Tag Archives: CT

Betty Beekman, Executive Director of the National Theatre of the Deaf.

Theatre of the Deaf Returns

Betty Beekman, Executive Director of the National Theatre of the Deaf.

The world-famous National Theatre of the Deaf has appointed a theatre veteran as its new executive director and has opened its a new main office in New London at Monte Cristo Cottage, the former summer home of playwright Eugene O’Neill. The group’s drama activity will be centered at the Eugene O’Neill Memorial Theater Center in Waterford, where NTD began in 1967.

From 1983 until this year, the group was based in Chester with another office in West Hartford at the American School for the Deaf.

Dr. Harvey J. Corson, chairperson of the NTD Board of Trustees, announced that the board selected Betty Beekman as the new Executive Director effective July 1. Beekman has been serving as interim executive director during the past, transitional year.

“The NTD board is delighted that such an experienced, talented and dedicated theatre professional as Betty is now officially leading our cherished organization,” said Corson.  “She proved herself during the past year by increasing the quality of our theatrical performances, increasing the number of bookings, and bringing back some of the ‘magic’ the NTD displayed during its best eras.”

Beekman, a child of deaf adults, has played a key role in many creative areas and as part of the NTD management team.

“I am excited about the opportunities we see for NTD to bring its unique brand of entertainment and enlightenment to more audiences, deaf and hearing alike,” Beekman said.  “We certainly believe that as an acting troupe dedicated to audiences ‘seeing and hearing’ our plays and performances, and the surge of interest in sign language in primary, secondary, and college venues provides us with a bright future.”

During the time that NTD was based in Chester, she was responsible for the community sign-language program and also created curriculum, taught courses, and performed workshops at several colleges and universities. Over the years, the NTD deaf and hearing actors and actresses, directors, and cast members have created a new dramatic art form, coupling both the eye and the ear.

Beekman developed and directed Stories In My Pocket and Stories In My Pocket Too for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 national tours of the Little Theatre of the Deaf.  She recently directed the piece performed by LTD in their appearance on the BBC “Planet Word” as well as directing a piece for the 2011 Lincoln Center Summer Festival.  She taught sign language techniques at the NTD Professional Theatre School.

For more information about NTD/LTD log on to www.ntd.org

Connecticut Tigers outfielder Zach Kirksey taking a swing at an oncoming fastball.

Taking the Field With the Connecticut Tigers

by Roger Zotti

 

C.J. Knudsen
Vice President and General Manager, Connecticut Tigers

“We’ve been getting great support from people, and we love being the minor league baseball team for Southeastern, Connecticut,” says C.J. Knudsen, Vice President and General Manager of the Connecticut Tigers. “We encourage everyone, if you haven’t been to a game yet, to come to Dodd Stadium and see how nice it is and help support the hometown Tigers. We have a ton of home games left.”  In its third season here, the Connecticut team is the American League Detroit Tigers’ Single-A/New York-Penn League affiliate.

“This season we continue having great promotions,” C.J. adds. “For example, on Mondays kids eat free. If they’re twelve and under, they get a voucher for a hot dog, bag of chips, an apple, and a bottle of water. On Tuesdays it’s Kayem Dollar Hot Dog Night. Friday nights it’s fireworks, which is always a good standby, and Saturdays is our major giveaway night—everything from bobble-head dolls to coffee mugs.”

C.J.’s credentials are impressive. A graduate of Keene State College, he began his career in 1995 as an intern with the NY-PL’s Vermont Expos/Lake Monsters. From 2000 to 2009, he was the team’s General Manager.  In 2003 he was the recipient of the NY-PL Executive of the Year Award; in 2006, he received the Robert Julian Community & Baseball Award.

He came to the Tigers organization in 2010, serving as Vice President of Operations. This year he’s the organization’s VP and GM. As for what his new duties entail, he says, “Well, I might be doing an interview with the media one minute and the next I could be filling a ketchup dispenser. I never know what I might be doing, and that’s what makes minor league life so enjoyable.”

When The Resident asked him what he’d consider a successful 2012 season, C.J. remarks, “One thing is definitely an increase in attendance.”  Also, there’s the brand of exciting baseball the Tigers plays: “Right now, after a slow start, the team is starting to play well. The players are definitely getting to know each other now. Remember, these guys play 76 games in 80 days, which is a lot of baseball.”

Connecticut Tigers outfielder Zach Kirksey taking a swing at an oncoming fastball.

