July 23, 2016

Blumenthal, Murphy, Courtney Stress Opposition to Rail Through Old Lyme; Urge Federal Railroad Administration to Hear Community Concerns

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and U.S. Representative Joe Courtney (D-2) yesterday urged the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to meet with the Old Lyme community before moving forward with any plans for a new rail route through the historic city. The FRA has started a massive, multi-million dollar undertaking called “NEC FUTURE” to develop a vision that will meet the passenger rail needs of the Northeast in 2040, and it currently includes ideas to reroute Amtrak straight through Old Lyme.

In a letter to the FRA dated July 22, the lawmakers reiterated their strong opposition to any proposal that would route a new rail line through Old Lyme and called on the Administration to attend a public forum there so that community leaders can explain how to meet our region’s rail needs while honoring historic preservation and environmental protection priorities.

“As the Federal Railroad Administration continues to develop its framework for critically needed investments in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), known as NEC FUTURE, we write to reiterate our call that you ensure the plan reflects the priorities of the people who live and work in the region. To that end, we express our strong opposition to proposals that would route a new rail line through Old Lyme, Connecticut, and we request that you attend a public forum there so that community leaders can explain how to meet our region’s rail needs while honoring historic preservation and environmental protection priorities.”

The proposed rail line realignment outlined in Alternative 1 of the NEC FUTURE Plan would shift the main rail line northward ahead of the Old Saybrook Station and run through several Connecticut and Rhode Island shoreline communities before reconnecting to the existing segment in Kenyon, RI.

Blumenthal, Murphy, and Courtney have been vocal in their opposition of any plan that would reroute rail through Old Lyme. At a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee hearing earlier this month, Blumenthal pressed Amtrak Vice President Stephen Gardner to ditch any plans to build a new route through Southeastern Connecticut that would be strongly opposed by residents of the region.

The text of the letter is available below:

Dear Administrator Feinberg:

As the Federal Railroad Administration continues to develop its framework for critically needed investments in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), known as NEC FUTURE, we write to reiterate our call that you ensure the plan reflects the priorities of the people who live and work in the region. To that end, we express our strong opposition to proposals that would route a new rail line through Old Lyme, Connecticut, and we request that you attend a public forum there so that community leaders can explain how to meet our region’s rail needs while honoring historic preservation and environmental protection priorities.

We strongly support comprehensive, bold efforts to strengthen the NEC rail network, which for too long has subjected our constituents in Connecticut and throughout the Northeast region to daily disruptions and delays on a system that has outlived its useful life. It is time to rebuild the network and ensure it is made safer and more responsive to the needs of the millions who rely on it to live, work and commute each day. In doing so, however, the needs and priorities of the communities that will be impacted by new rail routes must be taken into consideration.

We understand FRA is set to unveil a final Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on various alternatives to improve rail service in Connecticut later this year; state governments, local entities and rail operators may then use the EIS as a springboard for localized, project-specific plans. Unfortunately, the Tier 1 EIS now underway falls short on many fronts. One of the major proposals envisioned by NEC FUTURE would re-route Amtrak through the heart of many historic towns and communities in our state, including Old Lyme. We reject such a proposal, and call on you to ensure the final Tier 1 EIS is absent any scenario that sends rail through Old Lyme. Moreover, whatever alternative is chosen in the EIS must be accompanied by an impact analysis that fairly details the chosen alternative’s impact on the environment, the community, and historical properties.

NEC FUTURE is an important opportunity to comprehensively plan for the investments required to ensure that the Northeast rail corridor—the nation’s busiest—remains safe and viable for decades to come. The FRA is spending considerable resources on this plan, and we are eager to see a final product that is worthy of that investment of time and money. Accordingly, we urge you to put forward a proposal that can be supported by Connecticut and that bolsters historic preservation and environmental conservation instead of undercutting those values. We also ask you to commit to attending a public forum in Old Lyme so FRA and the community can discuss how to develop a long-term plan that reflects the values of our constituents.

We appreciate your attention to this important matter, and look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

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FloGris Museum Board Sends Letter to FRA Stating Strong Opposition to Proposed Rail Route Through Old Lyme; Request Its Removal from Plan, Public Meeting

Jeffrey Andersen, Director of the Florence Griswold Museum

Jeffrey Andersen, Director of the Florence Griswold Museum

In a week of continuing activity regarding the proposed high speed rail route, the Director of the Florence Griswold Museum, Jeffrey Andersen, and the President of the Board of Trustees of the Museum, Frank (Ted) Hamilton III, sent a letter dated July 15 to Rebecca Reyes-Alicea, the Northeast Corridor (NEC) Program Advisor for the Federal Rail Administration (FRA) expressing their “grave concerns” about recent reports that the proposed high speed train route currently under discussion will pass through Old Lyme.  Significantly, 25 members of the board of trustees had met July 14 and unanimously joined the statement of opposition to the FRA.

