Friday, August 31, 2012

Support the Voices of Middletown Youth

BIGGER THAN YOU THINK is a short play with a huge purpose--helping Middletown’s children grow up well. This is a time for committed action. Be a part of the action in a community performance created by the Middletown Youth Services Bureau, The Center for the Advancement of Youth, Family and Community Services, and Community Performance International.  From the stories of Middletown youth and adults, our play uses the 40 Developmental Assets, or building blocks of healthy youth development, to tell the story of how Middletown is doing with the most important job a town can have--raising the children. Participate in shaping the next generation of Middletown's leaders. 

To sign up for any of these volunteer opportunities or for more information please contact us by phone at 860-854-6030 or via email at (please include your name and contact information). You can also keep up to date on this project via Facebook at:

Cast –Roles for everyone from elementary school age, middle school, high school, young adults and grandparents, from all walks of life. The play looks to include over 50+ actors/participants so there is room for everyone regardless of perceived skill and experience (WE NEED YOU!!!). Auditions will be held at the Middletown Youth Services Bureau (372 Hunting Hill Ave, Middletown – former MHS VOAG site) and are scheduled for:
Friday, September 7th from 6-9pm
Saturday, September 8th from 10-12pm and from 1-4pm
Sunday, September 9th from 2-5pm

Program Book – This will feature program information and advertising.  We need the following help:
·        Someone to take the lead on producing this book, overseeing from start to finish, creative, ad sales & printing
·        Someone to do the layout (which may be the same lead person)
·        A large team of people to sell advertising space – this can be sold to businesses and individuals

Upward Bound Math and Science Program Funded

From a Press Release from Congresswoman Rosa Delauro.

U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) announced $250,000 in federal funding for Wesleyan University to provide key support to Connecticut students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are preparing to enter college or pursue higher education opportunities.

Nearly Full, But Perfect Nonetheless

Thursday evening in Middletown was cool and breezy, with a clear blue sky – a perfect night for watching an almost full moon. A little farther south, on the Connecticut River, a group of supporters of the CT River Coastal Conservation District floated down past Essex aboard the RiverQuest. The sun set slowly and gracefully over the hills of western Connecticut

From the north and east, thousands – maybe hundreds of thousands – of swallows gathered to nest in the reeds and grasses along the river.  The only problem was deciding whether to watch the sunset, the moon rise, or the swallows swooping overhead.

Lots of better photographers were on board – does anyone want to send some replacements for these cellphone snaps?? My pictures of the swallows look like a distant pepper storm.

Blue Moon Tonight!

Tonight's full moon is a special one: it's the only Blue Moon of 2012, with the next occurrence not coming until July 2015.

What is a Blue Moon?  According to the American Heritage Dictionary, there are a few possible definitions...

a. The third full moon in a three-month calendrical season that has four full moons.
b. The second of two full moons occurring in the same month.

2. Informal A relatively long period of time: I haven't seen you in a blue moon.

[Sense 2, probably from the rare occurrence whereby the moon appears blue from high amounts of dust in the atmosphere, as from a volcanic eruption.]

In tonight's case, it is the second full moon in August, but this definition is actually not preferred by the experts over at Sky and Telescope Magazine.  Click here for the full scoop on how a mistake made in 1946 led to the current (and "inaccurate") definition of a Blue Moon.

Last night's moon was so bright I could have read a book outside, and tonight's moon promises to be even lovelier.  In case you're in the mood, here's the recipe for a Blue Moon Cocktail:

              2 oz dry gin
             1/2 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
             1/2 oz Creme Yvette (or creme de violette)

             Fill a mixing glass two-thirds full with ice.  Add gin, lemon juice and Creme Yvette.
             Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.

             Enjoy while watching a Blue Moon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DeLauro and Murphy To Lead Discussion On Women's Health Care Tomorrow

Rosa L. DeLauro, who represents Middletown in the U.S. House, and Chris Murphy, who represents the west-central portion of the state, will be in our city tomorrow. They will lead a panel discussion on the impact that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has had on women’s health care August 30 at 11am. Thanks to the ACA, women’s health is for the first time ever being treated on par with men’s. The panelists will discuss how this has changed the lives of women they work with on a daily basis.

