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Letter: Tom Foley’s Bold-Face Lie

Dear Editor:

Tom Foley made several inaccurate statements in  recent gubernatorial debate  regarding home care workers and consumers. 

The collective bargaining agreement explicitly states that there will be no harm to consumer budgets and services. Both the public act and collective bargaining agreement state that no consumers shall suffer a reduction in services as a result of collective bargaining.

“Such a misrepresentation by Tom Foley is completely irresponsible.  It is a bold face lie to state that consumers are negatively affected because home care workers won the right to collectively bargain. It is explicitly stated in the public act and the collective bargaining agreement that consumers will not be negatively affected.  By allowing home care workers in Connecticut to collectively bargain we are starting to create a better paid and more stable workforce.  The people of Connecticut deserve the truth from their elected officials and Tom Foley made it clear in today’s debate he is incapable of that.  Both consumers and caregivers are benefited from the actions Governor Malloy and the state legislature took.  Governor Malloy  has helped Connecticut build a stronger workforce to care for the disabled and elderly,” spokesperson Jennifer Schneider said.

“Without my personal caregiver I wouldn’t be able to survive,” Margie Santana a Hartford consumer suffering from multiple sclerosis said.  “Tom Foley is out of touch with what people with disabilities in Connecticut need.  In no way have I been negatively impacted because my home care worker was able to collectively bargain.  Those of us suffering from disabilities  known that Governor Malloy has our best interest and has worked hard to help us have better care.”

The quality of home care that consumers receive can be affected by high turnover of caregivers. Turnover for home care workers ranges from 44 to 65 percent per year.[i]  This high turnover is primarily due to low pay and little to no benefits.

The annual turnover rate of the workforce fell 17 percent and the “bad turnover” rate fell by 30 percent after workers in San Francisco negotiated raises and better benefits, according to a study by the Center for Labor Education and Research at the University of California, Berkeley.[ii]


Jennifer Schneider

Communications Director

SEIU 1199, New England

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Art Exhibit Showcases Coasts in New England

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut presents Call of the Coast: Art Colonies of New England, an exhibition developed in collaboration with the Portland Museum of Art in Portland, Maine. The art colonies of New England played a key role in the creation of a regional identity in the early 20th century. Art colonies in Old Lyme and Cos Cob, Connecticut, and Ogunquit and Monhegan, Maine, were inspiration for nationally recognized artists including Edward Hopper, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, and George Bellows, among others. Call of the Coast chronicles the development of Impressionist Connecticut and Modernist Maine and features 73 works drawn from the collections of the Portland Museum of Art and the Florence Griswold Museum. Call of the Coast is on view at the Florence Griswold Museum October 24, 2009 through January 31, 2010.

The coast of New England has long attracted tourists and artists drawn to the primal drama of the ocean. The 19th century brought changes as coastal communities shifted from being an industrialized economic resource to a therapeutic shelter where the middle class enjoyed leisure time. Artists banded together for purposes of camaraderie, creativity, and commerce, and founded coastal art colonies from Connecticut to Maine. Old Lyme and Cos Cob, Connecticut, and Ogunquit and Monhegan, Maine were settled at different times by artists and illustrated life in each community.

Each colony offered artists the opportunity to commune with the coast in its different guises.  Maine offered sweeping vistas, dramatic cliffs, and craggy textures, while Connecticut’s eddying waterways provided a quiet mirror for autumnal foliage, old houses, and gentle hillsides. “We have tended to think of these colonies in isolation,” said curator Amy Kurtz Lansing, “but there was a greater degree of fluidity as artists moved between them. These painters not only captured the character of each place but contributed more broadly to the formation of our image of New England.”

Beginning in the early 1870s, the village of Cos Cob attracted artists from New York. These artists included Impressionists J. Alden Weir and John Henry Twachtman, who summered at the Holley House, the center of the community. Summer classes taught by Twachtman and Weir during the 1890s under the auspices of the Art Students League brought artists such as Charles Ebert, Mary Roberts Ebert, Daniel Putnam Brinley, and the Japanese artist Genjiro Yeto to the school and encouraged experimentation. Accomplished painters such as Impressionist Theodore Robinson and Childe Hassam also painted in Cos Cob.