The letter refers to the NEC Future Preferred Alternative, which is now expected to be announced in mid-August of this year and anticipates “a high-speed rail corridor to come through the historic center of the Town of Old Lyme,” with what Anderson and Hamilton describe as, “devastating consequences to its significant cultural, historic, and environmental resources.”

Noting the addition of the Old Lyme Historic District to The National Register of Historic Places and the designation of the Florence Griswold House and Museum as a National Historic Landmark (NHL), the letter states unequivocally, “The Board of Trustees and leadership of the Museum are concerned that the essential integrity of the Town of Old Lyme and the reputation of this NHL as the Home of American Impressionism will be violated by the actions proposed by the FRA.”

Citing the recent “acquisition of the final parcel of private land that was once a part of Florence Griswold’s historic estate,” Anderson and Hamilton stress, “The unification of the historic site, and the enhancement of the visitor’s experience for the over 70,000 visitors who come here annually, will be forever diminished if this plan is chosen over other alternatives.”  They conclude forcefully, “The proposed train route will do untold damage to the setting of this National Historic Landmark and, indeed, the Historic District.”

The authors highlight their solid unity with US Senators Blumenthal and Murphy, US House Representative Courtney, State Senator Formica and State Representative Formica against the proposal and make two requests, first that the Old Saybrook to Kenyon by-pass is removed from consideration in the plan, and second that a public meeting is held in southeast Connecticut so that citizens may ask questions and receive responses.

The full text of the letter is given below:

Dear Ms. Reyes-Alicea:

Twenty-five members of the Board of Trustees of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT met on Thursday, July 14, 2016 to unanimously express their grave concerns regarding recent reports that a Kenyon to Saybrook bypass will be included as part of the NEC Future Preferred Alternative expected to be announced in mid-August 2016. As you know, this plan calls for a high-speed rail corridor to come through the historic center of the Town of Old Lyme, with devastating consequences to its significant cultural, historic, and environmental resources.

In 1971, the Old Lyme Historic District was added to The National Register of Historic Places and, in 1993, the Florence Griswold House and Museum was designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of its significance for all Americans. The Board of Trustees and leadership of the Museum are concerned that the essential integrity of the Town of Old Lyme and the reputation of this NHL as the Home of American Impressionism will be violated by the actions proposed by the FRA. Ironically, at the very time that the town is facing this threat, the Museum has just completed the acquisition of the final parcel of private land that was once a part of Florence Griswold’s historic estate. The unification of the historic site, and the enhancement of the visitor’s experience for the over 70,000 visitors who come here annually, will be forever diminished if this plan is chosen over other alternatives. The proposed train route will do untold damage to the setting of this National Historic Landmark and, indeed, the Historic District.

Our Board of Trustees stands in unity with our United States senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, with our U.S. House Representative Joe Courtney, and with our State Senator Paul Formica and State Representative Devin Carney in opposition to this plan. Further, we respectfully urge the FRA to take the following actions prior to the announcement of the preferred alternative expected in mid-August:

· Take the Kenyon to Saybrook bypass out of the plan for the Preferred Alternative, both as a concept and as a route on the map.
· Agree to hold a public meeting in Southeastern Connecticut, something that Senator Blumenthal and other elected representatives have urged the FRA to do, so that our citizens are given an opportunity to express their concerns and seek responses to many unanswered questions.

We write this letter in good faith and with the belief that you will take our concerns seriously. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Frank W. Hamilton, III, President
Jeffrey Andersen, 
Director

BOARD OF TRUSTEES
FLORENCE GRISWOLD MUSEUM

 

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Formica, Carney & Reemsnyder Request FRA to Host Public Meeting in Old Lyme; No Motion at OL Board of Selectmen to Express Formal Opposition to Train Route

In another development regarding the proposed train route, State Senator Paul Formica (R- 20th) sent a letter dated July 14, co-signed by State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder to the Northeast Corridor (NEC) Future Program Manager Rebecca Reyes-Alicea asking her to meet with them in Old Lyme to discuss the “many questions and concerns, which we feel have not been properly addressed by the FRA (Federal Rail Administration).”

The letter continues, “There is much worry in Old Lyme and the surrounding communities regarding the potential disruption this plan provides, which is why we would appreciate a conversation as soon as possible.”  Formica then states, “It is our belief that this bypass proposal is the wrong approach and will create a disturbing level of damage, especially for the people, businesses, history, culture and environment of Southeastern Connecticut, specifically Old Lyme.”