For Jon Versteeg, the team’s Director of Media Relations, a successful season is “continuing to build on the progress we’ve made over the first two years with getting folks real excited about baseball in Norwich. We’ve been doing some great things here, and are always adding new things, like LIFE STAR coming here [July 21], and its crew delivering the first pitch against Lowell. There are so many cool and interesting things we’re doing. So I say stay tuned—the news is always coming out!”

A consistent, positive, and family-friendly philosophy has been and continues to be the organization’s goal since its Connecticut arrival two years ago. “We’re about baseball and, just as importantly, bringing people together,” C.J. says. “Of course, we’ll continue to provide affordable fun and safe entertainment options for families in Connecticut.”

For more information about the Connecticut Tigers, visit www.cttigers.com.

Jeff Hartmann, President and CEO of Mohegan Sun

Around the Region: Jeff Hartmann

Jeff Hartmann, President and CEO of Mohegan Sun

Summer is always an exciting season for us here at Mohegan Sun. We have the chance to celebrate the warmth with family and friends at delicious barbeques or in the pool, and especially here at Mohegan Sun with everything we have to offer this summer.

Here at Mohegan Sun, summer is in full swing. Our 15th Annual Hot Summer Fun celebration continues to make summer our favorite season with our themed days including Money Mondays where Mohegan Sun Player’s Club members can enter a Cash Cube to win big money, Two For Tuesdays with two times the deals, Wild Wednesdays featuring our signature fireworks and a rooftop celebration, Thirsty Thursdays with dining and shopping deals and lastly,

Free Shirt Fridays where Player’s Club members can grab a free Hot Summer Fun t-shirt.

The days are hot here at Mohegan Sun, but the nights are even hotter with our brand new GLO at the Pool pool party and nightclub oasis. We also invite you to visit Vista Lounge, our recently renovated nightlife venue at Wombi Rock.

We are also excited about all of the great entertainment coming to Mohegan Sun this summer. Some of the upcoming concerts to look forward to in the Arena include Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez, Linkin Park, Eric Church and American Idol Live! Tour 2012. And in the Wolf Den, big names like David Cassidy, Skid Row, and MC Hammer will be performing. Hilarious comedic acts will also be visiting The Cabaret Theatre, as well.

Lastly, we encourage all to visit The Shops at Mohegan Sun featuring Tiffany & Co., Coach, Puma and Tommy Bahama. From clothing to electronics, The Shops at Mohegan Sun is a perfect place to take a break from the sun and do some shopping.

I hope that we see you for Hot Summer Fun and that you are enjoying everything our region has to offer during this season. Stay safe and have a wonderful summer!

 

Sincerely,

Jeff Hartmann

President & CEO

Mohegan Sun

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Speedbowl Champ Jeff Smith Coaches Third Graders

by John Stratton

The 2011 late-model-car Track Champion at Waterford Speedbowl returned to his roots on June 7, as he shared a closeup look at his car and his philosophies with 19 Third Graders at Lyme-Old Lyme’s Center School.The 2011 late-model-car Track Champion at Waterford Speedbowl returned to his roots on June 7, as he shared a closeup look at his car and his philosophies with 19 Third Graders at Lyme-Old Lyme’s Center School.

Jeff, now 21, is an Old Lyme native. He was also a student of their teacher, Leanne Williams, back in his Second Grade at Mile Creek School a dozen years ago. That was a couple of years after he began his racing career in quarter-midget cars. Close readers of The Resident may even recall a December 2004 feature that highlighted Smith’s trophy-winning early career.

His star appearance on the green fields behind the Lyme Street school was the culmination of a series of lessons in reading and understanding created by Williams, who asked the students to prepare a written list of questions for Smith based on their readings of stories and books, notably “Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog” which combines racing ideals with family challenges. In addition, the students viewed track videos of Jeff in action at Waterford Speedbowl, learning to analyze and describe the drivers’ challenges.

In fact, Jeff’s path to the 2011 championship in Waterford in his “American-Canadian Tour” Late Model racing car, the 2004 Monte Carlo-bodied number 15 emblazoned with sponsors’ names and logos, was not just about winning races, but more about 21 top-five finishes in the 22-race championship schedule.

“Winning a race feels pretty good,” Jeff said in response to a student question, “but it’s better to win a championship made of many races.”  Since he started racing at age 7, he figures that he’s been in 10,800 races and heat races—some short, some long, all learning experiences.

