Artists, students in the spotlight

The creativity of award-winning artist-instructors and their students will be spotlighted in "From the RAC Studio," an exhibition that opens with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday at the Rowayton Arts Center Gallery, 145 Rowayton Ave. The exhibit continues through Jan. 29. RAC's winter gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is free.

The exhibition features works in various media by RAC's teachers -- Joanne Roy Askildsen, Robert Baxter, Frank Bruckmann, Christy Gallagher, John Grieco, Dana Goodfellow, Anne McCormick and Karl Soderlund -- plus some of the adults and young artists who participated in RAC's 2011 classes. Also included will be artwork by Kelli Folsom, who will lead a Dramatic Still Life Painting workshop in April.

Demonstrations will be offered in RAC's upstairs studio from 2 to 4 p.m. on three Sundays in January to complement the exhibition.

They are: "Landscape Painting," with Dana Goodfellow, on Jan. 15; "Figure Drawing Techniques," with John Grieco, on Jan. 22; and "Portrait Painting," with Karl Soderlund, on Jan. 29.

Call 203-866-2744 for information.

A letter from Fire Marshal Ed Carlson

Reflecting on the tragic Christmas day fire in Stamford, we all need to be aware how dangerous fire can be. As fire marshal, safety of residents is my first concern. Please be aware there are things you can do to prevent fires in your home. They include:

Never leave candles unattended.

Have your fireplace chimney inspected and cleaned every year.

Close the fireplace screen or glass doors when retiring for the night.

More Information

Fact box

Store the fireplace ashes in a covered metal container on a noncombustible surface for a minimum of 48 hours before disposing of them.

If you did not check your smoke detectors in November, check them now. Batteries should be changed every six months and detectors every 10 years. Carbon monoxide detectors need to be replaced every five to seven years.

If you have any questions, call me at 203-838-1650. I wish everyone a happy and safe New Year.

Commissioners' Meeting set for Jan. 11

The 6th Taxing District's Commissioners' Meeting will take place Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the Rowayton Community Center, 33 Highland Ave. The agenda will include: new business -- presentation by the Rowayton Library; reports from the commissioners, district treasurer, fire marshal, property manager, district administrator, district clerk, community policing officer, and RR guards.

The agenda also is posted at http://sixthdistrict.rowayton.org. The public is welcome at any meeting. For information, contact Andrea Woodworth, district clerk, at 203-854-5066.

In addition, the financial statements and supplementary information -- Year Ended June 30, 2011, with Independent Auditor's Report for the Sixth Taxing District of the City of Norwalk Connecticut (Rowayton) is now available for viewing at the http://sixthdistrict.rowayton.org.

The 6th Taxing District Commissioners also have announced the dates and times for the District Budget Meetings, which take place upstairs at the Rowayton Community Center: Saturday, Jan. 21, 3:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m.; and, if needed, one hour prior to the regular February Commissioners' Meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 7 p.m.

Civil War lecture series kicks off

The Rowayton Historical Society invites the community to the first of a year-long series of Civil War lectures: "Burn the Town and Sack the Banks: Confederates Attack Vermont!," given by author and journalist Cathryn J. Prince.

On a dreary October afternoon, bands of Confederate raiders robbed three banks in St. Albans, Vt. With guns drawn, they herded the townspeople out into the common, sending the people of the North into panic. Operating out of a Confederate stronghold in Canada, the raiders were young men, mostly escapees from Union prison camps, who had been recruited to inaugurate a new kind of guerilla war along the Yankees' unprotected border.

The raid, though bungling at times, was successful and led to the pursuit of the rebels into Canada. The celebrity-like trial it sparked in Montreal and resulting diplomatic tensions that arose between the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain, left the Southern dream of a second-front diversion in ruins.

What survived, however, is a fascinating tale of the South's desperate attempt to reverse the course of the war. "Burn the Town and Sack the Banks" is a tale filled with dashing soldiers, spies, posses, bumbling plans, smitten locals, lawyers, diplomats, and an idyllic Vermont town, set against the backdrop of the great battles far from the Northern border that were bringing the Civil War to its bloody conclusion.

The event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21, at 4 p.m. at the Rowayton United Methodist Church on Pennoyer Street. Parking is available on Pennoyer Street, as well as behind the church and in the Ambler lot behind the shopping plaza on Rowayton Avenue. Admission is $5, free for RHS members.

Coming in February are the opening of the RHS' Civil War exhibit and the second lecture in the series, "The Greatest Crisis in U.S. History: The Causes, Courses and Consequences of the Civil War," given by Norwalk Community College professor Steven Berizzi.