Finally, Formica asks Reyes-Alicea to “attend a public meeting in Old Lyme in the near future to provide information to everyone potentially affected and to answer questions from concerned citizens.”

There was significant discussion at the Old Lyme Selectmen’s meeting last Monday, July 11, regarding the meeting the previous week on July 7 in Old Lyme, which First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder had attended along with Connecticut Commissioner of Transport James Redeker; State Senator Paul Formica; Rep. Devin Carney; Pamela Sucato, DOT; Rob Haramut, RiverCOG; Greg Stroud, SECoast; John Forbis; Bennett (BJ) Bernblum; and representatives from Sen. Blumenthal’s, Sen. Murphy’s and Rep. Courtney’s offices.

Neither of the Old Lyme Selectmen had attended and both expressed concern regarding the level of communication to the community. Selectman Arthur “Skip” Sibley said, “People are starving for information,” that it was time, “To start to make this thing more public,” and that he felt it was, “Better to get as much information out the public as possible.”

Reemsnyder said she would post a full account of the July 7 meeting as soon as it had been agreed by State Senator Formica.

Selectwoman MaryJo Nosal suggested they should have a motion to clarify to the public their opposition to the proposed railroad route.  Reemsnyder stated, “I’m opposed to the train going through Old Lyme — aerial or tunnel,” but Sibley noted, “We have a train through Old Lyme currently,” adding, “We shouldn’t have a vote when we don’t know what we’re voting against,” saying again that it was “more important” in his opinion, “to get the information out.”  Reemsnyder agreed, “We have to be careful what we vote against.”  Nosal noted for the record, “I do agree with Senator Blumenthal – the proposal is hare-brained.”

Since the meeting, the letter mentioned above has been sent to the FRA by State Senator Formica, State Rep. Carney and Reemsnyder requesting, in part, a public meeting in Old Lyme.

Also subsequent to the meeting, the account of the July 7 meeting has been posted on the Town website at this link.

 

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“Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty” on View at LAA Through Aug. 26

“Reeds Landing” by George F. Bottume c.1850.

“Reeds Landing” by George F. Bottume c.1850.

The 4th Annual “Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty” exhibition, sponsored by the Lyme Land Conservation Trust and the Lyme Art Association (LAA), will be shown in the Goodman Gallery of the LAA

On view will be landscapes created in June 2016 during the “Celebrating Lyme’s Beauty” Paint-Out. The Paint-Out event continues the en plein air tradition established by the early American Impressionists, who founded the Lyme Art Colony over one hundred years ago.

The landscapes will highlight the historic and natural beauty of the Hamburg Bridge Historic District, and the Lyme Preserves that surround it, namely, the Hemlocks and the Czikowsky Preserve

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‘Jazz @ The Vue’ Open Mic Night Tonight in Sound View

The Town of Old Lyme and the Sound View Commission are sponsoring family-friendly events at Sound View Beach this summer.

The next event in the 2016 series will be held tonight, Thursday, July 21, starting at 7 p.m. and will feature Jazz@The Vue — an open mic night for jazz musicians. A $5 donation to the Shoreline Community Center Building Fundis requested.

For more information, call (860) 434-2871

 

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USCG Dixieland Band Play ‘Summer Sounds’ Series at Lymes’ Senior Center, July 28

Come and enjoy a summer evening at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd. for “Summer Sounds” — a five week musical series.  All ages are welcome. Admission is free.

Bring your chairs, blankets, dinner, etc. the performances will be held out on the lawn (weather permitting) or inside if the weather is inclement. 

A free ice cream social will follow all concerts.

The concert schedule is as follows:

July 28 at 7 p.m.
US Coast Guard Dixieland Band
Ice cream social sponsored by the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee

Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.
United States Navy Band
Ice cream social sponsored by the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee

In addition, the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club will also be in attendance on Aug. 4, at 6 p.m. selling hot dogs, hamburgers, and other dinner foods.

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102nd Army Band Rock Ensemble Plays at Sound View, July 28

The 102nd Army Band of the CT National Guard will play at Sound View, July 28.

The 102nd Army Band of the CT National Guard will play at Sound View, July 28.

The Town of Old Lyme and the Sound View Commission are sponsoring family-friendly concerts at Sound View Beach this summer.

The next concert in the 2016 series will be held Thursday, July 28, and will feature the 102nd Army Band Rock Ensemble.