Known as “Big Country” because of his six-foot, five-inch frame and easy-going, quiet nature, he’s developed a reputation for class and sportsmanship on the track, a point emphasized by his crew chief and father, Wayne Smith. Wayne and his own father also raced at Waterford years ago. Jeff’s mother, Karen, serves as a communicator and general organizer for the group.

Eager hands go up, with questions, many questions about his car, his life, his team and his teamwork with other racers.

So, what’s it like to zip down the straightaways at over 100 mph, slow for the corners at 50, and avoid contact with many others doing the same thing, trying to win?

Jeff answers: “It’s about focus and concentration. I really know at all times where I am on the track, the corner I’m in, the number of laps I’ve gone, my position, and where I want to be next.”

Not a bad life-lesson for a Third Grader, watching attentively.

Over 60 boats participated in the Annual Mudhead Benefit Regatta. Photos by Chad Tjerandsen

Mudhead’s ‘Go-To’ Regatta and Party Benefit Hospice; ‘Open Jam’ Precedes Regatta at Mystic Shipyard

Patriot, the highest fund-raising boat, underway in the Mudhead Benefit Regatta for Hospice SECT.

For 23 years, sailors in southeastern Connecticut have raced their vessels to raise funds and awareness for Hospice Southeastern Connecticut. This year, some 500 friends and neighbors will also gather for a benefit party hosted by the Mystic River Mudheads. The  club’s annual MegaParty is on Saturday, July 21, starting at 5 p.m. at the Mystic Shipyard, Willow Point, in Mystic.

This party features great food, full bar, prize drawings and music from Rock ‘n Soul Revue, and the public is invited to join the fun.

The Mudhead Benefit Cup has become the “Go-To Regatta” on the ECSA Circuit and 2012 promises another exciting weekend of music, food, racing, and fun–all for Hospice Southeastern Connecticut.

The Mudheads have made the most of their opportunities to manage races over the years. The race committee team has won the accolades of the Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association with Best Managed Race four of the last five years. This year, the Spinnaker circle will be doing a couple of Windward-Leewards with PHRF and One Design Classes. The Non-Spinnaker circle will feature a point-to-point race around government marks in Fisher’s Island Sound.

Saturday night, the gala MegaParty under the tent at Mystic Shipyard offers dancing to the music of Rock ‘n Soul Revue, a buffet dinner provided many of the best Mystic restaurants, beverages galore!

The evening before the MegaParty, the shipyard will be jumpin’ as well.

The evening asks, and answers, the question: The Mystic River Mudheads are known for their ability to run a rockin’ race but how many of these sailors can actually rock—on guitar? Sailors and non-sailors are welcome to participate in a Friday, July 20, “Racer’s Jam”at 6 p.m. under the tent at Mystic Shipyard.

There is no charge for admission but people might consider a donation to Hospice. There are promised appearances by Past Mudhead Commodore Bob Austin-LaFrance, Past Commodore Andy Stoddard, Commodore Toby Halsey…plus potential guest appearances from Frank Murphy, Greg Gilmartin, and more!

The Mudhead Board Band will take on all comers for title of Best Sailboat Racing Band.

Hospice Southeastern Connecticut provides care in the home and often in skilled nursing facilities for those facing the end of their life, regardless of age, disease or inability to pay.  Hospice Southeastern Connecticut has been the hospice of choice for over 8,000 families since 1985.

Visit www.mudhead.org for more information and join your favorite rockin’ sailors for a goal of 100 guitars on stage! For more information or to register for the race, visit: www.mudhead.org. For more information on Hospice SECT, visit: www.hospicesect.org

Over 60 boats participated in the Annual Mudhead Benefit Regatta. Photos by Chad Tjerandsen

 

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Greater Westerly Chamber Picks Angela Smith for Its Citizen of the Year

by Alexis Ann

(Check out an album of photos from the gala here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80020280@N05/sets/72157630407413060/)

The Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce honored Angela Smith as its 2012 Citizen of the Year during the 50th Annual Awards Ceremony and Annual Membership Banquet at the Venice Restaurant on June 26.

“This is the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in my entire life!” said Angie Smith on receiving the Citizen of the Year Award.

Michael Rauh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chelsea Groton Bank, served as master of ceremonies and complimented many of the attending women, who were decked out in their most sparkling fashions as a tribute to Angie, known herself for trademark sparkly-feathery apparel.  “This is like ‘Dancing With the Stars’,” said Michael, who observed that “Everyone is sequined out.”

