the questions remain unanswered …

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Local AAUW Hosts Luncheon with Nationally-Acclaimed Authors at Saybrook Point Inn, April 14

The Lower Connecticut Valley branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will sponsor a luncheon at the Saybrook Point Inn on Saturday, April 14, from 11:30 am to 3 pm. Randy Susan Meyers, author of the bestseller, The Widow of Wall Street, and Brunonia Barry, author of the novels The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal, will discuss their books and their writing process.

Tickets are $50 and help to provide scholarships for local women pursuing higher education. There will also be silent and chance auctions. Reservation forms may be downloaded at http://lowerctvalley-ct.aauw.net. The deadline is April 5.

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Join a Shoreline ‘March For Our Lives’ in Old Saybrook

There will be a Shoreline March For Our Lives in Old Saybrook on Saturday, March 24, starting at 2 p.m. at 300 Main St.

March For Our Lives was created, inspired, and led by students who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of school shootings. March For Our Lives believes the time to take action is now and hopes as many people as possible, especially young people, will join a march somewhere to show their support for action against gun violence.

The Facebook page for this event is at this link.

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Carney (R) Seeks Third Term as State Representative, Democrat Pugliese Announces Challenge

State Rep. Devin Carney

UPDATED 3/7 10:09pm: Devin Carney, a Republican who ran unopposed for a second term in 2016, has announced his intention to seek a third term as State Representative for the 23rd General AssemblyDistrict, which includes the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and coastal Westbrook. But this November, Carney will be challenged by Old Saybrook resident and Democrat Matt Pugliese.

Pugliese, a non-profit arts executive, notes in a press release that, “The frustration that our community feels is palpable.  The community wants change, wants new voices.  I’m running for state representative to help lead that change.   I’m a listener, and a leader who believes in building consensus, finding compromise and getting things done.”

Carney, who works as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Old Saybrook. explains his decision to seek a third term in a press release in this way, “Over these past two terms, I have always put the people of the 23rd District first.This community is everything to me. I was raised here and I understand the unique values and needs of my constituents. In these difficult and divisive times, it is important that the state has leaders with a proven track record of putting people over politics and who will work together to get Connecticut’s fiscal house in order.”

Matt Pugliese.

Pugliese, a resident of Old Saybrook, has spent his career working in the non-profit theatre industry, beginning at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  He served as the Executive Director at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theatre in Middletown, CT and now is the Executive Producer at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, based on UConn’s Storrs campus. Pugliese holds his BA in Theatre (’04) and his Masters in Public Administration (’17), both from UCONN. Pugliese said, “My work in the arts has been about activism.  It is about bringing together diverse audiences and creating opportunities for dialogue.  That is how we solve problems.  Every day running a theatre is about creative, problem solving and strategic thinking. The intersection of the arts and government – that is community.  That has been my professional career for 15 years.”

A lifelong resident of the district, Carney graduated from Old Saybrook Public Schools and currently lives in Old Lyme. He is the Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee, meaning he is the highest-ranked House Republican on the committee, and he serves on the Environment Committee and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. In addition, Carney chairs the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus, was the founding House Republican of the bipartisan Young Legislators Caucus, and serves on both the bipartisan Tourism Caucus and bipartisan Intellectual and Developmental Disability Caucus. He has also served as the Connecticut House Republican State Lead for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

Pugliese comments in the release, “Non-profit organizations need to run efficiently and effectively.  We know how to get the most out of every dollar.  My experiences in the non-profit sector in Middlesex County really opened my eyes to the incredible need we have in our community.  We have young people and families facing the most extreme and basic risks.  But we also have incredible resources in our community to draw upon.  That is what makes our district a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.”

Over his first two terms, Rep. Carney says he advocated for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, seniors, tourism, small business, local public education, and improving I-95. In 2015, he voted against the second largest tax increase in Connecticut’s state history. In 2017, he voted against the SEBAC agreement, but supported the bipartisan budget compromise in October.

Pugliese’s community involvement includes Old Saybrook’s Economic Development Commission since 2015, of which he was recently elected Chairperson.  He served on the Board of Directors for the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce for two years.  He served as the co-chair of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County Live Local Give Local 365 initiative when it was launched in 2011.  In 2012, Pugliese was named to the Hartford Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for his professional work and civic involvement.

Carney’s community activities include serving on the Board of Trustees at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and the Board of Directors at Saye Brook Senior Housing. He is a member of both the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce, a lector at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook, and serves on both the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee as a member and the Old Saybrook Republican Town Committee as an honorary member.

Public education is a key issue for Pugliese. He comments in the release, “When I think of our communities, I think of our strong public education systems. I will fight for the funding we deserve from Hartford necessary to support our schools.  I believe we need to invest in our higher education system. We want to have a vibrant university system to educate our young people, ensure their access to this education, and keep them here as part of our workforce in Connecticut.”

Commenting on his achievements in the past four years, Carney says, “I have pushed back against drastic tax increases to residents, defeated a federal rail proposal that would have devastated the region, supported bipartisan initiatives to combat our opioid crisis, and fought Governor Malloy’s proposal to push teacher pension costs onto local school districts. I have always put the taxpayer first and engaged with the community.”

