Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Build a Fairy or Gnome House at Russell Library this Thursday!

This is a house built by a patron in 2016's Fairy House workshop.
On Thursday, August 17, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, Russell Library will be hosting a Fairy and Gnome House Building Workshop for ALL AGES!

Want to attract a fairy or a gnome to your home? Plenty of supplies will be available for you to create your own fairy or gnome home, but participants are welcome to bring additional materials as well: moss, feathers, fabric, shells--whatever you think a fairy or gnome might fancy.
Environmentally-friendly materials will be available for those who wish to create an outside fairy or gnome house. 
Adults and families are welcome. Drop-in, no registration necessary. 


Monday, August 14, 2017

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week! Willow!!



Gender: Female

Breed: DSH
Color: Orange & White
Age:1 year 3 months old


When I was only 10 months old, I was found on the street in a cardboard box and it was soon discovered that I was pregnant. In spite of my young age, I was a great mom. Now that my kittens have all been adopted, I am ready for my own home. I am a very friendly kitty and love attention from humans. I do nip sometimes, but I am not trying to hurt anyone. When it comes to play, I am just like a kitten. I especially love laser pointers and chasing wand toys. I would probably be OK with another non-aggressive cat, but I think I would be happiest as an only cat. Won't you come to visit me? I would love to meet you.

No Cats / No Children

Phone:   860.344.9043
Watch our TV commercial:  https://youtu.be/Y1MECIS4mIc



Nominate A Local Environmental Champion

The Rockfall Foundation is seeking nominations for the 2017 Environmental Awards, which recognize individuals, organizations, and businesses for environmental efforts that contribute to the quality of life in the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Two categories of awards include the Distinguished Service Award and Certificates of Appreciation in the areas of preservation, conservation, restoration, or environmental education. Awardees are recognized at the Rockfall Foundation’s annual meeting and grants celebration in November. Nominations must be submitted by September 15, 2017 and a form can be downloaded online or one can be requested by calling 860-347-0340.

Founded in 1935 by Middletown philanthropist Clarence S. Wadsworth, the Rockfall Foundation is one of Connecticut’s oldest environmental organizations. The Foundation supports environmental education, conservation and planning initiatives in the Lower Connecticut River Valley through public programs and grants.  In addition, the Rockfall Foundation operates the historic deKoven House Community Center that offers meeting rooms and office space for non-profit organizations. For additional information about the 2017 Environmental Awards or the Rockfall Foundation, please visit www.rockfallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Brohaha: A Good Laugh With Your Brother -- The Colonel Carries On #96

by Portly Sage, Rosemary End-Time, and Art Simon


Epigraph: “Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.” --Tom Lehrer


“Death comes for us all. But we needn’t experience the grief of bereavement if we all go at once. So what if it’s in an ocean of flame? At least no one’s left behind to cry.” --Kim Bad-Un

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Music at The Mansion Rain Date

You may remember the buckets of rain that fell the night that Doo-Wop DeVille started to play on the back patio of The Wadsworth Mansion (July 12, I believe).  The Music at The Mansion series rain date is usually the week after the final concert and should have been August 2.  But the band, based in Massachusetts, could not return until the second Wednesday in August, which is tomorrow August 9.  Actually, that's good because last Wednesday, the Middletown area had quite a storm. But it is also kind-of-bad because tomorrow is Motorcycle Mania on Main Street Middletown.

courtesy of Doo-Wop DeVille
So, you have a choice on what looks will be a beautiful afternoon and evening in Central Connecticut.  You can go downtown and ogle all the fine motorcycles that make the trek to town or head to the Mansion for some sweet music.  Chances are, you can do both.  Motorcycle Mania runs from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. while Doo-Wop DeVille hits the patio stage around 6:30 p.m.  Both events are free and open to the public.  Have fun, on matter what you choose to do!

Take a listen:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week! Ranger Rick!





Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week!

Ranger Rick!

Gender: Male
Breed: DSH
Color: Brown Tabby
Age:2 years old


I was found abandoned in a Middletown neighborhood. I was injured with an abscess on two of my feet. I was trying to find someone to save me for quite a while. I am a very sweet and affectionate young boy. I love to be petted and like to be held. I absolutely love attention. I should not be in a home with small children only because I may try and dart out the door so you need to be diligent with me around doors and windows. I would love to curl up in bed or on the couch with you. Please adopt me! I have so much love to give. 