“The Greater Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce is deeply appreciative and very proud to honor Angie Smith,” stated Lisa Konicki, executive director.

The Chamber cited Angie as a person who lives by the adage, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

The Chamber award said that she immerses herself in an array of community services and events with the goal of improving the quality of life in Westerly, where she resides.

Michael Rauh, President and CEO of Chelsea Groton Bank, hosting the ceremony.

“She is an individual of outstanding community spirit, and is generous with her time, talents and resources,” said the Chamber. “During her many decades of volunteering, she inspired citizens in our community to give, and more importantly, she provided a shining example of how to live.”

The Chamber noted that her 42-year career as administrator at the Westerly Medical Center is exemplary.

One of the highlights of the evening, recalled onlookers, was seeing Angie carried to the podium by a half-dozen men while she was seated in a Cleopatra chair specially created by Barbara Stillman.  Upon reaching the podium, Angie remarked, “That was the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in my entire life! Now I know what it’s like to be Queen Elizabeth!”

“Volunteering is my hobby,” says Angie.  “My dad taught me to always help others.”

SHS Drama Wins Six Halo Awards for Theater Arts

by: Anna Maria Trusky

Libby Hall, Heather Jackson, Erin Lee Sousa Stanley (Theater Director), Rachyl Jackson, and Wyatt Floyd of Stonington High School Drama have a lot to celebrate—and to look forward to!

Students at Stonington High School (SHS) Drama started their summer on an award-winning high note—and unlike most students, who live for vacation, these talented young people can’t wait for the fall semester! For the second year in a row, SHS Drama participated in the Halo Awards, a statewide competition that honors excellence in high school theater. The award program is administered by Waterbury’s professional Seven Angels Theatre, which was started by Semina DiLaurentis, a Waterbury native and Broadway and TV actress who originated the role of Sister Amnesia in the musical Nunsense. Competition was tough, as drama students from all over the state were nominated. The awards were given at the end of the school year in a Tony-like ceremony at the Palace Theater in Waterbury. SHS was nominated for 17 awards and won six. The winners included Ian Capozzoli (Best Ensemble Member); Haley Barravecchia and Cory Candelet  (Best Couple); Libby Hall (Best Comic Performer in a Play, female); Antonio Pereira (Above and Beyond Award); and Mackenzie Angus (Stage Manager), Kimberly Armstrong and Hannah Lyon (Assistant Stage Managers) for Best Student Stage Management & Running Crew.

SHS Theater Director Erin Lee Sousa Stanley loves the Halo Awards process. “The judges come from the executive staff, board, and actors from Seven Angels. They are professionals who really care about what we are doing and see all our plays. It’s a wonderful experience for the students.”

SHS Drama students and soon-to-be Juniors Heather Jackson, Rachyl Jackson, Libby Hall, and Wyatt Floyd were thrilled about the awards and eagerly shared their feelings about being involved in the Drama program at SHS. Rachyl, a talented make-up artist, remembers watching her big brother rehearse and helping him run lines when he went to SHS. “I wanted to be those kids up there,” she said.

“Rachyl is amazing,” Erin said. “She does so much research to create the perfect makeup for each character.”

Rachyl’s twin sister Heather played the role of Julia in the school’s recent production of Lend Me a Tenor. “I love the way we become like a family when we work on a show together,” she said. “Theater is like a varsity sport. There is a lot of teamwork involved.”

Wyatt, an actor and photographer who does the call board photos, slide shows, and DVDs, was an apprentice stage manager this past school year. “The whole experience of theater is thrilling. The drama program is the best part of the school year,” he said.

Libby noted that “It is humbling to see the work of the other schools that are nominated for the awards. Seeing how much talent there is makes you want to work harder. I would not want to be at any other school because our drama program and the training we get from Mrs. Stanley is the best.”

Mackenzie Angus, an award winner who just graduated and will be attending a pre-med program, joined the interview by phone. “I love stage managing. You get to see everything on and off stage, all the behind-the-scenes activity. And I couldn’t ask for better friends.”

“The program is going great,” said Erin. “We’re selling out performances. The whole community really looks forward to our shows. It is a true family affair because our students’ parents get involved, and it inspires younger children. We have amazing kids here at Stonington, and our drama program attracts the cream of the crop!”