Murphy is running for the U.S. Senate currently held by Joe Lieberman, against Linda McMahon.

DeLauro and Murphy will be joined by Teresa Younger, Executive Director of the Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women; Dr. Kristen Zarfos, Medical Director of the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Saint Francis Medical Group; and Margaret Flinter, Senior Vice President and Clinical Director of Community Health Center, Inc.
Panel discussion on the impact of the Affordable Care Act and women’s health care
Thursday, August 30 at 11:00am
Cross Street AME Zion Church, 440 West Street

Weapons and Narcotics Seizure

From the Middletown Police Department

On August 28, 2012 the Middletown Police Street Crime Unit executed a Search and Seizure Warrant at 18 Glover Place. The Search and Seizure Warrant was to include the person of Jeff Spruill age 30, the residence, and a 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora registered to Chanelle McCalla age 31 also of 18 Glover Place.
We had received numerous complaints concerning this address from concerned citizens that reside in the area. Detectives determined that Spruill (A CONVICTED FELON with past convictions for Criminal Possession of a Firearm, and Possession and Sale of Narcotics ) and his girlfriend McCalla were the occupants of the residence.

Detectives were able to identify Spruill, the target of this investigation, and McCalla operating the Olds Aurora in the area of Main St. and Liberty St. 

Detectives would conduct a motor vehicle stop of the Oldsmobile. Upon removing both occupants from the vehicle, Detectives would recover crack cocaine and marijuana from the buttocks of Spruill. The crack cocaine had an approximate weight of 5.39 grams and the marijuana had an approximate weight of 4.9 grams. 

Detectives then proceeded to the residence of 18 Glover Place.

Upon executing the search warrant at the residence detectives located an unlabeled pill bottle containing Xanax and Dilaudid.

There were also three firearms located inside of the residence. A Hi-Point .40 cal. semi-automatic pistol with a fully loaded magazine, a  Hi-Point .380 cal. semi-automatic pistol with a loaded magazine, and a fully loaded Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver were discovered inside of the residence. Several boxes of live .357 and .380 ammunition were located with the firearms. A camouflage body armor vest was also located with the firearms and ammunition.

Detectives were able to determine that the Smith & Wesson .357 had been reported stolen. (Investigation into the other firearms being stolen is ongoing)

Jeff Spruill was subsequently arrested for the following charges and held on a  $300,00.00 Bond.
Possession of Crack Cocaine
Possession of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Sell
Possession of Crack Cocaine with Intent to Sell within 1500’ of a School
Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell
Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell within 1500’ of a School
Criminal Possession of a Firearm (3 Counts)
Criminal Possession of Body Armor
Theft of a Firearm
Possession of Narcotics

Any citizens willing to give information concerning possible illegal activities are encouraged to contact Sgt. Rich Davis of the Street Crime Unit at (860) 344-3259. All information will remain anonymous. 

City Recognizes Godfrey Library With Proclamation

The city of Middletown is declaring today as official (Aug. 29) Godfrey Memorial Library Day. The occasion will be marked by the issuance of a proclamation by Mayor Daniel T. Drew at 10 a.m. at the library at 134 Newfield St. Any and all citizens are invited to attend this historical event.

The Godfrey is being recognized for its vast collection of books and periodicals, including the unique American Genealogical Biographical Index and its branch of the Family History Center. It's mission is to connect inspired individuals with history and their personal geneology, by making available their collection of print and microfilm materials. In appreciation for the work and in acknowledgement of the unique resources available at the library, the proclamation urges the public to “take advantage of this wonderful resource.” 