The soldier/musicians of the 102nd Army Band CT National Guard are both trained soldiers and versatile professional musicians.  While consistently meeting Army standards in physical fitness, rifle marksmanship and military discipline, these talented musicians perform a wide range of musical styles from the marches of John Philip Sousa to Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”!

The free outdoor concerts will take place from 7 through 8.30 p.m., near the flag pole at the end of Hartford Avenue at Sound View Beach.

Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and settle in for a lovely evening of sunset music. Everyone is welcome to attend these free, family-friendly events.

In the event of rain location, the concert will be held in the Shoreline Community Center at 39 Hartford Ave.

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Lyme Public Hall Hosts Tag Sale to Benefit Public Hall Association, Aug. 6; Intake Starts Aug. 1

The Lyme Public Hall Association will hold a Tag Sale and Bake Sale on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The sale will feature housewares, furniture, jewelry and unexpected treasures, as well as a bake sale with home-made pies and other tasty treats.

Intake for the Lyme Public Hall sale will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m Monday, Aug. 1 through Thursday, Aug. 4.  There will also be evening drop-off on Thursday, Aug. 4 from 6 to 8 p.m.  The Hall will not accept large appliances, upholstered or particle board furniture, consumer electronics (TVs, computers, fax machines, etc) or large exercise equipment. In addition, no clothing, records or books will be accepted for sale.

Proceeds will go toward the maintenance of the Lyme Public Hall building, the Lyme Local History Archives, and programs for the public.

For more information on the Lyme Public Hall sale, call (860) 526-8886 or (860) 434-1929 or email wdenow@comcast.net.

The Lyme Public Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Road (Route 156) in Lyme, Connecticut.

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State Senate Candidate Norm Needleman is First to Reach Fundraising Goal

Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norman Needleman

Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, Norman Needleman.

LYME — Democratic State Senate candidate Norm Needleman, who is running in the 33rd District, announced today that his campaign has reached the fundraising requirements needed to qualify for public financing in compliance with the Citizens’ Election Program. Needleman is the first to qualify for such financing in the 33rd District race.

“Since I began this campaign I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support,” said Norm Needleman. “Every day I meet more and more residents of the 33rd District who are ready to fix Hartford and bring a non-partisan, business approach to our state government. I am proud to have their support.”

Norm For Senate raised over $16,390 from 364 individual contributors, with 319 of those contributors coming from one of the 12 towns in the 33rd State Senate District (Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook). The campaign far outraised the required totals of $15,000 from 300 donors residing in the District.

Making good on fulfilling his promise to run a clean campaign without the influence of special interests, Needleman refused to accept donations from lobbyists. None of the 300-plus donors to the campaign are lobbyists.

Needleman is the founder and CEO of Tower Laboratories, an Essex-based manufacturing business that employs over 200 people, most of whom are local to the District. He also serves as First Selectman of Essex.

“Norm’s solution-focused, business-empowering message is really resonating throughout the twelve towns of the 33rd district,” said Campaign Manager Kevin Coughlin. “There’s a real groundswell around his candidacy from citizens across the spectrum.”

The Citizens’ Election Program is a voluntary system of public campaign financing that is designed to encourage citizen participation and limit the role of private money in politics.  The program was created under former Republican Governor Jodi Rell, after her predecessor, John Rowland, resigned amid corruption allegations. To qualify, candidates must raise small qualifying contributions and agree to adhere to spending limits and disclosure requirements.

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Rte. 156 Bikeway/Sound View Improvements Proposal: The Case For and The Case Against

At tonight’s Special Town Meeting, residents will vote on whether to approve $877,000 for the construction cost of State Project #104-172: Rte. 156 Bikeway/Sound View Improvements Project. The board of selectmen anticipates the actual project cost may be as low as $812,000.

A federal grant being administered by the State Department of Transportation will cover 80 percent of the project construction costs, approximately $649,600 to $701,600. Although the Town will be responsible for only 20 percent of the final cost (between $162,400 and $175,400, approximately), the board of selectmen is required to approve the total project cost at Town Meeting. (Visit this link for more information from the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen on the proposal.)

We have received statements from, respectively, a supporter of the proposal, Sound View Commission Chairman Frank Pappalardo, and an opponent, Frank Maratta, owner of ‘The Pavilion’ restaurant and bar at Sound View.

In the interests of disseminating information to the public to facilitate an informed vote, we are publishing both unedited.

THE CASE FOR

By Frank Pappalardo

The project has been in the planning stages since 2011 and addresses much needed improvements including:

  • Deteriorating sidewalks
  • Inadequate sidewalks for public safety
  • Lack of handicapped accessibility
  • Inadequate Storm Water Drainage
  • Lack of bicycle facilities
  • Pedestrian amenities
  • Parking

The Town applied for and received a Federal Intermodal Transportation Grant and will receive 80% funding.

