Archive for the ‘Wesleyan’ Category

Middletown Republicans Poised to End Democrat Domination in the City

October 21, 2011

P & Z Candidate Molly Salafia with Matt Scarrozzo, MRTC Chairman

The February 2011 special election that brought Len Suzio to the Connecticut Senate was an early sign of dissatisfaction with long term Democrat domination in Connecticut. In the case of the district (Senate District 13) won by Suzio it had endured Democrat control for 36 years according to the Hartford Courant’s calculations. At the time of Suzio’s win I wrote, in another venue:

“One can only hope that Suzio’s election is a harbinger of reform to come. Recent developments in other states suggest that a nationwide retreat from reckless spending, unfunded mandates, and impossible entitlements is in the offing. The turnout for this election was remarkable for a special election and I imagine that taxpayer concerns here and the news from other states spurred voter participation yesterday.”

The hope today among Middletown Republicans is that the movement away from Democrat domination in local politics can continue with the election of a full slate of able candidates on Nov. 8, 2011. The Republican slate for Middletown is headed by incumbent Mayor Seb Giuliano who has been in office for six years during which time he has been faced with a Democrat majority on the Common Council and Board of Education.

Middletown Mayor Sebastian Giuliano

Samuel Wadsworth Russell House (1828)

May 9, 2010


Samuel Wadsworth Russell House (1828)

Originally uploaded by Steadyjohn

Samuel Wadsworth Russell House (1828)

High Street, corner Washington Street; Middletown, Connecticut. May 7, 2010.

This Greek Revival masterpiece was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2001. This house is frequently cited as one of the premier examples of Greek Revival Architecture in the Northeast. The house remained in the Russell family for five generations and was finally deeded to Wesleyan University in 1937.

Samuel Russell (1789-1862) became fabulously wealthy in the China trade in the early 19th century. He smuggled Turkish and Bengal opium into Canton and brought back fine porcelain, silk, and tea to Europe and the United States. In 1828 when his house was built Russell was in Canton, and his friend Samuel D. Hubbard worked with Mrs. Russell to supervise the building of the house. In 1831 Russell returned to Middletown and his new home where he resided until his death in 1862.

Source 1: Historic Buildings of Connecticut

Source 2: Wikipedia

Additional Photos from the site:

Iron Gate and Shadows

Samuel Russell House (1828)

Some Recent Photos From Around Middletown CT

February 14, 2010

First Year Hawk
First year hawk, most likely Red Tail, seen Coginchaug River vicinity

Wetmore-Starr House (1752)
The Wetmore-Starr House (1752) Washington St

Kid City Children's Museum
The Kid City Childrens Museum; Washington Street

Little House in the Graveyard
Graveyard scene; Vine Street

Wesleyan U. College Row fm High Street
College Row Panorama; High Street

Note: You may click on the photos for more information and image sizes; you will be redirected to my Flickr page.

Lots of Tea and a Drop of Life

April 13, 2009

After the various Tax Day Connecticut Tea Parties you might want to check out this free Earth Day  presentation at Wesleyan:

https://i1.wp.com/h1.ripway.com/johnbrush/Earth%20Day%20Event.jpg

More information about film maker Shalini Kantayya

From Kantayya’s blog (4/11)

To mark World Water Day, I am launching the a DROP of LIFE Campus Tour, to bring attention to the world water crisis. Designated in 1992 by a United Nations General Assembly resolution, World Water Day is an international observance and call to action to bring attention to the problem of insufficient access to clean, safe drinking water. Using my film a DROP of LIFE as a spark to inspire discussions about the world water crisis, the tour celebrates World Water Day, Earth Day, Women’s History Month, and Asian American History Month.

Shalini Kantayya

Shalini Kantayya

Middletown Photos Added

January 4, 2009

Sufferin' Cats

“Sufferin’ Cats”

We have added lots of Middletown photographs to these pages; read more….

Dugout Paddlers Off For Florida….

June 8, 2008

Dugout Paddlers Off For Florida
Middletown Press reports today:

MIDDLETOWN — With a grey-clouded sky over the river five brave boaters set out for Key West in dugout canoes Thursday.