A Brief History... (taken from the Godfrey Memorial Library website)

The Godfrey Memorial Library, incorporated in 1947, first opened its doors in May 1951. It was founded by A. Fremont Rider, a well-known publisher, author, inventor, genealogist, and librarian at Wesleyan's Olin Library. Mr. Rider amassed a collection of over 800 books specific to biography, history and genealogy which comprised the initial holdings of the Godfrey, named in honor of Mr. Rider’s in-laws. One of Rider's greatest contributions to the field of genealogical research was compiling a massive 226 volume index of more than 4 million references appearing in his collection. This index, the American Genealogical Biographical Index (AGBI) is a key source for researchers all over the world to help locate references to their ancestors in out of print and hard to find books.
In the fall of 2002, curators created the Godfrey Scholar, an online research tool containing searchable databases and their own digitized content. In 2012, they upgraded this tool working with premier genealogy programmer Steve Morse.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Popcorn by the Colonel #6

Must every article have a title? Or:

Is there no place for rhetorical questions?

0 The name “Cholmondeley Featherstonehaugh” is pronounced “Chumley Fanshaw.”

1 According to Robert Leonard, a forensic linguist quoted in The New Yorker, words set off “sparks of potential meaning” that one absorbs into one’s storehouse of prior experience and fits into a script called a “schema” -- plural “schemata,” as with stigma/stigmata. As any sentence unspools, we adjust our schema to achieve better meaning. But wait, there's more!

2 A note before proceeding: do not confuse “schema” with “shema,” the Jewish confession of faith made up of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41.

3 The process of schema adjustment goes like this:

• “John was on his way to school last Friday and was really worried about the math lesson.”
Who is John? (A schoolboy.)
• “Last week, he had been unable to control the class.”
Who is John now? (The teacher.)
• “It was not fair of the math teacher to leave him in charge.”
Who is John now? (The janitor? The anthropology teacher?)

4 “Language is a very human form of communication,” according to Leonard. The statement is troubling because it suggests that there are non-linguistic forms of communication. (It also suggests that there are non-human forms of communication, but let’s not go there now.) What examples are there of non-linguistic forms of communication? “Body language” is "language" by definition. Paintings? Sculpture? Wordless screams? Caresses? Bringing flowers and chocolates to one’s shipoopi?

• Has Wesleyan an anthropology department (linguistics is a subdiscipline of anthropology)? Help!

5 In Middletown the hot question is, as usual, what’s the difference between metonymy and synecdoche?
• Synecdoche, which is pronounced much like “Schenectady,” means referring to (a) the whole by the name of the part, as in “all hands on deck” for “all crew members on deck,” or (b) the whole for the part, as “Colombia lost to Uruguay” for “the Colombian team lost to the Uruguayan team.”
• Metonymy means referring to a person or thing by the name of a closely related thing, as in “the White House is calling” or “the Crown unmakes rebels.”

6 The line between metonymy and synecdoche is sometimes unclear, as in “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.” (Emphasis in original. Not.) Are "ears" part of one's listening ability, or something closely related to it? In the confusion, metonymy seems to have gobbled up synecdoche. Middletown being a university town, there are doubtless pillows wet with tears for the loss of synecdoche, while metonymy burps.

7 Nothing succeeds like excess, so once more into the breach: what’s the relationship between semiotics and language? Semiotics (a/k/a semiology) is the study of the meaning and use of signs and symbols. Are there any non-linguistic signs and symbols?

8 The Colonel dislikes settling arguments by reference to the dictionary, but a good dictionary (and they're not all good) can shed as much light on some subjects as something that sheds a lot of light on things. One meaning ascribed to language is "a systematic means of communicating ideas or feelings by the use of conventionalized signs, sounds, gestures, or marks having understood meanings." Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002, (28 Aug. 2012).

9 At this point, the alarm clock goes off and The Colonel awakens. “It was all a bad dream,” he thought. “I must have eaten a bad schtroumpf at that place far from Middletown.”

P.S.: Advice from "Get rid of cable" commercials seen in Middletown (YouTube):

Don’t Attend Your Own Funeral as a Guy Named Phil Shifley
Don’t Let Your House Explode
Don’t Have a Grandson with a Dog Collar
Stop Taking in Stray Animals
Don’t Wake Up in a Roadside Ditch
Don’t Re-Enact Scenes from ‘Platoon’ with Charlie Sheen
Don’t Sell Your Hair to a Wig Shop.

