Panel Discussion to be held at La Grua Center on Oct 11

Mystic, Conn. (October 3, 2017): In one of the worst seasons on record, hurricane devastation in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and beyond has dominated the news.  But, what if a powerful hurricane or another super storm were to hit Southeastern Connecticut? Would shoreline towns and ocean habitats withstand the onslaught?

Learn how Connecticut would fair and how local residents and other organizations can prepare on Wednesday, October 11 at 6:00pm at the La Grua Center in Stonington, in partnership with Mystic Aquarium. The panel discussion “Coastal Resiliency: Now More Than Ever” will address the critical topic of climate change and coastal resiliency.

Moderated by Katie Cubina, Mystic Aquarium’s Senior Vice President, Mission Programs, expert panelists Juliana Barrett, University of Connecticut Sea Grant College Program, Dr. James O'Donnell, Professor of Marine Sciences at the University of Connecticut, and the National Weather Service’s David Vallee will shed light on a range of topics related to coastal resiliency.  They will also share Connecticut’s experience with severe weather response and recovery.  A question and answer session will follow.

Juliana Barrett is with the University of Connecticut Sea Grant College Program. Her work focuses on climate adaptation and resilience as well as habitat management and restoration working with Connecticut’s municipalities, NGO’s and state and federal partners. She has developed numerous tools and websites for coastal and inland residents on native plantings and habitats.

David Vallee is the Hydrologist-in-Charge of NOAA’s National Weather Service’s Northeast River Forecast Center.  The center provides detailed water resource and life-saving flood forecasting services to National Weather Service Forecast Offices and the hundreds of federal, state and local water resource entities throughout the Northeast and New York.  David has studied the behavior of New England hurricanes for much of his career; focusing on hurricane preparedness and examining our vulnerability in New England.

David has worked for the National Weather Service for 30 years, serving in a variety of positions. His research activities span a variety of topics including flooding, severe weather forecasting and orographically enhanced heavy rainfall in southern New England. A winner of the prestigious National Isaac Cline Award for Leadership, David has appeared in documentaries on the Weather Channel, the History Channel and the Discovery Channel. David is a lifelong resident of the Rhode Island.

As Executive Director of Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), Jim O’Donnell is responsible for bringing together the world class research and outreach capabilities of the University of Connecticut and the extensive practical experience of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to create and disseminate practical and sustainable strategies to enhance the resilience of the built environment while protecting natural ecosystems in Connecticut and the northeast.  In the last decade Prof. O’Donnell has been involved in the development of a permanent ocean observing system in Long Island Sound and the adjacent shelf.

“Coastal Resiliency: Now More than Ever” will be the first in a new series co-sponsored by Mystic Aquarium and the LaGrua Center.


The mission of the La Grua Center is to serve and strengthen community in a historic space where a diverse array of activities creates opportunities for people to come together and connect. The Maurice C. La Grua Center opened its doors in 2008 as a venue for education, the arts, celebrations, meetings and other activities that bring area residents together and enrich our lives.


Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is counted among the nation’s leading aquariums with more than 300 species and an extensive collection of marine mammals, including New England’s only belugas. Mystic Aquarium has been a pioneer in offering guests a variety of up close encounters with a wide range of marine animals. The mission of Mystic Aquarium is to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research. Mystic Aquarium receives major support from The Coca-Cola Company, Foxwoods Resort Casino, Resorts World Sentosa and United Technologies Corporation. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Dale Wolbrink
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                                            Mystic Seaport to Open “Contemporary American Marine Art:
 The 17th National Exhibition of the American Society of Marine Artists” October 14th

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Mystic, Conn. (October 5, 2017) — Mystic Seaport will open “Contemporary American Marine Art: The 17th National Exhibition of the American Society of Marine Artists” Saturday, October 14. This juried show features the works of marine artists recognized by the Society as the best in contemporary marine art.

The exhibition includes 120 works of painting, sculpture, and scrimshaw from the nation’s leading marine artists. Selected from more than 500 pieces submitted for consideration, the works represent a wide variety of subject matter, medium, technique, and inspired vision.

“Marine art is known for its adherence to tradition. This new and exciting exhibition explores a rare variety of styles, techniques, media, and subject matter. The impressive reach of this collection celebrates contemporary marine artists and their best work,” said Steve White, president of Mystic Seaport. “We are very proud to be the final destination for this exhibition.”

The American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to recognize and promote marine art and maritime history. ASMA seeks to encourage cooperation among artists, historians, marine enthusiasts and others engaged in activities relating to marine art and maritime history. Since its founding in 1978, the society has brought together some of America’s most talented contemporary artists in the marine art field.