Setting forth in two handcrafted dugouts, Captain George Frick and four crew members headed down the Connecticut River towards Saybrook and the open water beyond. They are then to head down Long Island Sound to New York and then traverse the Inland (IntraCoastal) Waterway to Florida, a journey that will take about 6 weeks. We reported earlier on the making of the canoes and on an earlier trip down river to Greenport, Long Island. The photo at top is from an earlier excursion on the river and the one below is a view of two incomplete dugouts taken in Harbor Park, Middletown last year. A full account of the earlier trip can be read here and here (PDF). The top photo is from that site.

Here is an excerpt from a web site documenting the building of the canoes:
THE PROJECT
Getting the tree
An Eastern cottonwood tree — 60 feet in length and 12 feet in circumference — had been
identified on Wilcox Island under the Arrigoni Bridge. Ron Klattenberg, Middletown City
Council member and project organizer, observed that there were several auspicious signs
for this project. The first was the weather. The massive tree identified to be cut down for the
project fell during a storm; then subsequent days of rain helped wash the tree trunk down
parallel to the river for launching.
The cottonwood was floated downriver to Harbor Park in Middletown. Clients went
upriver to watch the process. Not only were the clients watching, so were police, fire and
Coast Guard boats. Everyone marveled at how George Frick, president of Friends of the
Connecticut River, was able to manage to straddle the tree without falling off, then to bring
it to shore.
Crafting the canoe: Trial and error
Now it was time for the AIC clients to begin the arduous and grueling process of chopping,
burning, and carving the tree into a canoe. Under the guidance of George Frick and Ron
Klattenberg, the young men set to work hollowing and carving out the dugout canoe. For
a month they burned the wood to make it soft, then dug out the tree, all the while using
primitive tools. Each day they carved, cooked lunch over the burning embers, then carved
some more. While there are no historical records as to how the Indians in fact crafted these
boats, Frick had some knowledge of the methods and type of shape that would be necessary
to make this journey successful.

Obama Here: More Hope, Change, Not Much Else

May 25, 2008

This will be a blog posting on the fly today. First a photo essay (a beautiful day for photography by the way) from Obama’s appearance at Wesleyan University in Middletown to give the 176th annual commencement address in place of the ailing Ted Kennedy. Following the photos there will be an 8 minute video of the event and later I will add some comments about the address and also about remarks by President Michael Roth.

Funny, Obama thought he was at Wellesley; listen at around 6:10 in the video. (Omitted from the Obama campaign official You Tube video posted on Wesleying blog) And the Courant’s blogger Melissa Pionzio thought she was at Palmer Field instead of Andrus Field (“Well, I’m here sitting under the trees on the side of Palmer field where the Wesleyan Commencement ceremonies will begin in about 45 minutes.”) She also seems alarmed by the obvious presence of heavily armed security agents:

“There appears to be sharp shooters of some kind atop the glass connection between the campus chapel and I think Judd Hall (home of the psychology dept.) They are in black, with their arms folded – looks like there are about four of them. A woman with binoculars behind me confirmed that they have rifles up there, yikes!!

The following video runs a little over 8 minutes:


Tags: barack obama at wesleyan,barack obama,ted kennedy,wesleyan university,middletown ct,wesleyan commencement,global warming,climate change,progressive politics,michael roth,wesleying,

This blog also appears today at http://conservacity.blogspot.com
and http://middletown.ctlocalpolitics.net

Carbon Offset Scam: $$ to Assuage the Guilt

May 21, 2008

Wesleyan Recommends Buying Good Feelings….