Tree collection

If you wish to dispose of a live holiday tree, they will will be collected on Wednesdays (normal leaf and brush collection day) during the month of January through our garbage collection service, AFK Karting. No plastic bags or decorations.

Online registration for Little League open

Now that baseball is back in the news, with trade talk heating up and $250 million free agents, there is no better time to register your kids for Rowayton Little League. Registration fees are the same as last year, although late fees will be increased. Individual player assignments will be based on a combination of age and experience to maximize enjoyment and skill development, while minimizing safety risk. All baseball players between the ages of 9 and 12 will be required to participate in a skills assessment event in the February/March timeframe. General age guidelines for the divisions are as follows:

Co-ed Baseball: T-Ball (4-6 years old), Minors A (6-7), Minors AA (7-9), Minors AAA (9-11), Majors (10-12).

Girls Softball: AA (7-9 years old), Minors (8-11), Majors (10-12).

You can find additional information and register online at www.rowaytonlittleleague.com. Registration will close on Jan. 31. Significant late registration fees, which have been increased substantially from last year, will apply during the late registration period through Feb. 15. Additionally, uniforms cannot be guaranteed for any late registrations.

Fairy Yarn Mothers for Kids continues

The Rowayton Library continues its knitting program, Fairy Yarn Mothers, once a month with Nancy Jo Rambusch for kids ages 8 and up.

This program is designed to help kid knitters of all skill levels work on their projects. Bring your own needles and projects. First time students to our knitting program will be provided with a pair of knitting needles and yarn to start learning or working on a project.

Save the Date for a literary masquerade

Tickets are going on sale Wednesday at the Rowayton Library and online for the library's Feb. 11 fundraiser, "Dinner with Character(s) -- A Literary Masquerade."

The evening will begin at 6:30 in the homes of our "Dinner with Character(s)" hosts, who create settings and food befitting their respective novels. Your "role" as dinner guest is inspired by the book, as well -- let its theme, characters and setting be your guide and dress in novel or festive attire. At 8:30, everyone is transported from their host homes for the gala -- featuring dessert, good friends and dancing at the library. Tickets are $125 per person. For information, visit http://DWC.rowayton.org or call the library at 203-838-5038.

Great Decisions Discussion Group

The Rowayton Library will be hosting a Great Decisions Discussion Group, which will meet every other Wednesday beginning Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.

Developed by the Foreign Policy Association, the Great Decisions Discussion Program is the oldest and largest grass-roots world affairs education program of its kind in the country. The Great Decisions Discussion Program is FPA's public education initiative to create more informed and engaged citizens by bringing people together to discuss U.S. foreign policy and global affairs issues.

The session topics will include: Middle East realignment, promoting democracy, Mexico, cyber-security, exit from Afghanistan and Iraq, state of the oceans, Indonesia, and energy geopolitics. Materials will be provided to participants and are available at the Rowayton Library.

The program is free and open to the public. It will meet for eight sessions, led by Erik Rambusch, adjunct professor at Norwalk Community College.

For information and program materials, contact the library at 203-838-5038.

Events to note

Intro to Computers for Adults' ComputerTime practice time at the Rowayton Library is every Monday from 2 to 3 p.m.

TeaTime on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. at the Rowayton Library.

KnittingTime for adults at the Rowayton Library, every Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m.

StoryTime for kids at the Rowayton Library, every Thursday and Friday at 10:30 a.m.

Register for Winter Classes at RAC. Artists at all levels -- from beginners to professionals -- are invited to register for winter classes at the Rowayton Arts Center. The six-week sessions are taught by award-winning artists and take place in RAC's large, well-equipped studio. Winter sessions begin Monday.

RAC offers four-week sessions of Tai Chi Easy on Monday mornings with Bill Wrenn.

Rowayton Gardeners monthly program features Kathrine Neville, who will be speaking on the topic of winter container gardening at the Rowayton Community Center on Thursday at 10 a.m.

Winter Open House at the Community Cooperative Nursery School on Thursday at 7 p.m. Come meet the teaching staff and tour the facility at 4 Trolley Place. Everyone is invited. For information, call 203-866-2184.

Lead, sing along or listen to sailors' work songs and maritime songs at the Rowayton Arts Center's monthly Open Chantey Sing from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15. For reservations, call 203-866-2184.

"The Help" will screen at the Rowayton Library on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 10:30 a.m. Bring your own brown bag lunch and join us. Dessert and coffee will be served.

BookTalk on "The Help" on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at 11:30 a.m., with discussion leader Diana Loevy. Bring your own brown bag lunch and join us. Dessert and coffee will be served. Multiple copies of the book are available at the library. These programs are free and open to the public.

Email Clamdigging@Rowayton.org with events.