The exhibition is hosted every three years in museums across the United States. It debuted on September 8, 2016, at the Muscarelle Museum of Art, in conjunction with the First National Marine Art Conference in Williamsburg, VA. The exhibition then traveled to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, MD, and the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, and continued to the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville, GA, and the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, in Winona, MN.

Mystic Seaport will feature works by young artists who received top prizes in a nationwide competition. ASMA’s Young Maritime Artist Search program seeks to identify and nurture young artists interested in maritime artists. The three entries to be displayed are: “Shrimp” by Hyacinth Weng of Johns Creek High School, Johns Creek, GA; “Bloom” a sculpture by Darby Bowen of Goffstown High School, Goffstown, NH; and "Fresh" by Su Min (Erin) Lee of Johns Creek High School, Johns Creek, GA.

“Contemporary American Marine Art” will be on display in the R.J. Schaefer Building through late January 2018.

Image available for download:

About Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum’s collection of more than two million artifacts includes more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography in the country. The newly opened Thompson Exhibition Building provides a state-of-the-art gallery to host compelling, world-class exhibitions, beginning with the current show SeaChange. The Collections Research Center at Mystic Seaport provides scholars and researchers from around the world access to the Museum’s renowned archives. Mystic Seaport is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $28.95 for adults ages 15 and older and $18.95 for children ages 4-14. Museum members and children three and younger are admitted free. For more information, please visit  and follow Mystic Seaport on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.


Dan McFadden
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Velvet Mill Announces Art Opening and Gallery Reception

velvet mill art show

The Velvet Mill Artists will host their semi-annual Art Show and Gallery Reception on Friday October 20, 2017 from 6 to 9 PM

The public is invited to this free event in the upstairs gallery at the historic Velvet Mill in Stonington Borough.

Everyone is encouraged to intermingle with the artists, ask questions, discuss process, and be the first to enjoy new works that will be on display through the holiday season.

The Velvet Mill continues to grow as a creative community of artists, artisans, entrepreneurs, and small businesses that bring life to the renovated factory building.   

For more information visit

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“Giving Back to the Community”

a groton utilities crew st thomas
L-R: Brian Roche, Groton Utilities Team Manager; Keith Lemoine;
Matthew Cook; Jeffrey Lyon

Groton Utilities Crew Heads to St. Thomas to Help with Hurricane Maria Electric Restoration Work

GROTON – A Groton Utilities crew left Sunday morning for St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands to help with the restoration of electrical services to the storm-torn Caribbean island.

The first crew includes three electric linemen and a manager for approximately three weeks. Other crews will be rotating out every few weeks for the next three months. Two vehicles, one digger truck and one pickup truck, and a pole carrier will be used by the crews during their restoration work.

The first crew members traveling to St. Thomas are linemen Jeffrey Lyon, Matthew Cook and Keith Lemoine, with Brian Roche managing the crew.  They will first travel to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the vehicles will be placed on barges for transporting to St. Thomas. Crews will arrive in St. Thomas on October 13.

Groton Utilities electric crews are one of two Connecticut public power systems to commit to the St. Thomas electric restoration effort.  Norwich Public Utilities will also be involved in the restoration efforts. Crews from other municipal electric utilities in New England will join Groton Utilities in the effort, which is being coordinated by the New England Public Power Association (NEPPA), the organization representing municipally owned and operated electric companies in New England.

Groton Utilities is one of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities, which are nationally organized as the American Public Power Association (APPA).  Groton Utilities recently earned a Reliable Public Power RP3 designation from APPA for providing its consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.

Groton Utilities has been a municipally owned and operated electric utility since 1904 and serves a population of more than 35,000 in the greater Groton area, including Pfizer, Electric Boat and the U. S. Naval Submarine Base.

The American Public Power Association (APPA) is the national organization representing the nation’s more than 2,000 community- and state-owned electric utilities.

Frank E. Winkler
Manager, Economic Development
Groton Utilities Spokesperson
(860) 446-4095
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gba logo fall festival lo


    Groton’s Twelfth Annual Fall Festival

Come Celebrate the Greater Groton Community

Groton, Connecticut - Groton’s Twelfth Annual Fall Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 7, 2017.  This is a special community event created and hosted by the Groton Business Association (GBA) of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce.

Groton’s Twelfth Annual Fall Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is a rain or shine event.

The Groton Business Association (GBA) welcomes your photographic and editorial coverage of this important community event.

The Festival site is at Poquonnock Plains Park at 150 Fort Hill Road.

Contact us at:

Frank E. Winkler
Public Relations Chair
Groton’s Twelfth Annual Fall Festival
(860) 446-4095
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