2014 Town meeting voted to approve Phase 1 Plan and Design Funding

Planning included:

  • 56 public committee meetings; 3 site walks; 6 Public information meetings
  • 1 Town Meeting
  • Numerous plan reviews with revisions included
  • Numerous Presentations to Board/Commissions including  Sound View Commission; Planning; Zoning; Inland Wetlands; Tree Commission
  • Approval from town officials:  ZEO, Fire Marshal, Fire Chief, Public Safety, Board of Selectmen, etc.
  • Received support from business property owners, developers and the community

Parking analysis

  • Current public parking: 353 Total open to the public
  • Project completion: 331 Total open to the public
  • Net change:  22 parking spaces

Cost analysis:

Construction estimate, Inspections, Municipal Services, testing, contingency:  not to exceed    $877,000

Reimbursement from the grant           (80%)                                                                                      ($701,600)

TOTAL COST TO TOWN:                                                                             not to exceed              $175,400

What happens if the construction is NOT approved?

  • Town will have to pay costs for new ADA and safer sidewalks estimated  – $450,000 to $500,000
  • Town will have to pay costs for Storm water drainage modifications and correction.
  • And most critical the town is required to  reimburse DOT for all received Plan/Design Costs – approx. $108,000

This project is a great value for our town, providing much-needed improvements, better amenities and initiative for progress.

The Sound View area has come a long way in the past 10 years. Please vote to support this important project to keep things moving in the right direction.

This is it!  Every vote matters! Let’s get it done!

THE CASE AGAINST

By Frank Marrata

Hartford Avenue, Soundview’s “Main Street”, has a very interesting history.  What was once a bustling street full of businesses has fallen into disrepair and blight.  Our town government continues to contribute to this downward spiral.  Our representatives think that a $900,000 taxpayer bailout will solve the problems.  This is why this proposed burden to the taxpayers should be voted down:

1.  A bike path grant was given to the town, which included the construction of bathrooms and improvement of lighting.  Streetscape will not see the most important component:  bathrooms.
2.  Promoting biking on an already congested Route 156 goes against any common sense as relating to public safety.  It will only be a matter of time before a tragedy will take place.
3.  Sidewalks are currently being planned and built on Hartford Ave.  Sewers will be needed, and then what happens?  The powers to be will tell us they can tunnel under.  The cost of doing this will be an extra burden to all property owners in the form of  increased assessments.
4.  Soundview and Miami Beach are public beaches.  The taking away of 22 more parking spaces on Hartford Avenue takes access to the beach away from Old Lyme residents and their families.  The Town has plans to reduce Town parking lot capacity to 44 total spaces.
5.  Because of this increased shortage of parking, Old Lyme residents will be burdened with beach goers driving up and down neighborhood streets; looking for parking, creating unnecessary traffic and adding to the public safety problem of traffic weaving in and out of streets off 156.
6.  The original project with bathrooms and sidewalks was estimated to cost $750,000.  How did the price tag skyrocket to $877,000, without bathrooms and lighting?
7.  25% of the cost will go to the construction manager.  This is an intangible that will not be realized to the taxpayer in the form of improvements.  Taxpayers have to pay $200,000 for the overseeing of the sidewalks.  Why can’t town staff do the overseeing of the sidewalks, so that the $200,000 could be used to add to the improvements?
8.  The $877,000 cost does not include the repaving of Hartford Avenue.
9.  In the pipeline is the spot rezoning of Hartford Avenue, to allow more residential zoning to accommodate recent purchase of properties by developers.  Again, the history of the avenue has been one of a vibrant street:  movie theaters, bakeries, jazz clubs, arcades, music halls, ice cream and lemon ice stands, a merry-go-round and more that filled the avenue with activities for families.  Taking away from the business district and adding to the residential designation not only erases a rich history, but adds to the tax burden on town services and school budget.
10.  The loss of parking spaces, which are valued at about $1,100 each per season, that help support beach maintenance will add to the cost of the general fund budget, which will have to be absorbed by the taxpayer.
In closing, we are in support of a major improvement of Hartford Avenue, but we are not getting our money’s worth.  A better solution would be to improve the avenue without further reducing parking so that a lucrative source of income to the general fund is maintained.  Bathrooms are a huge issue, and we are not going to see them.  The bike path on 156 is dangerous, and a public safety threat.  New sidewalks will be a great improvement, but to do it before sewers are installed is totally irresponsible.  Let’s use our money intelligently and with foresight.   We oppose this particular proposal because we can do better!
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Three Items on Tonight’s Old Lyme Special Town Meeting Agenda

The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen have announced that a Special  Town Meeting will be held on Monday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium to consider and act upon the following  three items:

Agenda Item #1

To authorize approval for the construction cost of State Project #104-172: Rte. 156 Bikeway/Sound View Improvements Project in the amount of $877,000, as recommended by the boards of selectmen and finance.  The board of selectmen anticipates the actual project cost may be as low as $812,000.