Summer Sounds on the South Green/Union Park - Elite Syncopation, ragtime/early jazz on Aug. 28

Elite Syncopation tours nationally, presenting the early forms of jazz to audiences everywhere. We're proud of their local roots and we welcome them back to the Summer Sounds stage again this year.
The Middletown Commission on the Arts presents their annual Summer Sounds concert series on the City's South Green (Union Park) on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. (rain location is the sanctuary of South Congregational Church, directly across the street from the Green on the corner of Main & Pleasant Streets).
The concerts are free and you are encouraged to bring lawn chairs/blankets. Food and beverages (no alcohol is permitted on public lawns) are allowed and the United Methodist Church and South Congregational Church adjacent to the Green both sell food/beverage items.
Concerts begin at 7 p.m.
The line-up is:
For more information, call the City Arts Office at 860.343.6620 x201

Monday, August 27, 2012

Scenes from Buttonwood Open Mic

J-Cherry, host of the Anything Goes! Open Mic. If you're looking to share your talents or enjoy the ones of your neighbors, you can't go wrong to visit The Buttonwood Tree on a Monday night for the open mic. J-Cherry has kept the microphone open at The Buttonwood for over three years, offering a wonderful glimpse of the talent in Middletown. Here are a few more pictures of some of the folks who came down.
Rebecca played a beautiful song from The White Stripes. She was practicing to play it at a wedding this weekend.
Brian played two powerful songs on piano. I could go on describing all the fun at the open mic but you really ought to drop in on a Monday night and check it out for yourself.

Auditions for Oddfellows Teen Repertory Company

Oddfellows Playhouse is pleased to announce its Fall 2012 auditions for William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead: a True Account of the 1599 Zombie Plague by John Heimbuch and A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration by Paula Vogel, with music by Daryl Waters.

The season will begin with a “historical” piece by John Heimbuch, William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead: A True Account of the Zombie Plague of 1599, takes the stage in November.  This play from the NY Fringe Festival takes place backstage on the opening night of Shakespeare’s Henry V.   Dealing with drama behind the scenes becomes more complicated when an afflicted madman enters the Globe and attacks.  As the affliction spreads through London, the Globe is placed in quarantine and the survivors within must fight for their lives.   This production is being produced by the generous support of Beverley and Tony Bellisio.

“This play is fun.  That is what initially drew me to it.  But the genre of horror is a reflection of our society, and it says a great deal about where our fears are today that we have become recently fixated on zombies and the risk of some pandemic outbreak.  During the Elizabethan era, the term “afflicted” was used synonymously for madness, illness or even demonic possession.  This play is about the fear of others,” said Pugliese.

Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater and Connecticut Heritage Productions are joining creative forces this holiday season with a co-production of A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel.  The play will perform at Oddfellows Playhouse from December 6-15.  A Civil War Christmas received its world premiere at Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven in 2008.  The play is by Paula Vogel, with music by Daryl Waters.  Special funding from the CT Humanities Council helps make this production possible.

“One of Paula Vogel’s original sources of inspiration for writing this play was to create a truly, unique American Christmas production.  So many of our standard holiday cultural pieces are imported from other countries – A Christmas Carol, the Nutcracker and so forth,” said Peter Loffredo, artistic director of Connecticut Heritage Productions. 

The play, directed by Loffedo, will feature a multigenerational cast of actors from the community.  The play is set in Washington, D.C., and along the Potomac during a Christmastime near the end of the Civil War. Vogel weaves together notable historical facts and figures with fictional characters and events to explore the celebration of Christmas and the state of our nation during wartime.

Pre-audition workshops, recommended for student actors, to learn more about the Playhouse, the plays and to sharpen audition skills are held from 7-9pm on Tuesday and Wednesday September 11 and 12. Auditions will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday September 18 and 19 from 7-9pm.  There is no charge to audition.  There is a tuition fee for the Teen Repertory Company.