Groton Lions Install New Officers

by Sandy MacKay

Karen Bryant smiles as her term ends and Dave Fausset is installed as the new President of the Groton Lions.

Who are these Lions, that number over 1.35 million worldwide and reside in 46,000 clubs in 207 countries?

These thoughts were going through my mind as I was driving to the Installation Dinner meeting of the local Groton Lions Club, which was being held at the Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa on June 15.

The international website has a description of who the Lions really are: “Whenever a Lions club gets together, problems get smaller. And communities get better. That’s because we help where help is needed—in our own communities and around the world – with unmatched integrity and energy.”

I could feel that energy as I was introduced from one member to the next prior to being seated for dinner. Outgoing President Karen Bryant thanked her fellow Lions for their support throughout her term. Then, First Vice District Governor Steve Novic grabbed the microphone and sang to the crowd of about 50 Lions and guests to the delight of all. The evening moved quickly as awards were handed out for special recognition and effort. The 12 new appointees, after hearing their title and job description read aloud by Steve, individually accepted their task and lit a candle to seal the deal.

Steve Novic, the First Vice District Governor of District 23C, congratulates and welcomes Dave Fausset as the new President of the Groton Lions.

Filling the new positions for the calendar year are: Dave Fausset, President; Lee Kusterer, First Vice President and Membership; Mark Williams, Second Vice President; Shannon Mack, Second Vice President and Tail Twister; Marilyn Searle, Lion Tamer; Britany Atkinson, Treasurer; Perley Kent, Membership; Maria Doren, Secretary. The Board of Directors comprises Kristina Medert, Karen Segal, Nick Utz, and Steve Hurley.

Despite the diversity in the room, the common thread was of a very tight family who all had one goal: community service. If you want to help serve your community, give Dave Fausset a call at 860.705.6689.

 

USS Nautilus, SSN-571, “Revolutionized” EB Shipbuilding and U.S. Naval Warfare

Representatives of a proud history are, left to right are Henry Nardone, who was the Navy Supervisor of Shipbuilding project officer on Nautilus and later worked at EB for 37 years; John J. Kelly, who retired from Electric Boat as director of nuclear quality control and who participated in the last major repair period on Nautilus in Groton; and Paul Tranchida, who made valves, manifolds, and torpedo-tube doors for Nautilus while working in the shipyard foundry.

At a small but significant ceremony in Elecric Boat’s South Yard on June 14, Electric Boat and Navy representatives—and a few of the actual builders—of USS Nautilus, SSN-571, gathered to commemorate the 60 year anniversary of the keel-laying of the historic vessel.

Electric Boat President Kevin Poitras recalled that it was “60 years ago today—on this spot—[that] President Harry S. Truman laid the keel for USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine.

“The company’s involvement in the project came in response to an extraordinary challenge from Admiral Hyman Rickover, the visionary naval leader who is considered the father of the nuclear navy.”

Poitras cited President Harry S Truman’s remarks at the 1954 ceremony, quoting him:

“I wish I could convey to everyone what a tremendous and wonderful thing has been accomplished. All of this has been accomplished in an amazingly short period of time. When it was started four years ago, most people thought it would take 10 years if it could be done at all. …But one tough problem after another has been conquered in a fashion that seems almost miraculous, and the work has forged ahead …”

And Poitras also recalled the words familiar to residents of southeastern Connecticut of any age.

“Less than three years later,” Poitras recounted, “Nautilus went to sea, transmitting the famous message, ‘Underway on Nuclear Power.’”

Navy Lieutenant Commander Robert Sawyer, officer-in-charge of the Nautilus museum, spoke as a naval officer and historian, reflecting on the importance of the vessel in symbolic and practical terms.

“Of Nautilus,” he stressed, “we can say that the men and women who built her were a credit to American skill, hard work, and innovation. These were the artisans of Electric Boat, Westinghouse, and hundreds of other industry and Navy partners.

“What an incredible achievement: little more than four years passed from Congressional authorization in July 1951 to commissioning on September 30, 1954, when Nautilus joined the fleet, bringing radically new technologies and capabilities.

“She shattered submerged speed and endurance records. In the 84 hours of her shakedown cruise, she traveled submerged 1,300 miles to San Juan, Puerto Rico, averaging about 16 knots. In that journey, she traveled continuously submerged 10 times farther than any previous submarine, and 84 times longer than any submarine had done at such a high submerged speed

“Most famously, she reached the North Pole in 1958—in a daring adventure that captured headlines and gave the United States the strategic advantage of an entire ocean at the very top of the world.