Wesleyan is making a green pitch to help well heeled, guilt laden alumni, traveling to the upcoming Reunion/Commencement, feel better about their carbon footprint. The Wesleyan University web site says:

To offset your carbon emissions when traveling to Reunion & Commencement Weekend this year, please visit the Carbonfund.org web site! Use their Auto and Airline calculators to estimate the amount of carbon you will produce in traveling to and from Middletown, and make a donation to Carbonfund’s carbon-reducing projects to offset your impact. (and)

You will notice a new color standing out against the traditional black and red regalia decorating the 176th graduating class during its commencement ceremony this year: Green. A symbol of our dedication to producing an increasingly sustainable Reunion & Commencement Weekend, all graduating seniors, graduate students, alumni and their families, as well as faculty and staff members, will have the opportunity to don green ribbons indicating their commitment to the Wesleyan Community Climate Agreement and to leading a more environmentally conscientious and sustainable lifestyle in future pursuits.

The Washington Post had an interesting article on Aug 16, 2007 (excerpts):

With a click, a credit card and $99, visitors can pay a Silver Spring nonprofit group, Carbonfund.org, to “offset” a year’s worth of greenhouse-gas emissions. Whatever the customer put into the atmosphere — by flying, driving, using electricity — the site promises to cancel out, by funding projects that reduce pollutant

Sites such as this one, offering absolution from the modern nag of climate guilt, have created a $55 million industry that once would have been beyond the greenest of imaginations. The market for “voluntary carbon offsets” now encompasses dozens of sellers and thousands of buyers, including individuals and corporations.

But in some cases, these customers may be buying good feelings and little else.

A closer look reveals an unregulated market in which some improvements bought by customers are only estimated, extrapolated, hoped-for or nil. Some offsets support projects that would have gone forward anyway. Others deliver results difficult to measure.

Carbonfund.org, for example, has advertised offsets that finance wind farms and tree-planting projects. But some wind farms said the donations haven’t led to anything new….

Blogger Doug Bandow at OpenMarket.org opines:

What a great system. I think I will open a carbon offset business. Pay me, oh, $100 and I will plant a sprig that will eventually become a tree, absorbing the carbon dioxide that you’re causing by getting on an airplane or buying a computer or, especially, driving to work. And I am offering a special deal, today only! A dozen trees for just $1000. How can you beat that? Just send your checks to me, in care of CEI. It is a classic win-win situation: You can feel good about yourself while I can go look for another antique chess set or rare history book.

Serenity Returns to Wes Campus….

May 18, 2008

Wesleyan U (CT

In the few days following the tumultuous events of last week (the police student confrontation*), peace has returned to the campus just in time for next weekend’s reunion and commencement celebrations. Following is a portion of the university’s announcement about the 176th Commencement. Senator Ted Kennedy was scheduled to be the speaker but his appearance remains doubtful because of recent health issues.

The 176th Commencement Ceremony (11 AM May 25)
The Commencement Ceremony will be available live by Webcast. Please go to http://wescast.wesleyan.edu for details about how you can view the ceremony.
A live broadcast of the Commencement ceremony will be available in the Memorial Chapel, Patricelli ’92 Theater, Crowell Concert Hall, and Tishler Lecture Hall (Room 150), Exley Sciene Center, rain or shine. The ceremony may also be viewed online. Please check this site for details the week of May 18, 2008.
In case of inclement weather, you may also call the main University number at 860/685-2000 to determine whether or not the University will institute the rain plan for the Commencement Ceremony.

*The student-police clash created great controversy and charges and counter charges are in the air and on the blogosphere. We reported on it on Right of Middle; Wesleying blog has been all over it; Ed McKeon at Cauterwaled weighed in; the student run Wesleyan Argus published a special edition, also see Hartford Courant and Middletown Press.

On April 6 last we reported on an incident involving several students and one Middletown police officer.

Finally, an historical note regarding Wesleyan town/gown, police/student relations: On May Day 1954 following a veterans parade on Washington Street there occurred a near riot on campus. Right of Middle reported (April 30, 2007):

….events of the previous Sunday (Loyalty Day) when some Wesleyan students clashed with police and VFW members during a parade through town and onto the campus. The disturbance garnered nationwide attention, with charges of subversion on campus….An informal band of students with musical instruments began to perform in front of the Delta Kappa Epsilon house. Other students with their instruments joined the band and they all marched on High St to Washington St where they turned around only to find themselves leading the VFW parade which had just come up Washington and turned onto High…..From this point forward confusion reigned. Police, in attempting to clear the streets for the marchers, were accused of undue roughness although it was evident that a number of students provoked the officers. At least one student, Terry Hatter, was taken into custody; other students refused to doff their hats when the flag passed and were rebuked by police.

