As I drove across the East Haddam swing bridge, car tires rumbling over the open grate, it was hard to imagine that the 19th-century Goodspeed Opera House – looking like a wedding cake on the Connecticut River – was anything but a place for musical theater. Yet in addition to being a performance space, it served as a passenger terminal for a steamboat line. It was the town’s general store, post office, dentist’s office, and even a parking garage.
Thanks to a series of very fortunate events, Goodspeed's restoration in 1963, after a period of neglect, was followed by 19 productions that went on to Broadway, receiving more than a dozen Tony awards. In 2006, another fortunate event – a set of strategic business decisions – saved the Goodspeed yet again.
In January, the state's Department of Consumer Protection will begin awarding the first ever licenses to medical marijuana producers and dispensers in Connecticut. While the licenses are awarded by the state, it's been left up to individual towns to decide if they want to host one of these facilities. Two communities in Connecticut have taken very different approaches to this new industry.
Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro warned that the state's economy will suffer because of the decision not to extend unemployment benefits in the federal budget deal reached last week.
DeLauro voted, she said, reluctantly, against the Murray-Ryan budget compromise precisely because it does nothing to help the long term unemployed. On Wednesday, she brought together some of the people who will be affected for a discussion in Middletown.
When he’s not playing professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, artist Mark Milloff sculpts, paints, and envisions gigantic pastel drawings. He also moonlights as a musician. But all things being equal, he’d rather be fishing.
Like so many holiday traditions, "The Nutcracker" is upon us once again. With numerous Connecticut productions of the classic fairy tale ballet, the 12th annual production by the Eastern Connecticut Ballet is a stand-out for a number of worthy reasons.
Unions and management at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital are scheduled to meet at the negotiating table again this week, as nurses and technicians remain locked out of their jobs at the New London facility.
Nurses and technicians at New London's Lawrence and Memorial Hospital were on strike Wednesday morning, after contract talks broke down Tuesday.
The unions, representing some 800 workers, called the walk-out after five hours of talks ended in a stalemate. It's the first major strike at a hospital in the state in almost 30 years. The unions said the biggest issues are job security and patient care.
There’s a hypnotic vocal harmony that is both soothing and mysterious in "Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby," sung a cappella by the Juice Vocal Ensemble on their album Songspin. It’s as if I’m standing over a child’s crib and hear warm breathing and shushing and sighing. It’s sense-o-round that wraps around me. Then, suddenly, I wonder: who are these voices? Where’s the baby? Everything, okay?! The music has moved me. And Juice has done its job.
Wagner's opera, "The Flying Dutchman," will get its Connecticut premiere this weekend, 170 years after the opera made its debut in Dresden, Germany. The Connecticut Lyric Opera will present Wagner's early masterpiece Friday night at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain, and Saturday night at the Middletown High School Arts Center.
As they contemplate the first anniversary of super storm Sandy, some shore dwellers have given up and moved inland. Others are still determined to rebuild and continue. One shoreline restaurant is about to embark on its second major comeback.
Superior Court Judge Julia Auriemma ruled to reinstate Middletown Realistic Balance Party candidates Stephen Devoto and Steven Smith to the ballot on Monday, October 21, two weeks before Election Day. Devoto and Smith, candidates for Middletown's Planning and Zoning Commission, had been removed from the ballot by Middletown Town Clerk Linda Bettencourt in September for failing to comply with an election law unfamiliar to several municipalities around Connecticut.
While preparation for Saturday's ING Hartford Marathon has understandably gotten the media focused on public safety, there's apparently significant road construction coordination going on behind the scenes. Officials are getting Broad Street in working order (again) in time for the runners to pound the pavement, and there's somewhat off-the-wall talk of using the new Hartford-New Britain busway as a possible marathon route. That and more in today's fall foliage edition of The Wheelhouse Digest.
There was an internal debate about including a link about a local meteorologist and cat vomit. We passed. If you'd like to see that, you can search it out on your own because we've already said too much. Speaking of cat vomit, CNN informs us that we are in Day Ten of the federal government shutdown, and the debt ceiling deadline is 156 hours away as this is written. That means you have time to watch all of "Battlestar Galactica," "Breaking Bad," and the first seven seasons of "Seinfeld" before the deadline. Hop to it.
The plan to transfer all female prisoners out of the Danbury federal facility is back in effect today, although it remains to be seen whether the government shutdown will slow transfers. While we wait to see what happens next, The Wheelhouse Digest is making a pit stop in New London, where a German website has taken an interest in development news. Also a must-see: the "Saturday Night Live" send-up of a square white Connecticut mom who checks out Grand Theft Auto 5, and ended up playing it all week.
The government shutdown has caused the furlough of 750 civilian workers from the Naval Submarine Base New London. Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney, whose district includes the sub base, said these workers don't deserve to be caught in the crossfire of national politics.
Executives from several Connecticut companies, along with U.S. Department of Commerce officials from Middletown, are on a trade mission in Australia this week to promote exports, inbound investments and tourism. It’s all hands on deck. Officials dressed up as Mark Twain and Nathan Hale at “The Tastes and Sights of Connecticut” event, which kicked off the week-long visit.
The state of Connecticut is choosing two clean energy projects to help diversify its energy portfolio. Governor Dannel Malloy announced Friday that a solar installation planned in Sprague and Lisbon, and a wind energy farm in Maine, have signed long-term contracts with electricity distributors Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating. The contracts require regulatory approval, and together will provide 3.5 percent of Connecticut’s total energy load.
The president of Electric Boat, Kevin Poitras, has announced his retirement, just over a year after taking the reins at the Groton submarine yard. He'll be succeeded in the top job by Jeffrey Geiger, who's currently president of the Bath Iron Works in Maine. The two yards are both owned by General Dynamics.
Poitras garnered praise for his tenure at Electric Boat, where he's worked since the early 1970s. Second district Congressman Joe Courtney noted particularly his relationships with local colleges to develop training and mentoring opportunities.
The week started off pretty rough with yesterday's news of a horrific shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Here's a dose of daily news you need to know now that does not involve violence... maybe just a little mud in the eye.