No Dogs

Phone:  (860) 344-9043
See our commercial!  https://youtu.be/Y1MECIS4mIc



The Rockfall Foundation Presents a Night at the Ivoryton Playhouse to Benefit Environmental Programs


On Thursday, August 17th, the Rockfall Foundation hosts a fund raiser at the Ivoryton Playhouse that
includes a pre-show reception and performance of Saturday Night Fever: The Musical. The 1970’s brought us the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act and it’s also the decade that brought us disco. It’s been 40 years since the release of the film Saturday Night Fever - the inspiration for this electrifying musical and the Rockfall Foundation invites you to join them in celebrating this milestone while supporting essential environmental programs!
Enjoy a pre-show reception with hearty hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar on the tent-covered patio at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Then, get ready for the nostalgic songs of the Bee Gees that defined the disco generation! Can’t stay for the show? Join the Foundation for networking at the reception – a limited number of tickets are available for the reception only.
Tickets are $60 for the reception, which begins at 6 pm, and the 7:30 pm performance. There are a limited number of $20 tickets for the reception only available. Proceeds support environmental education programs and grants. To purchase tickets, visit www.rockallfoundation.org or call 860-347-0340.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Hyperbole Is Going to Kill Us All -- The Colonel Carries On #95

by Hiroshima Nagasaki and Syrenead Neyragrat


Epigraph: “I looked Pure Evil in the eye and what I saw was mostly pride run amok.” --Roy Marshrigger


I had a watch battery changed at a jeweler’s, and asked whether the replacement battery would last seven years or ten. The jeweler said only one or two, because the manufacturers put the long-lived (that’s long-LYVED) batteries only into new watches and don’t make them available as replacement batteries. “It’s a marketing thing.”

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Middletown Passes No Pesticide Ordinance


With over twenty people in attendance to support a no pesticide ordinance at the July 3, 2017 Common Council meeting, Middletown voted to join several other progressive CT towns that no longer allow toxic pesticides on their municipally-owned fields, parks and grounds. 

Coordinators of a push to eliminate use of toxic lawn chemicals from Ecoin (Environmental Collective Impact Network) took their cues from towns like Branford and Cheshire, which have followed a nontoxic regimen for their fields, parks and grounds with great success for many years.

Leading up to this ordinance many hundreds of Middletown residents signed petitions asking that the practice of using toxic lawn chemicals on our city fields and grounds be stopped. Pesticides, including insecticides and herbicides, are poisons, not only for lawn pests and weeds, but also for people, pets and our planet. The range of known harmful effects associated with human exposure to certain lawn-care pesticides includes cancer, asthma, reproductive problems, liver and kidney damage, and nervous and immune system disorders. Our children are especially vulnerable with their small and rapidly developing bodies. 

These chemicals have also been associated with increased cancers in dogs. They kill beneficial insects and bees, and contaminate fish and other wildlife as they make their way into the environment and are passed along through the food chain. Many of these chemicals contaminate our soil, rivers and streams, and groundwater, affecting our drinking water.

On an educational field trip to Branford last year, Common Council members, Public Works staff, and Mayor Drew saw firsthand how lush, beautiful and healthy fields and green spaces can be by using proven non-toxic techniques for planting and maintenance. When the soil is built up naturally, root systems are stronger and grow deeper, and more durable, healthy turf grass is the result. Natural turf care expert Chuck Sherwood explained and demonstrated how earthworms provide aeration, microbes process nutrients, clover adds nitrogen, and fungi promote nutrient distribution. Ironically, these same beneficial soil organisms and plants are the target of commonly used lawn pesticides. 

The time is right to make the switch. The Parks Bond provides an excellent opportunity to construct fields suitable for non-toxic maintenance by starting with the right soil composition and depth, and proper drainage. Many Common Council members stressed the need for staff training on the new turf care methods, and the Board of Education has retained Chuck Sherwood as a consultant for school fields. 

Thank you to Mayor Dan Drew, Middletown’s Common Council, Public Works & Facilities Commission, Twenty-first Century Committee, and Public Works Director William Russo and Deputy Director Chris Holden for taking this important step and showing that the health of our kids and the environment are a priority!
 