Oddfellows programming is made possible through the generous support of the American Savings Foundation, the CDBG Scholarship Program, the CT Department of Economic and Community Development, the CT Department of Education, Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Fund, Elizabeth Carse Foundation, the Fund for Greater Hartford, the George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, the Irving Kohn Foundation, the J. Walton Bissell Foundation, Liberty Bank Foundation, Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Middlesex County Community Foundation, Middlesex United Way, the Middletown Commission on the Arts, Middletown YSB, the National Endowment for the Arts, Northern Middlesex Cable Advisory Council, Pratt & Whitney—Middletown, Price Chopper Golub Foundation, the Stare Fund, Stop and Shop Foundation, Thomas J. Atkins Foundation, Triple Frog, LLC and WESU (88.1FM).

A Video from Catales!

Catales a happy tale!

View the video above or click on the link below to see the same thing directly in YouTube-

Sunday, August 26, 2012

VIDEO - Music on a Saturday Night

Here's a video snapshot of just some of the music and activities happening in Middletown on a Saturday night. Mike playing solo guitar on the Main Street sidewalk. Drum Talk having a drum circle outside of Klekolo World Coffee. Political Animals performing at an art gallery showing at MAC650 Artist Cooperative. Support the local arts!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Klekolo's "Take Back the Park" Festival This Weekend

"Everyone else is having festivals. Why not here?" So says Val Chapman. The Klekolo barista is the guiding force behind the coffeehouse's "Take Back the Park Festival" this weekend.

"The Park" is the privately owned strip of land that runs along the side of Klekolo's "Center for World Domination" on Court Street, then past the parking garage and behind the Tuscany Grill to College Street. The former city street is now a grass-and-sidewalk pedestrian way, but Chapman and others believe it is underutilized.

"It used to be the big social spot", said Andy Therrien. "We want people to play here again." Val Chapman said she'd like to see the festival become an annual event.

The normally quiet walkway certainly saw some use Friday night.  The festival kicked off with outdoor laughs from members of the improv comedy troupes BenTopher and Tick! Tick! Boom! Once the sun went down, anyone and everyone was invited to play the video game "Rock Band", projected on a giant screen.
The festival runs all weekend:  Saturday from 10am to 10pm, and Sunday from 10am to 7pm.
Saturday will feature music from two popular WESU-FM deejays: Rick from "The Psychedelicatessen" and DJ Cheshire Cat.  There'll also be a Parkour demonstration and a wandering juggler.
Sunday includes live music from J-Cherry at 1pm, and a 10am Tai Chi class. On both days, photos, jewelry, and art will be available from a variety of vendors.

Stop on down this weekend and explore a special little space in Middletown.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Actors with disabilities to perform in Middletown

The cast of A Friend is Who You Make It!
MARC: Community Resources is proud and excited to present Expressions: A Friend Is Who You Make It!, an original theatrical performance starring our consumers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

This one-night-only engagement at Oddfellows Playhouse will highlight the significance of music, work and friendship – the keys to a wonderful life.

Rodney Moore, an artist from Young Audiences of CT in New Haven, co-wrote the play with consumer Kaitlyne McNamara, who also stars.

“It’s going to be very inspirational,” said Tiffany Keleman, a consumer practicing her interview skills in the scene about work.

The event takes place on Tuesday, August 28 at Oddfellows Playhouse. Doors are at 5:30 pm and the play begins at 6 pm. A brief reception will follow the performance. The event is free, but seating is limited.

Help us pack the theater! RSVP today by calling 860.342.0700 or email

MARC: Community Resources empowers adults and children with disabilities to realize their dreams. To honor and help fulfill these dreams, MARC provides people with choices for housing, employment, and social/recreational life.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Is a Bagworm Munching on Your Arborvitaes?

The common bagworm, also known as the Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis, is a voracious leaf-feeding caterpillar that eventually becomes a clear-winged moth. If you are one of the millions of property-owners who have planted a living fence of Arborvitaes, you should be on the alert right now for these destructive little pests.