“The success of Nautilus changed the equations that described a superpower.  The other world powers scrambled to join this club. The process and discipline established by Admiral Rickover has allowed the United States to decisively establish and maintain undersea warfare superiority.

“We simply must continue the work begun with Nautilus,” Taylor concluded.

LCAC-71 Storms Hole-in-the-Wall to Kick Off OpSail

by Jon Persson

(Watch two videos of LCAC-71 Storming the Beach here: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheResidentNews?feature=watch)

Stormin' the sands of Niantic, LCAC-71 kicks up a wall of spray.

It’s D-Day..of a different kind.

It’s a sunny Friday, July 6, at 1600 hours and LCAC 71 storms the Hole-In-The-Wall Beach at McCook Point Park, in Niantic.

This is a well orchestrated operation of the the Navy Dock Landing Ship USS Carter Hall launching the Landing Craft Air Cushion from an offshore moored position. Spectators line the shore, covering the park’s expansive grassy hillside vista and along the rocky embankments which surround much of the park.

As the opening event of OpSail 2012CT, the Carter Hall and her LCAC bring to Niantic’s beach an event otherwise limited to distant viewing of the fleet of ships anchored off Niantic Harbor. The fleet, intermixed with private pleasure craft, includes a number of schooners, two Coast Guard vessels, the Coast Guard barque Eagle, and the Carter Hall, which at 609 feet dominates the horizon with her gray profile.

Soon, the LCAC can be seen, a giant spume of spray blasting into the air along her port side, curving over the vessel as it runs towards the beach. LCAC 71 makes two mock assaults on Hole-In-The-Wall Beach, the first a straight-on landing which sees the vessel completely ashore, her inflatable hull ring immediately deflated. A number of uniformed personnel disembark, and a contingent of dignitaries board for a pre-announced LCAC landing.

The second landing, at higher speed than the first, ends with a dramatic side-slip landing which brings the LCAC to rest high and dry and artfully turned sideways. The demonstration is completed with the deployment of a Humvee and a combat truck.

At the press conference which follows, Captain Timothy Spratto, Commodore of Amphibious Squadron Six, illustrates just how impressive the LCAC force is: “Seventy-two LCACs in the Navy inventory,” he says,  each capable of “carrying up to 72 tons  at speeds up to 40 knots with a range of 200 miles.” Their range gives them an “over the horizon” capability, allowing a greater element of surprise. They can deploy a squad of marines, trucks, even an M1A1 main battle tank. The USS Carter Hall is the tenth vessel of her kind, which carry a crew of 500 Navy and Marine personnel in “the Blue-Green team.”

Art Costa: Building Resilience Into New London’s Economy

by Jon Persson

A new bookcase at the New London Library, a gift of the Thames Valley Sustainable Connection, carries messages. On its shelves are books—also gifts from the TVSC—about sustainable communities, local food supplies, energy conservation, carbon-footprint reduction, and more.

The objective is to educate people about the advantages inherent in a movement to buy local, farm local, and conserve energy—and thereby build sustainable and prosperous communities. New London has within its business sector an emerging and increasingly successful component working hard to help transform this small city into a healthy place for people and businesses.

Art Costa, president of the Thames Valley Sustainable Connection and also of the New London Local First organization says the TVSC’s goal is to build a “local economy that is resilient” and not at the mercy of “up and down cycles” of the global economy.

“New London is not part of the global economy” Art explained, because the city is “dependent on imports” and does not export to the outside world. When people buy imported products,  “much of their money simply leaves New London and goes to large corporations and even other countries.” For example, if one spends a dollar at a locally owned business, .68 cents will remain within the local economy, while a dollar spent at a chain store sees .57 cents leave the local economy entirely.

But by purchasing locally made (and grown) items, he emphasizes, a series of positive effects are set in motion which help create prosperity and resilience. “More of your money stays in the area” Art continues, “creating more local jobs,” which will stay in the area year after year. And, “buying local and regional” products, most notably foods, “lessens the energy use and carbon footprint” of purchasing food and other products.

To achieve this end, New London now has two farmers’ markets, Fields of Greens on the Parade Plaza (Fridays, on State Street) and Field of Greens at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital (Wednesdays). These provide a convenient and carbon-efficient connection between local shoppers and regional farmers.