In 1899, Henry Ward Ranger arrived in Old Lyme, Connecticut, attracted by the tidal marshes and ever-changing light conditions. While Twachtman saw the Connecticut coast as a place of isolation, Ranger viewed himself as the leader of a new school of American landscape painting. Ranger stayed in the boardinghouse of Florence Griswold and invited his artist friends including Lewis Cohen, Louis Paul Dessar, William Henry Howe, Henry Rankin Poore, and Clark Voorhees to join him; an art colony was born. Miss Griswold’s home became the epicenter of the Lyme Art Colony. The arrival in 1903 of the dynamic Childe Hassam inspired Old Lyme painters to experiment with high-key color and greater impasto associated with impressionism. Just as Ranger presided over the colony in its early years, Hassam set the tone for its later phase, for which it is best known. Lauded as “the American Giverny,” the town attracted artists with its old-fashioned atmosphere. They developed a repertoire of iconic subjects that became synonymous with the Colony – from the church to the quaint, wooden Bow Bridge over the Lieutenant River to the stately homes lining the main street. Works like Everett Warner’s The Village Church reflect the Lyme Art Colony painters’ dual affection for classic New England architecture and dappled Impressionist light effects.


In search of cooler temperatures, Old Lyme painters often made trips to Ogunquit and Monhegan, Maine. Ogunquit, a picturesque fishing village in southern Maine, played host to an ideological contrast between two artistic cultures in the early 20th century: the traditionalists (Bostonians) like Charles H. Woodbury and the avant-garde (New Yorkers) such as Hamilton Easter Field. Woodbury established a course of instruction that literally put Ogunquit on the map as an art colony with a reputation as a haven for single women from proper Boston families. Field established his own school in 1911. Field, who served as a catalyst for modern art in the United States, exhorted his students to “open your eyes wide, get the local tang. There’s as much of it right here in Maine as there is in Monet’s Normandy.” Artist Clarence Chatterton summered in Ogunquit for nearly thirty years, producing vivid, frank paintings that convey his friend Edward Hopper’s influence. The still, sunlit streetscape of Road to Oqunquit is a striking interpretation of the New York modernist’s interest in light, architecture, and man-made spaces. Tensions between the two groups held until the mid 20th century when local organizations formed to preserve both aspects of the town’s remarkable role in the history of American art. The tale of Ogunquit illustrates that, in New England, modernism and regionalism were but two sides of the same coin.

The remoteness and rugged landscape of Monhegan Island, Maine, attracted artists in the 1890s including Samuel Peter Rolt Triscott and Eric Hudson. Old Lyme artists including Charles and Mary Ebert, Ernest Albert, William Chadwick, William Robinson, Edward Rook, Henry Selden, and Wilson Irvine summered on Monhegan. The most influential artist who worked on the island was Robert Henri. As a member of the Ash Can School and a teacher at the New York School of Art, Henri encouraged his fellow artists to visit Monhegan to escape the grittiness of the city. Henri and Impressionist painter Edward Willis Redfield worked side-by-side laying the foundation for an art colony, which included Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, Randall Davey, George Bellows, and Leon Kroll. Monhegan’s role as an artist colony is the subject of the largest selection of paintings in the exhibition.  The island continues to attract artists from around the country each summer.

Exhibition catalogue

A 128-page full-color catalogue accompanies the exhibition with essays by Thomas Denenberg, chief curator at the Portland Museum of Art, Susan Danly, curator of graphics, photography, and contemporary art at the Portland Museum of Art, and Amy Kurtz Lansing, curator at the Florence Griswold Museum. The catalogue is available in the Museum Store and online at www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for $29.95.

The Florence Griswold Museum
Located on an 11-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism. In addition to the recently restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, a new landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.  The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year round Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1 to 5pm. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $ 7 students, and free to children 12 and under.

For more information, visit the Museum’s web site www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org

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