An ‘Elevated Lobster Shack’ Opens on Essex Island

“We fell in love with the island, just the feeling that you get. We felt like when you cross the ferry, you’re actually on vacation as soon as you arrive on the little island,” said Christina Pahis. “You feel almost like you left Connecticut.” For eight years, Essex residents Avni Krasniqi and Pahis have owned and operated Haywire Burger Bar in Westbrook, CT, and on June 8, the couple opened Siren Kitchen & Bar on Essex Island at Safe Harbor Marina. “We saw that the space has become available, and we said, ‘Let’s just kind of satisfy our curiosity and

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George White on Theater on the Record

WHITE POINT — It was a blazingly hot day, but George White knew a breeze would find its way to the veranda of the big stone house that’s been in his family for generations.  “The farmers didn’t value this place at all because you couldn’t grow anything here,” said White, surveying the view of Long Island Sound. “But my grandfather started to paint this area and got to know it and this rocky point of land. He knew he wanted it.” White’s grandfather, the artist Henry C. White, was included among the painters of the Lyme Art Colony in Henry

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Deep River Horseshoe League At Play Every Thursday Evening

It’s a tense moment as the teams head out to play. It may be the Yankees and the Red Sox, but this game there is no stadium, no bat and no ball. Instead, there’s a sandpit, a metal stake and some heavy horseshoes. And the Yankees and Red Sox are just two of the 16 teams currently playing in the Deep River Horseshoe League. The game of horseshoes has become synonymous with Deep River over the last 65 years. On Thursday evening in Deep River, the clank of metal against metal is heard far and wide as the league, the

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CT Examiner’s Weekend Crossword

Every weekend the staff at the Connecticut Examiner brings you a puzzle to while away an hour or two on Sunday. You can download and print the puzzle by clicking here Last week’s solution

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After a Family Tragedy, Cove Landing Marine Keeps Doing What They Have Been Doing

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LYME — The plan was always for Jennifer Ruhling or her brother to take over their father’s boat yard, but that time came sooner than expected. Ruhling said that it was her father’s dream to own a boat yard and he bought Cove Landing Marine on Hamburg Cove in Lyme in 1978. Either Ruhling or her brother at some point was supposed to come back to Lyme, work the yard with their father, and eventually take over. John Leonard, their father, died unexpectedly in a car crash on July 20, 2019, as he was driving to get more wire ties,

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Peter Anton Opens Show of Outsized ‘Confectionary Sculpture’ at Lyman Allyn

NEW LONDON — For sculptor Peter Anton, food is a portal to celebratory memories and a kind of “sensory snapshot” that connects us to emotions ranging from happiness to obsession.  “We use sweets to celebrate and we also use them for comfort when we’re depressed and we reward ourselves with sweets,” said Anton, who creates giant renditions of ice cream cones, cakes and confections. “As an artist, I love color and textures and you can’t top a colorful dessert.” In “Sweet Dreams: Confectionery Sculpture,” at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Anton will show 35 of his outsized, hyperrealistic works, including

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Niantic Farm-to-Table La Belle Aurore Emails Plea to Customers

Dawn Bruckner said that even when the pandemic first hit, she never considered closing. “With the food supply getting super hinky, I knew our farmers would always be there, and we would be able to get the best ingredients to [our customers].” And her customers responded graciously to her remaining open. “There was just a huge outpouring. People I hadn’t seen in years were coming in, asking ‘Are you guys okay? What do you need?’” Bruckner said. “They were buying things and were grateful we were open because they could get better produce, better food, better meat. It was amazing,

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CT Examiner’s Weekend Crossword

After a one week hiatus, we’re back with our weekly crossword puzzle. As always, mail your completed puzzles to editor@ctexaminer.com You can download a PDF of the puzzle to print out here

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When Life Gives You Red Currants

Good white bread, tart red fruit, a few tablespoons of sugar, a splash of water — in less than a half hour, with no particular skill and a little patience, you can make a splendid English summer pudding. I guarantee you, no sweet better conveys the pure fresh flavors of raspberries or red currants, is more refreshing after a light evening meal or luncheon. All the things you think you want — the butteriness of shortbread, the creaminess of ice cream, the rich, thickened fruitiness of cobbler and pie — summer pudding proves the addition of subtraction. Tempted to improve

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Wesleyan Professor Tackles Human Hierarchies with the Aid of Animals

After Dr. Kari Weil earned tenure at Wake Forest University, she decided it was time to get herself a horse. Weil thought she might never get married, and saw this as another way of falling in love. She had fond memories of family trips to Michigan as a child, where she would ride, without a helmet, through the surrounding woods. She named her horse Cacahuète, the French word for “peanut,” because the horse was the color of peanut butter.  Weil eventually did marry, and she moved to California to be with her husband, bringing Cacahuète with her. She taught at

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CT Examiner’s July 4 Puzzle

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. You can download this week’s puzzle here and can find the answer to last week’s puzzle below…

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House-bound, Dan Stevens Makes Music Online, Diddley Bows and Cigar Box Guitars

OLD LYME — “It’s the human spirit. People make music somehow, they figure out a way,” explained touring musician Ramblin’ Dan Stevens. “It’s like the little blades of grass between the cracks in the sidewalk, they’ll figure out some way to grow.” Sitting in Nightingale Acoustic Cafe on Lyme St., Stevens showed off instruments he’s had more time to make since his gigs stopped abruptly in early March. As he talks, he plucks a few licks on the one-string diddley bows and three-string cigar box guitars that he’s made out of found materials: cigar boxes, gum tins, sink drains, washers

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Arelt Brings ‘Consistent Vision’ to Nautilus Architects’ Contemporary Designs