Art is aware that New London is not capable of being completely independent economically, which has expanded his attention to include both regional and local sources. Keeping people’s purchasing choices generally in the area helps everyone by maintaining the economic resilience Art repeatedly stresses.

Community Supported Agriculture, where people buy a share of future harvests from a local farmer, is yet another way that consumers may focus their purchasing power. “Farmers use this money to buy seeds and pay other expenses,” while investors receive fresh produce as it is harvested in return, Art said. New London Field of Greens has been acting as a drop-off place for these small-scale programs, something he hopes to see expand in the future.

There is power in the “small” as well as the “big,” he stresses. Art and his organizations are also working to bring local investors and small businesses together. He points out that attracting big corporations  for the sake of bringing jobs to the area “costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per job” while small businesses create jobs for a fraction of that cost. And, small businesses tend to stay in the area, again adding resilience to the local economy. Big corporations “think globally and not locally” and tend to “pull up and go anywhere cheaper,” leaving economic devastation behind.

New London Local First, which presently has over a hundred local business members, offers as an added incentive—a “$hare” card, available for $10. Holders of the $hare card are eligible for discounts on products and services from participating businesses, and cards remain valid throughout the calendar year….another real-life example of how the organizations headed by Art are working to build a strong local economy.

Information about the organizations of which Art Costa is president and co-chair may be found at: www.newlondonlocalfirst.org; www.newlondonfieldofgreens.org; and, www.greaternewlondonfarmtocity.org. Details about member businesses, the $hare Card, and more may be accessed at these sites.

Smart Power July 4th, 2012: Dean’s List

Gettysburg College

Sarah Cunningham  Niantic

Mallory Huard  Pawcatuck

Dominic Aleo, of East Lyme

Kathryn Tuneski, of Waterford

 

Lafayette College

Sarah Woodruff  Ledyard

Michelle Song  Mystic

 

Loyola

Caroline Mills     Groton

 

St. Lawrence University

Russell W. Newton  East Lyme

Christopher T. Wiles  New London

 

Quinnipiac University

Stefan Aleo of East Lyme, CT

Michaela Belanger   Colchester, CT

Dana Bennink   Niantic, CT

Michael Burke   Mystic, CT

Kristen Campeta   Ledyard, CT

Kevin Castodio   Pawcatuck, CT

Marisa Evans   Mystic, CT

Melissa Gaines   Colchester, CT

Benjamin Ivers   Colchester, CT

Megan Kane   East Lyme, CT

Jessica Lakeman   Salem, CT

Corey LaLima   Waterford, CT

Kathryn Lanzarotto   Quaker Hill, CT

Sarah Marien   Norwich, CT

Daniel Mascaro   Niantic, CT

Kevin Noonan   North Stonington, CT

Brittany O’Connell   Amston, CT

Michael Platz   Waterford, CT

Kevin Raksnis   Ledyard, CT

Emily Reed   Uncasville, CT

Christina Sanchez   Groton, CT

Kira Smelser   Colchester, CT

Samantha Sproul   East Lyme, CT

Lauren White   Amston, CT

Nicole Zebrowski   Mystic, CT

 

UMass Dartmouth

Abigail Maker   Niantic


University of Delaware

Victoria Allen               Lebanon, CT

Cassandre Boudreau    Waterford, CT

Alexandra Buckingham East Lyme, CT

Madison Cannon          Stonington, CT

Hannah Grant               New London, CT

Summer Grant New London, CT

Meghan Griffiths           Salem, CT

Natalie Kazierad           East Lyme, CT

Calvin Linderman          Old Lyme, CT

Elizabeth Luketich         Mystic, CT

Rachel Maclellan          Niantic, CT

Emma Kate McNomee             Norwich, CT

Briana Minicucci           Pawcatuck, CT

Emily Mooradian          East Lyme, CT

Rebecca Runkle           Lebanon, CT

Anthony Tramontozzi                Norwich, CT

Courtney Vinchesi        Old Lyme, CT

Courtney Vinchesi    Old Lyme, CT

Cassandre Boudreau    Waterford, CT

 

University of Scranton

Laura Still         Amston

 

University of Vermont

Summer S. Atkinson     East Lyme

Elliot H. Brake  East Lyme

Sage A. Bierman     Ledyard

Karley E. Reising     Ledyard

Heather M. MacDonald     Norwich

Michael L. Massa     Old Lyme

Caitlyn K. Meeks     Old Lyme