The astonishing mimicry that this insect has accomplished makes it practically invulnerable and, to most people, invisible. The feeding caterpillar produces a silken cocoon that is covered with chewed-up bits of plant material – from two feet away, you would swear the cocoon was a naturally occurring cone, a part of the plant itself.

Instead, this cocoon contains the feeding caterpillars, it is home to the adult female who mates while in it, and it provides protection for up to 1,000 eggs per female.

Unfortunately for those who have tall Arborvitaes, the insect often starts at the top of the trees and chews its way down, often denuding the plant as it goes.

At this time of year, the only defense is to hand-pick the cocoons off the trees and destroy them. Late spring is the time to spray for them; both organic and chemical controls exist, but the cocoons make it fairly difficult to reach the females.

And a last word about “living fences.”  If you really want privacy, consider installing a fence. No tree or shrub benefits from being planted in massed quantities. The more of one species you plant – what’s known as a monoculture – the happier some insect or disease will be when it locates the all-you-can-eat buffet on your property.

Many insects, and almost all fungi, are species-specific. So if the tree they land on is one of a kind, that insect or fungus will spread slowly, if at all. Our newest insect threat, the Emerald ash borer, gathered tremendous momentum in Michigan because ash trees were planted there in huge quantities to replace elms lost in the 1950s and 60s. And the elms were a monoculture, too! Will we ever learn?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Save the date: Rockfall Program in Honor of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring & Women in Conservation

The Rockfall Foundation ( is hosting an evening talk and reception with award-winning Colorado reporter and author, Dyana Furmansky, featuring her most recent book, Rosalie Edge – Hawk of Mercy: The Activist Who Saved Nature from the Conservationists. Furmansky will speak September 20, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm at the deKoven House Community Center.

Rosalie Edge (1877-1962) was the first American woman to achieve national renown as a conservationist. An early voice against the indiscriminate use of toxins and pesticides, Edge reported evidence about the dangers of DDT 14 years before Carson's Silent Spring was published. Today, Edge is most widely remembered for establishing Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the world's first refuge for birds of prey, in 1934. Hawk Mountain was cited in Silent Spring as an "especially significant" source of data.

Dyana Furmansky's articles on environmental subjects and the culture of the American West have appeared in the New York Times, Audubon Magazine, American Heritage, High Country News, Wilderness and many other publications. In 1986 she was part of the High Country News reporting team that won the George Polk award for Environmental Reporting. She is co-author of These American Lands: Parks, Wilderness and the Public Land with T.H. Watkins. Rosalie Edge received a 2009  Wormsloe Foundation Nature Award and the 2010 Colorado Book Award.

Seating is limited and advanced registration is required. Suggested donation: $20 per guest. For reservations: Call Tony at (860) 347-0340; or email

The deKoven House Community Center is located at 27 Washington Street in Middletown. There is some limited parking in the Center’s small lot, as well as parking in the city lot next door. For directions, click here and again on the deKoven House page.

The Rockfall Foundation supports environmental education, conservation programs and planning initiatives in Middlesex County. Established in 1935, it is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations whose mission is to be a catalyst – bringing people together and supporting organizations to
conserve and enhance the county’s natural environment. Rockfall awards grants each year to organizations, schools and municipalities, and continues to hold and manage open space property in the county.

New Programs at The Buttonwood Tree - Pilot Session Tonight

The Buttonwood Tree, Middletown's own community arts space/bookstore, will be offering several new programs this fall, some of which will start with a pilot session before the cool Fall air even sets in. Tonight, Tuesday, August 21, Daniela Pugh leads a guided class to help folks awaken to their higher, inner Self and release their creativity. Many of us walk through life so busy, focused on work and children and our endless responsibilities that we forget to take care of ourselves and nurture our own soul. On an airplane they teach you to put the oxygen mask on yourself first - you are then better equipped to help others, this applies to life as well. How often we neglect ourselves! Some of the programs at TBT, including this one, offer ways for you to get in touch with your highest Self, equipping you with techniques to reduce stress, rejuvenate and rebalance yourself, allowing you to handle life in a peaceful way, benefitting your family and yourself. Times are changing in a big way, and we all need some extra help on how to cope with change. Adaptability is one key to success - but how do you learn that? Try some of these classes:

Tuesday, Aug. 21:
Laughter Yoga "Playshop"- Laughter IS the best medicine, but how often do you do it? This class helps you release stress and laugh easier, two things to make your life better and you healthier! 7-8pm (Free)

NEW CLASS: Go with the FLOW - Freedom, Love, Oneness and Wellness;  A class combining simple body awakening/dance movements, guided meditation and the opportunity for creative expression through music, writing, dance or drawing for the purpose of reducing stress and rebalancing ourselves for a healthier, happier life. Pilot session 8:15-9:15 pm (Free)

"Aligned with Source" - Workshop for Empowerment with Annaita Gandhy. Ongoing workshop, drop in any week 10:30-12 noon ($5 sug. donation)  Topic this week, Aug. 25, is Living in Abundance.

Creative Writing Workshop - A Novel Writing Workshop hosted with award-winning writer and former ABC and NPR journalist Eileen Albrizio. What “Show Don’t Tell”  Means in Fiction and Creative Nonfiction. One of the most frustrating phrases we’ve heard as writers will frustrate you no more! This workshop will not only make sense out of “show don’t tell,” but will make the craft of showing your story enjoyable and exciting! August 25th, 1-3 pm ($25. registration required)

NEW CLASS: Community Yoga - 6 week session starts September 8. Start your weekend on the right foot by invigorating yourself! Terri Johnson, RYT of Lex Gillan’s The Yoga Institute, will be teaching a unique and varied Vinyasa Flow style for folks new to yoga and intermediates.  8:30 - 9:45 am (Free)

NEW CLASS: Chinese Bamboo Brush Painting - Chinese Brush painting is meant to be more than a representation of an object; it is also a symbolic expression. Painting the leaves and stem, but never the whole plant, bamboo painting is all about the beauty of line. You will be amazed at all the different qualities of line you can achieve with just one brush, simply by changing the angle and pressure with which you hold it. Lessons include brush stroke techniques, brushes used, making Chinese ink, using rice paper composition and space.

You should be able to use the skills you learn to design your own shirts, create cards, and decorate your home. Chinese bamboo brush painting is relaxing and fun. You are guaranteed to go home with a beautiful painting that you’ve created using the skills learned in this workshop!

This class is ideal for beginners, no experience is needed. Instructor is 
artist and author Jason Mark Alster MSc.  Adult class -Sept. 22,  Children over 14 and adults - Oct 6. Both classes held 1-5 pm ($45 registration required, includes supplies)

Later in September:
NEW PROGRAM: Open Improv Jam / Performance Join host and facilitator, Topher, for an evening of improvised theater games. Come either to perform or to watch as players engage in improvised scenes and sketches. Pilot sessions Tuesdays, Sept 4th and 11th,  7-9pm ($5 suggested donation)

NEW PROGRAM: Karaoke with Deni. Singing is another way to improve the quality of life and have fun - all are welcome. Fourth Wednesdays, starts September 26,  7-9pm (Free)   

All programs and classes are held at The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center - located in Middletown's Arts District at 605 Main Street, next to It's Only Natural market.  TBT is open 7 days a week and is accepting volunteers. Call 860-347-4957 or email for more information.

Summer Sounds on the South Green/Union Park - Sambeleza - Brazilian jazz tonight Aug. 21

Sambeleza is a Brazilian jazz group formed by renowned CT-based bass player, Jeff Fuller and including vocalist Isabella Mendes and guitarist Joe Carter.
The Middletown Commission on the Arts presents their annual Summer Sounds concert series on the City's South Green (Union Park) on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer. (rain location is the sanctuary of South Congregational Church, directly across the street from the Green on the corner of Main & Pleasant Streets).
The concerts are free and you are encouraged to bring lawn chairs/blankets. Food and beverages (no alcohol is permitted on public lawns) are allowed and the United Methodist Church and South Congregational Church adjacent to the Green both sell food/beverage items.
Concerts begin at 7 p.m.
The line-up is:
For more information, call the City Arts Office at 860.343.6620 x201