Pugliese is an advocate for paid family leave, ensuring rights for women and minorities and championing arts, culture and tourism.  He adds, “Part of the identity of our community is the incredible cultural resources we have in the 23rd district. These resources drive tourism, which is critical to the economy of the towns in our region.  We need to ensure the viability of our cultural assets, and the public infrastructure needed to support tourism.”

Carney highlights in his press release, “I have never missed a vote,” adding, “Connecticut is at a crossroads and our residents and businesses cannot afford the same tax-and-spend policies that have put the state into this mess. It is imperative Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook continue to have a strong voice at the table during this tough fiscal reality.”

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Dazzling Red Carpet Oscar Event Tonight Raises Funds for ‘The Kate’


The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) will hold an Oscar Party benefit on Sunday, March 4beginning at 7 pm at the center located at 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook. This annual red-carpet event honors the Kate’s 12-time Oscar Nominated, 4-time-winning namesake and makes for an entertaining evening.  Proceeds support quality performing arts and cultural presentations at the Kate throughout the year.

“This event has always been volunteer-driven and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past eight years to support the Kate,” said Diane Hessinger, Oscar Party chair. “Not only is it a very fun evening, but it’s a perfect way to pay homage to our namesake, Katharine Hepburn and raise funds to expand the arts on the Connecticut shoreline.”

Delicious hearty hors d’oeuvres and desserts are provided by Fresh Salt and a cash bar is available while the 90th Academy Awards ceremony airs live on the Kate’s big screen. Guests will walk the red carpet, pose for photos, and have the chance to hold a real Oscar, thanks to Devin Carney, state representative and grandson of the late award-winning actor Art Carney. Carney is an honorary chair of the event along with Ann Nyberg of WTNH, both members of the Kate’s board.

A silent auction and raffle add to the fun of the evening and, new this year, is the Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook “Mystery Red Box” activity. Fifty jewelry boxes wrapped in a vibrant red paper are available for purchase with each box containing a Becker’s gift certificate and one grand prize box holding a beautiful 14k gold bracelet with forty-nine diamonds.

For tickets, visit www.thekate.org or call 877-503-1286.

The 2018 Oscar Party is held in memory of Beverly Whalen, a long-time volunteer at the Kate who gave generously of her time and helped launch this event. The evening is sponsored by Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook, Secor Volvo, Comcast, Gulick & Co., Pough Interiors, and Saybrook Point Inn Marina & Spa.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) is a non-profit performing arts organization located in the former theatre and town hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, on Main Street in Old Saybrook. The Kate includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn. From live music concerts, to children’s arts camp, to films of fine art, and the MET Opera and Bolshoi Ballet simulcasts, events presented at the Kate help to shape the community, making it brighter and more imaginative.

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Rep. Carney Declares Testifies to Government Administration and Elections Committee,

Rep. Carney testifies Feb. 26 in support of SB 180: An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) testified during a public hearing of the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) Committee on Monday, Feb. 26, in support of SB 180: An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts. This proposal would require greater executive and legislative oversight of quasi-public agency contracts by requiring the submission of certain contracts to the Attorney General and relevant legislative committee

Rep. Carney said, “Connecticut is currently in the midst of a fiscal crisis due to overly generous employee contracts and poor management of said contracts. Folks throughout this state are feeling the pinch of higher taxes and poorer state services while at the same time reading about quasi-public agencies giving away six-figure salaries and bonuses without any oversight from the General Assembly.”

He continued, “It is time to change that culture and this legislation, if passed, would allow the people to have a voice before contracts over $100,000 are approved.”

While testifying before the GAE Committee Rep. Carney pointed to the Connecticut Airport Authority and the CT Lottery as two examples of this current issue with “quasi-public” agencies.

Rep. Carney said that this proposal would allow for more transparency and oversight, which Connecticut residents desperately need as they are feeling the burden of the state budget and, at times, asked to pay more.

He added, “There is no reason these quasi-public agencies are allowed to avoid tough questions about their practices and provide answers surrounding bloated pay and benefits while others are asked to cut and save wherever possible.

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SECWAC Hosts IRIS Executive Director Tonight to Speak on “Refugee Resettlement in CT”

Chris George, CEO of IRIS, will speak on “Refugee Resettlement in Connecticut,” Feb. 5, at Saybrook Point Inn.

The next Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) meeting takes place Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Saybrook Point Inn. Chris George, Executive Director of Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), based in New Haven, will speak at 6 p.m. on “Refugee Resettlement in Connecticut,” and discuss the role of IRIS, a government- and privately-funded nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a new home to refugees.

IRIS helps refugees on the road to self-sufficiency by providing lifesaving support during their transition to life in the United States. The organization helped welcome 475 refugees to Connecticut in 2016.

A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the main event will begin at 6 p.m.

The presentation is a part of the SECWAC Speaker Series. SECWAC meetings are free to members (half-year membership February-June is $37.50/year; $12.50/year for young professionals under 35). Walk-ins are $20 for the general public (non-members; the $20 cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership). SECWAC membership is free for area college and high school students.

Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC meeting attendees have the option for $35 to attend a dinner with the speaker at Saybrook Point Inn. Reservations are required by Monday, Jan. 29, at 860-912-5718. Reporters are welcome to attend as guests of the SECWAC Board. Interested reporters should contact Paul Nugent at info@secwac.org or 860-388-9241. -more-

IRIS is a government- and privately-funded nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a new home to refugees. Starting out in 1982 as the Diocesan Refugee Services Committee, it changed its name to the Interfaith Refugee Ministry (IRM) in 1990. The organization then underwent another name change in 2007 to IRIS – Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services – reflecting its inclusive, more secular organizational culture and the decision to extend some services to address the critical needs of immigrants. Throughout its history, IRIS has helped refugees from all over the world, with the numbers and nationalities of clients fluctuating over time. Learn more at http://www.irisct.org/.

Chris George has worked overseas for most of his career. Beginning in 1977, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Sultanate of Oman, which led to a job with the Quakers in Lebanon, and then to a job with Save the Children in the Gaza strip. Overall he spent about 12 years on the West Bank in Gaza, doing humanitarian work, working with refugees. He returned to the United States in 2004, settling in Connecticut, and was hired by the Interfaith Refugee Ministry in 2005.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.

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Community Leaders Hope to Help Parents Improve Communication With Teens; Forum in OS Tonight

Compassion Counts invites shoreline community members to join an upcoming community conversation, ‘Weathering the Adolescent Storm in a Pressure-Filled World,’ on Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Old Saybrook High School Auditorium.   This free event will be a dynamic evening for teens, parents and teachers to learn how to nurture positive communication and foster resilience.

Attendees will watch a series of skits simulating common family conflicts in today’s pressure filled world to demonstrate both negative and positive communication styles.  A panel of Shoreline area teens will share their reflections on the skits.  The evening will conclude with an important talk on failure, resilience and success along with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions.

Dan Osborne, CEO of Gilead Community Services will be the moderator. Facilitators include Tom Allen, Ph.D., founder Pathways Center for Learning and Behavioral Health; Andy Buccarro, LSW, LADC, founder Project Courage Substance Abuse Treatment Center; and Alicia Farrell, Ph.D., Cognitive Psychologist and founder Clearview Consulting.

“We are responding to the requests of many parents in our community to learn how to better communicate with their teens,” says Dr. Alicia Farrell.   “This forum is the perfect opportunity for families to recognize that they are not alone in their daily challenges.  Parents, teens and teachers, will leave uplifted with new tools to keep communications with their teens positive, help them to foster grit and resilience while harnessing the hidden power of imperfection.”

To attend this free event, register online at https:/weatheringtheadolescentstorm.eventbrite.com.  Light refreshments will be served from 6 to 6:30 p.m.  A snow date is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20.

For more information contact Lucy McMillan at 860.343.5300 or lmcmillan@gileadcs.org.

Compassion Counts is an ongoing series of community conversations held in the upper and lower Middlesex County. The purpose of these events is to educate and support the public around challenging life issues. Previous events have addressed topics like mental health, addiction, and suicide.  The Compassion Counts events are made possible by the generous support from various nonprofits throughout Middlesex County.

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It’s That Time Again! Catch the Final Day of the Insane Insidewalk Sale Today in Saybrook

There will be bargains galore at the Insane Inside Sidewalk Sale today and tomorrow.

The-e-list.com presents the Ninth Annual Insane Insidewalk Sale Friday, Jan. 26, and Saturday, Jan. 27, at 105 Elm St., in the Old Saybrook Shopping Center, just a few doors down from the Stop & Shop grocery store.  The Sale will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.  Admission is $5, which covers entry for both days and the first 25 people to enter the Sale on Friday will have their admission fee waived.

This Sale enables people to shop the best stores and designers on the shoreline in one location at up to 75 percent off — it’s a pop-up specialty mall, featuring over 20 of the best local boutiques and designers offering deals on women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry, gifts, home decor, and kid’s clothing for two days only.

Ann Lightfoot will be selling her beautiful jewelry at the Insane Insidewalk Sale.

Ann Lightfoot will be selling her beautiful jewelry at the Insane Insidewalk Sale.

Discover new shops, makers, and designers: new vendors include Denali, The Perfect Pear (kitchen goodies), Willow & Birch (home and gift), Solavedi Organic Skincare, Salt Mystic (local makers), Susan Roberts Jewelry, Indigo (fair trade clothing and accessories) and Mar Floral (succulents and more) plus all your old favorites including Ann Lightfoot Jewelry, Lulu’s, Mix Design Store, One North Main, Ella Where She Shops, Dina Varano and many more.

The Insane Insidewalk Sale was conceived in 2008 to help local retailers who were stuck with excess inventory after the financial crash and a dismal holiday season. The-e-list rented a vacant storefront and invited 20 boutiques to sell their wares at deep discounts. It was a huge success for both vendors and attendees and now it’s become a well-established tradition that Shoreline shoppers eagerly anticipate.

For a full list of participating vendors and more information, visit this link.

 

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