The commotion continued onto Andrus Field, The Argus reported::

The police then began to disperse the students. the marchers who had been standing on the other side of the stret started to cross the steet, saying something about “un-peace” apparently in reference to the sign. By the time they had reached the other side the students had been herded into the house by the police. The bulk of the paraders had reached Andrus field by this time and were awaiting the start of the speeches. Several inquisitive students had gathered behind Denison Terrace to view the proceedings. It was this time that the German Swastika flag, a trophy brought to Wesleyan by a veteran paratrooper after the war, was seen hanging from a dormitory window. The flag had been brought to the dormitory from the Alpha Delta Phi house, where it had been hanging for about twenty minutes. The Alpha Delta had gotten the flag from students who had been dissuaded from hanging it at the Beta Theta Pi house. (The Argus from the period-pdf)

Ahh youth….Happy Spring and Best Wishes to all new grads,,,We return to serenity below….

College Row-Wesleyan CT

Steadyjohn photos

Feet to the Fire Festival: More Info….

May 8, 2008

The Wesleyan community will explore its environmental impact through an eco-arts festival called “Feet to the Fire” on May 10 that will feature food, music, art, theater and a premier by a world-renowned choreographer Ann Carlson (pictured above).

Running from noon to 5 p.m. at Veterans Park in Middletown, “Feet to the Fire” will combine the variety of arts performances, interactive exhibits and a farmers market with food from Connecticut vendors. Exhibits coordinated by the Jonah Center for Earth and Art will highlight energy conservation, sustainability and resilient communities.

Ann Carlson, award-winning choreographer, launches a new series of performance works, Planet Next, that envision life on a future earth. The first of these works, “Green Movement,” uses elements of humor and surprise while challenging the audience to intimately confront the realities of their present day existence.

“Feet to the Fire is an extraordinary campus-wide and community exploration of one of the most urgent issues facing our world today,” says Pam Tatge, director of Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts. “The idea that so many students, faculty members, community members, and artists have collaborated to make works for the festival is simply thrilling.”

The event will also feature a sculpture garden, labyrinth, theater, dance, music, poetry, art and performances by Art Farm’s Circus for a Fragile Planet, Marion Belanger, Tom Callinan, Electric Junkyard Gamelan, Green Street Arts Center, Independent Day School, Kalimba Liberian Group, Geoff Kaufman, Jesse Karlsberg, The Middletuners, Mixashawn, Noah Baerman Trio, Oddfellows Playhouse, RJ and the On-the-Spot Jug Band, Susan Romano, Sirius Coyote, Toussaint Liberator, Wesleyan students and more.

The festival is a part of “Feet to the Fire: Exploring Global Climate Change from Science to Art,” an 18-month project that includes research opportunities for a team of students and faculty to explore first-hand the effects of global warming, fieldwork studies in art and science, performances, pedagogical exchanges in existing courses, commissioning of artists and convening of experts.

“All of us working on the Festival are united in the belief that the arts have the potential to help us see and understand the impact of climate change while at the same time assist us in envisioning a sustainable future,” Tatge says.

The project is funded in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Wesleyan’s grant is one of only eight grants given to challenge campus-based performing arts presenters to integrate their programs more organically within the academic environment.

The Festival is co-sponsored by Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts and Environmental Studies Program, the Jonah Center for Earth and Art and the City of Middletown, in collaboration with the Center for Creative Research and the Green Street Arts Center.

Feet to the Fire will take place from noon to 5 p.m. rain or shine. Admission is free and open to the public. The event is located at Veterans Memorial Park in Middletown, located off Newfield Street. For more information and directions call 860-685-3355.

Source: The Wesleyan Connection

Coginchaug River at Veterans Memorial Park (June 2007)….