A federal grant being administered by the State Department of Transportation will cover 80 percent of the project construction costs, approximately $649,600 to $701,600. Although the Town will be responsible for only 20 percent of the final cost (between $162,400 and $175,400, approximately), the board of selectmen is required to approve the total project cost at Town Meeting.

The Rte. 156 Bikeway/Sound View Improvements project will construct a Bikeway along Hartford Ave.  When project estimates came in higher than anticipated, the Committee decided to undertake the project in phases, with the first phase being the Bikeway, using transportation funding available through the DOT Grant. Later phases will address a new greenway and restroom facilities.

Click to read a related article, “The Case For and The Case Against” the Sound View Proposal.

Agenda Item #2

To authorize the acceptance of Queen Anne Court as a Town road with the condition that all cracks in the road be repaired to the satisfaction of the Town prior to the deed being filed.

Agenda Item #3

To appropriate an amount not to exceed $60,000 to cover excess costs of the Resident Trooper Department, including annual cost, DWI overtime and other overtime cost. The $60,000 would be transferred from the already approved municipal police budget, and is not a new allocation.

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Salt Marsh Opera Presents Free ‘Opera in the Park’ on Old Saybrook Town Green, Sunday

Opera_at_the_Park

It’s always a wonderful evening at Salt Marsh’s “Opera in the Park” in Old Saybrook.

Salt Marsh Opera’s free concert, ‘Opera in the Park,’ will take place on Sunday, July 24 (rain date July 25) at 6:30 p.m. on the Old Saybrook Town Green adjacent to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St.

World famous singers – tenor Brian Cheney and soprano Sarah Callinan – with accompanist Elena Zamolodchikova will sing opera favorites.

Grab your friends and family, picnic blankets and lawn chairs and get ready for a mesmerizing evening under a canopy of stars.  Arrive early for best seating. The concert will conclude at 8 p.m.

‘Opera in the Park’ is sponsored by State of Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development and anonymous friends of Salt Marsh Opera residing in the Lower Connecticut River Valley.

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“SummerSong” Celebrates 19th and 20th Century Music at Christ The King in Free Concert, Today

Cooper Joseph Kendall

Cooper Joseph Kendall

“SummerSong,” a shared vocal recital taking place at Christ the King Church at 4 p.m. this afternoon, will feature two accomplished singers in a varied program of song ranging from 19th century German lieder to 20th century American art songs, hymns, and operetta.

Cooper Joseph Kendall, a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2014 and now a student at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music, and Lindsay Ryan Botticello, who studied voice at Purchase College and University of Massachusetts at Amherst, will both perform repertoire in the free concert.

Both Kendall and Botticello have been associated with Christ the King’s music ministry since they were very young. Kendall was a member of the Christ the King Church Youth Choir until eighth grade, and then sang with the church’s Adult Choir while a student at Lyme-Old Lyme High School and during college. He studies with renowned dramatic soprano Jane Eaglen at New England Conservatory, where he is also a member of the Undergraduate Opera Studio. In April he was an ensemble member in NEC’s Agrippina, and in June he attended SongFest, a one-month intensive program at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles. Kendall will begin his third year at NEC this fall.

Lindsay Botticello

Lindsay Botticello

Botticello has been active in music ministry at Christ the King Church since elementary school, most notably in her role as a cantor for the past two decades. Before attending law school, she studied in the voice conservatory at Purchase College under the instruction of Kaori Sato, and at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst under the instruction of Marjorie Melnick, where she was a winner of the 2006 Concerto Competition. After choosing for many years to devote most of her energy to furthering her legal career, Botticello recently returned to the stage as the Witch in Into the Woods with the Opera House Players in Broadbrook, Conn.

The program for “SummerSong” includes works by Schumann, Bernstein, Barber, Walters, and others. During the concert, a free-will offering will be accepted in support of music ministries at Christ the King Church. The concert will be followed by a reception. 

For more information, visit www.christthekingchurch.net, or email christthekingchurcholdlyme@gmail.com.