The Environmental Collective Impact Network (Ecoin) is a coalition of local nonprofits and city commissions that supports more sustainable practices by government, businesses and local residents. Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month, from 5 to 6 p.m., at the deKoven House, 27 Washington Street in Middletown. Members of the public, city staff, and elected officials are invited to attend. 

By Rebecca MacLachlan, Ecoin Member



 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week ~ FERN!!

Cat Tales ~ Cat of the Week!!

Fern!!


Gender: Female
Breed: DSH
Color: Brown Tabby
Age:3 years old

Hi everyone! I was found abandoned in the beginning of summer by a dumpster at Cat Tales in a carrier. They were not sure if I was going to make it because I was severely dehydrated and had a severe urinary tract infection when the volunteers found me. It is so sad that someone would leave me abandoned in that terrible condition. I'm a very sweet girl and fully recovered now. I do need a quiet home with a patient person who will give me time to adjust, as I've been through a lot lately. I'm an absolute sweetheart who loves to be petted and get attention, loves to play and loves to be held when I'm in the mood. I would love to curl up to you on the couch or in bed with you, and call you my owner. I'm pretty scared of dogs but I'm fine with other cats. I'm still a young girl and would promise to love you forever. Please find it in your heart to rescue and adopt me today!

No Dogs


Phone:   860.344.9043
Watch our TV commercial:  https://youtu.be/Y1MECIS4mIc



Russell Library presents the Great War on the Big Screen in August

War Horse will be screened this Wednesday as part of
the library's WWI film series. 
The Russell Library will offer a series of film screenings through the month of August as part of the library’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War. World War One has been a rich subject for cinematographers, and movies have always contributed to our cultural memory of historical events. The films selected for the series feature engaging and visually stunning dramas told from the English, French, and American points of view. 

Here is the line up: 

August 2: War Horse
August 9: Testament of Youth
August 16: The Silent Mountain

August 23: A Very Long Engagement

Saturday, July 29, 2017

“I Sank the Wrong Ball!” Pool Shark Confesses -- The Colonel Carries On #94


by Heywood Stilby Greene and Matt Ahari


Epigraph: “Call me Michael, not Mikey, you attenuated stick insect! No waffles for you!”


The use of “insect” as a term of abuse took me back to the days of “Jiggs and Maggie” (formally “Bringing Up Father”). In that comic strip, socially aspiring Maggie would berate Jiggs for his low ways, like frequenting Dinty Moore’s bar.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Russell Library Director and CEO to Retire


The Virginia Hatch Room of Russell Library was recently repainted.
Matt Poland, Library Director and Chief Executive Officer of Russell Library since February 2016, announced today his plan to retire in the next few months.

Geen Thazhampallath, President of the Library Board of Trustees said, “Matt has been a passionate and tireless advocate for the Russell Library and for urban public libraries in general. He was exactly what we needed---a visionary who had the energy to help us modernize our offerings and service delivery with an eye toward what patrons really need in the community. The entire Board recognizes that he empowered the staff to strive for service excellence and in every instance, delivered exactly what he said he’d get done. We are grateful for his inspired leadership and for the change he led during his time at Russell.”

Thazhampallath also added that, “Matt is the consummate library leader -- focused on helping others find the answers they seek, expanding early childhood literacy services and teen programming, and navigating the complexities of a strategic plan. He has made an extraordinary contribution not only to the library but to the entire Greater Middletown community. We will all miss him.”
In announcing his retirement, Poland remarked, “I am incredibly lucky to have found a career in public libraries that sustained and challenged me for so many years. I’ve met fascinating and wonderful people during my time at Russell Library, and I have been privileged to work with and learn from a dedicated and talented staff and Board. The Library’s collection and programs are among the most remarkable in Connecticut. But they are but one facet of my experience here. It’s the talented and devoted staff who bring them to life through their hard work day in and day out. I consider myself among the fortunate few to have had such an extraordinary position at a wonderful place with such exceptional people.”

“I will miss my colleagues in Middletown, but I am excited about embarking on a new personal adventure. I am also very happy that the Russell Library has a full complement of engaged, forward-thinking trustees and the support of the Mayor and City Council who will make sure that the Library is a strong community anchor for many years to come,” said Poland.

Thazhampallath said that he may call the Board, which is in recess until September, into session for a meeting in August to begin developing its transition and leadership plan. “We’ll take it step by step. I view this as a loss but Matt is leaving us in very good shape with time to plan our next steps.”