WATERFORD & DEEP RIVER — Architect Chris Arelt stood barefoot on the polished concrete floors of his client’s house and pointed to the tiny square lights that were set flush with the living room ceiling.  “These tiny LED fixtures with no trim are hugely important,” he said. “They add up to a big expense, like $160,000. It’s always more than people bargained for, but it’s so important. If you start putting big six-inch diameter pot lights into these things, it just blows the whole design.”  Arelt, the principal and owner of Nautilus Architects in Lyme and Southport, stressed the importance

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Restoration of Historic Killingworth Congregational Church Marks 200-Year Church-State Divide

KILLINGWORTH — The dome ceiling of the Congregational church is 200-year-old plaster.  From inside the sanctuary, the only sign of concern is a water stain near the base of a wall where the plaster has started to crack.  It’s not a superficial issue.  After climbing a narrow staircase into the steeple, the keys – the plaster that oozes between cracks in the wooden structure, keeping the rest of the plaster in place – have broken off. That’s what needs to be secured, said Charlie Smith, co-chair of the Killingworth Congregational Church’s fundraising committee.  “If a piece of the plaster falls,

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Musical Masterworks Adds a Managing Director, Sketches Plan for Coming Season

OLD LYME — “I’ve been making budgets for 40 years,” said Lawrence Thelen, the new managing director for Musical Masterworks, who will oversee budgeting, budget management and long term strategic planning for the 30-year-old nonprofit.  “The organization is tremendously strong right now and so it’s my goal to maintain that,” he said by phone on Thursday. “When I produced [an] off-Broadway show, or even at Goodspeed, or when I was artistic director, you’re constantly making budgets. You’re always making sure that you don’t go over budget because that’s how theaters close. It’s the easiest way that theaters close.” Thelen has

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Director Sam Quigley Talks Lyman Allyn, Accreditation

NEW LONDON — The Lyman Allyn Art Museum will reopen at half capacity on June 30 and offer free admission to visitors until Labor Day.  “We thought people might need a little extra incentive to come into a public space. We all recognized that we’re all a little nervous and we wanted to let people know that we’re doing everything we can to make it safe and healthful,” said Sam Quigley, director of the museum, by telephone on Wednesday. “We wanted to eliminate any hurdles so that people could come in and really just take advantage of what we are,

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Action Amusements Readies for a “Very Different Year” at Ocean Beach Park in New London

NEW LONDON — With a brush in his hand, Jeff Mullen dabbed white paint onto the metal framework of his “new” ferris wheel at Ocean Beach Park last week. “It’s a nice wheel. We just put some new pins on it. It’s just a matter of touching it up here and there and it should be ready to go,” said Mullen, who owns Action Amusements at Ocean Beach Park. “The wheel itself is from the 1940s and the base is 1965. We found it up in New York. A friend said it might be available, so we bought it and

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Rail-Bikes, the Latest Hit Attraction for the Valley Railroad Company in Essex

The Valley Railroad Company in Essex has halted operation of its popular Essex Stream Train and Riverboat rides while the state adjusts to life with COVID-19, but is instead offering, for a limited number of dates this summer, a novel rail-bike experience along the scenic lower Connecticut River. “The rail-bikes were going to be one of our season opening events, but it was originally slated to just be in an addition to the things we’re already doing,” said Valley Railroad Company Vice President Rob Bradway. “It was never anticipated that the rail-bikes would be the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

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New Haven-based Therapist Launches Online Dungeons & Dragons for the Young and Autistic

Talking to Daniel Allen, a 37-year-old recreational therapist with a short but remarkable history of working with children, in Ethiopia in the Peace Corps, for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang and at Yale New Haven, you pretty immediately understand that this is a person who loves the offbeat imaginative side of childhood learning. A self-described “proud nerd,” Allen took the leap from part-time work at Yale New Haven’s Child Psychiatric Inpatient Unit to start Dragon Haven, a new online service that uses games like Dungeons & Dragons to help children build social skills and cope with anxiety. “I

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The Garde Arts Center Launches Virtual Screenings for Audiences in Southeast Connecticut

NEW LONDON — The giant screen of its movie house went dark mid-March, but the Garde Arts Center is now offering a virtual program that lets audiences screen specially curated films at home. Steve Sigel, executive director of the Garde, said that the new Garde Virtual Cinema is an unusual arrangement benefiting both the venue screening the film and the studio that made the film. “There are a number of studios that are partnering with movie theatres and art houses, who share the proceeds,” he said. “Magnolia Pictures contacted us. We’ve done screenings of their films in our theatre so

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CT Examiner’s Sunday Puzzle

Congratulations to Renwick Griswold for the win! All the prizes are delayed with COVID-19, but they will fabulous! Have this week’s solution? Send it to editor@ctexaminer.com Last week’s solution

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Music at the Red Door Hosts an Intimate Pop-up Recital with Christa Rakich on Harpsichord

In a stirring noontime pop-up concert on a recent Wednesday, Christa Rakich performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s French Suite #5 in G, BWV 816 on the harpsichord as part of Music at the Red Door, a series of online performances hosted by St. John’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford, CT. Rakich, a masterful interpreter of J. S. Bach’s work on a variety of keyboard instruments, has a lifetime of experience performing this piece. Rakich first learned it as a high school student. “It is a very old and very dear friend,” Rakich says. “Having grown up with it, it has revealed

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CT Examiner’s Sunday Crossword

138 clues — and every letter in the alphabet with the exception of Q and X — in a 21 by 21 square. Every Sunday, each week’s winner receives a fabulous prize (eventually). Send your completed puzzle to editor@ctexaminer.com Solution for May 3, 2020

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