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Old Lyme Town Band Gives Free Concert — with Ice Cream — This Afternoon

The Old Lyme Town Band

The Old Lyme Town Band will give a free concert on Sunday.

On Sunday, July 17, at 4 p.m., the Old Lyme Town Band will present a free concert on the South Town Green in front of Christ the King Catholic Church Rectory.  Co-sponsored by the Old Lyme Historical Society, the Florence Griswold Museum, the Old Lyme Historic District Commission and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce, this concert has become a eagerly awaited summer tradition.

Bring a chair, sit down and listen to the music!

Free ice cream from the Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe will be served at intermission, courtesy of the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce.

This year the Band marks its 41st anniversary. Concert-goers will be treated to selections from Harry James, Dixieland Front and Center, I Dreamed a Dream, Classical Rondo, and other arrangements.

In case of rain, the concert will be held in the Christ the King Parish Hall. Parking is available in the Church parking lot.

Come enjoy a Sunday afternoon musical event guaranteed to appeal to all ages.

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Cappella Cantorum Presents Annual Men’s Chorus Concert in Centerbrook, Today

cappella-cantorum-for-webOLD SAYBROOK —  Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus presents its annual concert at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook on Sunday, July 17, at 4 p.m.

The music will include “For the Beauty of the Earth,” “Rutter,”  “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Men of Harlech,” “Ride the Chariot,” “Va Pensiero” and “When the Saints Go Marching In,” as well as barbershop favorites.

Tickets for the Centerbrook concert are $20 (age 18 and under are free) and can be purchased at the door or through CappellaCantorum.org. Tickets for The Kate concert are available only through the box office, 877-503-1286, or at www.thekate.org. Contact Barry at 860-388-2871 for more information.

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Last Chance to See ‘Noises Off!’ at ‘The Kate’ Performed by Saybrook Stage Today

Saybrook Stage Company cast of "Noises Off!"

The Saybrook Stage Company cast of “Noises Off!” gathers for a photo.

It has been said that “once is not enough” to catch all of the jokes and sight gags in Frayn’s hilarious farce Noises Off!

The play opens with a bewildered road company flailing through the dress rehearsal of a flop called “Nothing On” – a silly romantic comedy scheduled to open the next night in a small suburban town. The second act of the play ingeniously presents a backstage view of the same show a month into the run showcasing all the funny drama taking place with the actors – love, lust, jealousy, suspicions and heartbreak. In the final act, the backstage confusion erupts and spills onto the live staged play creating some of the funniest and most outrageous moments of the night.

LogoLargeThe Saybrook Stage Company returns to The Kate with their production directed by Martin Scott Marchitto of Noises Off! by Michael Frayn from Thursday, July 14, through Sunday, July 17.  This will be their 12th production at The Kate — more recent previous plays are Rumors, The Wayside Motor Inn, Moon Over Buffalo and this past January to a sold-out audience, Deathtrap.

Frequently billed as the funniest farce ever written, Noises Off! originally opened on Broadway in 1983 to rave reviews and ran for over 550 performances, earning several awards including Best Outstanding Ensemble. It was revived on Broadway in 2001 and again this past year and has won numerous awards.

Performances will be July 14 through July 16 at 8 p.m. and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 17, with a newly added matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 16.

Visit www.thekate.org or call 877-503-1286 to reserve your tickets.

The Saybrook Stage Company was founded as a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing quality local theater on the Connecticut Shoreline at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Saybrook Stage welcomes actors of all levels and abilities – and anyone who genuinely loves the arts – to come together and share in the experience that only live theater can provide.

The actors that have been part of the Saybrook Stage Company to date have varied backgrounds and “day jobs” from teachers, artists and homemakers to lawyers, business people and judges. The Company looks forward to producing many more quality productions at the beautiful venue of The Kate and continuing to thrive in this wonderful, artistic region of Connecticut.

Visit www.SaybrookStage.org for more information about Saybrook Stage Company.

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Acclaimed Local Contemporary Artist Judy Friday Opens Gallery in Old Lyme

'February Sunrise' by Judy Friday.

‘February Sunrise’ by Judy Friday.

One of the area’s best known contemporary artists has opened her own gallery in Old Lyme. Judy Friday Gallery, full of Friday’s paintings, photography, weavings and sculptures, can be found at 10 Lyme Street.

Friday, a resident of Old Saybrook, explains that she opened the new gallery for a number of reasons, noting, “The first is that the space is so perfect for a gallery and studio combined.”

She says the second reason for opening her own gallery is, “… that I had too much work accumulating in my studio at home and I love organizing paintings and my hooked rug pillows in a clean, organized way.”