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meet Your Greens -- Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Plan to sail and Meet Your Greens!
Aboard the Schooner

launching from Saybrook Point Marina,
Old Saybrook

August 21, 2012
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
During the 2012 sailing season, SoundWaters is conducting public sails from selected ports of Long Island Sound to raise awareness of  and stewardship for the Sound in local communities.  During this sail, passengers will have the opportunity to  participate in hands-on learning stations that highlight the impact of human activity on the health of the Sound. Participants will sample and test water quality, analyze groundwater filtration, work together to raise the sails, haul nets and examine the rich diverstity of life that exists beneath the waves.
Schooner SoundWaters is an 80-foot replica of a Chesapeake bay sharpie schooner, and is US Coast Guard certified, fully insured.  

Participation is limited to 35 passengers; children must be at least 7 years of age.

Advanced registration is required. Price: $20 per person.

Registration is through SoundWaters only. To register, click here . 

SoundWaters, based in Stamford, has been offering educational programs to children and adults about the Long Island Sound for more than 21 years. Click  here for more information.  

Participants will be working on board-- please bring only limited drinks and snacks you may need. No alcohol will be allowed on the ship. 
Meet Your Greens meets every third Tuesday of the month (usually). Venues and times, and sometimes days,  change-- join our e-list for updates and invites by contacting Claire Rusowicz, crusowicz@rockfallfoundation.orgor Jennifer Weymouth, You can also join us on Facebook ("Meet Your Greens").

Schedule updates are also provided on The Rockfall Foundation website,
Questions? Please e-mail or call Claire Rusowicz (860)347-0340.

One Text Message Can Save You Money on Your Medicine!

Now, you can text the word “family” to 700700 to save up to 75% on the cost of your prescription medicine and get a free FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card sent to your cell phone by text. Then simply show the text to your pharmacist and they will automatically apply the FamilyWize discount to the cost of your medicine. And you can help everyone you know by forwarding on the information.

By using FamilyWize, consumers can get medication prices close to those offered to large insurance companies and employers. Anyone can use the card, regardless of age, income, or employment level. While those who do not have health insurance will receive the biggest discount, others can also benefit. The FamilyWize card does not reduce the cost of medications for which you have a copay, but it may reduce the cost of medications not covered by your insurance.

There are still more than 80 million people in the United States, in every community, large and small, that have no health insurance or need help to buy prescription medicine not covered by their health plan. “Technology makes it possible for us to help a lot more people, much more quickly.” said Dan Barnes, Chief Executive and Co-Chair of FamilyWize. “It’s really incredible how cell phones, the Internet, Facebook and Twitter can make getting help so much easier and faster.”

You can also get a free FamilyWize card with a click of a mouse at or the new FamilyWize facebook page at

Middlesex United Way and FamilyWize have already saved people living and working in Middlesex County more than $200,000 since 2009 on the cost of their medicine. You can help spread the word by informing your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers about this important and completely free assistance that can help struggling families meet the costs of living.

Middlesex United Way is advancing the common good by creating opportunities for a better life for all. Our focus is on education, income, health and housing – the building blocks for a good quality of life. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise, and resources needed to get things done. You are invited to be part of the change by giving, advocating and volunteering. That’s what it means to Live United.

Middlesex United Way is a locally-based organization serving the towns of Chester, Clinton, Cromwell, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Middlefield, Middletown, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.

The FamilyWize Community Service Partnership was established in the fall of 2005 to help people get the medicine they need.. Today, more than 1,000 participating United Ways and America’s Promise Alliance Partners in all 50 states coordinate the local distribution of the free FamilyWize prescription drug discount cards which lower the cost of medicine by up to 75% and  make it more affordable.. By April 2012, the free FamilyWize cards have helped more than 4 million people save over $345 million. For more information, visit