Friday adds, “The third reason is that I wanted to be able to show my work year-round versus one month here and there,” commenting, “I appreciate all the shows I’ve been given over the years.”

Judy Friday Gallery is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by chance or appointment. The phone number is 860.581.0116.

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Enjoy ‘An Evening of Broadway’ in Old Lyme Tonight; Benefits Old Lyme Democrats

Lyme-Old Lyme High School alumnus Dan Kurpaska will be the pianist at "An Evening of Broadway."

Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) alumnus Dan Kurpaska will be the pianist at “An Evening of Broadway.”

The Old Lyme Democratic Committee is sponsoring An Evening of Broadway this Saturday, July 16, in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium at 7 p.m.  The event will showcase an evening of music and song performed by recent graduates of New York City’s Circle in the Square Theater School — a two year musical theatre program — followed by a dessert hour.

Another LOLHS alumna, Cait Kelly, will perform at Saturday's event.

Another LOLHS alumna, Cait Kelly, will perform at Saturday’s event.

The actors are volunteering their independent talents to entertain the community and see Connecticut as they hail from all over the country and Canada. They will be performing and dancing to current or recent Broadway shows like Hamilton, She Loves Me, The Color Purple, Frozen, Fun House and Beautiful.

Two graduates of Regional School District 18 are featured, Cait Kelly — daughter of Old Lyme Selectwoman MaryJo Nosal — and Dan Kurpaska, who will serve as the pianist.

Tickets are $40 per person or $100 per family.  To reserve tickets, call 860.434.5414 or email oldtcevents@gmail.com. Payment can also be made at the door or by check payable to OLDTC and mailed to the OLDTC at PO Box 402, Old Lyme, CT 06371.

All proceeds will benefit the Old Lyme Democratic Committee.

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Opening Reception Tonight at Old Lyme Library for ‘Touching Water’ Exhibit by Roxanne Steed

'Looking South on the Connecticut River at Old Lyme' is the signature painting of the 'Touching Water' exhibition opening Friday at the Old Lyme Library.

‘Looking South on the Connecticut River at Old Lyme’ is the signature painting of the ‘Touching Water’ exhibition opening Friday at the Old Lyme Library.

The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is currently hosting a new exhibition titled Touching Water featuring artwork by Roxanne Steed.

Steed has lived in some of the most beautiful towns on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as traveled to Hawaii, Singapore, Italy, France, England and Ireland.  Always in pursuit of new challenges, her works explore the local waterways painted en plein air.

Steed pursued her formal art education along the way at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn.; The Art League School in Alexandria, Va.; and Watts Atelier in Encinitas, Calif.  Recent studies with colorists Leif Nilsson, and Camille Przewodek, students of renowned teacher Henry Hensche have enabled her to pursue the ever-intriguing study of the effects light on color.

The works of the American Impressionists have had a great influence on her work, particularly those of New England and California. Steed says, “There is nothing quite so satisfying as painting from life in the great outdoors. I find the textural quality of paint an exciting element of painting as much as design, composition, and color. Evoking an emotional response to a ‘sense of place’ is a great thrill; that connection with my viewer is priceless.”

Steed’s professional affiliations include Oil Painters of America, American Impressionist Society, Lyme Art Association, Mystic Art Center, CT Plein Air Painters Society and DailyPainters.com.

Her paintings are in private collections across the United States, as well as Canada, Ireland, UK, Germany, South Korea, Australia, and Dubai. Her most recent corporate collector is Bank of Hampton Roads (Virginia).

The exhibition will run until Aug. 31.

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State Troubadour Performs at Lyme Library This Evening

Connecticut State Troubador Kate Callahan gives a concert at Lyme Public Library Friday evening.

Connecticut State Troubador Kate Callahan gives a concert at Lyme Public Library Friday evening.

Friends of the Lyme Public Library will sponsor a concert presented by Connecticut State Troubadour, Kate Callahan, this evening, Friday, July 15, at 6 p.m., at the Lyme Public Library at 482 Hamburg Rd./Rte. 156, Lyme.

The concert will be outdoors on the lawn area near library patio.  Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets.  This is a family program and all are invited.

In the case of inclement weather, the event will be held at the Lyme Public Hall, 249 Hamburg Rd./Rte. 156, Lyme.  Refreshments will be available for a small fee.

As Connecticut’s 16th State Troubadour, Kate Callahan gives a concert of compelling original music plus songs by the Beatles, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.  Connecticut is one of the only states that honors a singer-songwriter with a formal position.

Callahan serves as an ambassador of music and song and promotes cultural literacy among Connecticut citizens.  She has shared stages with songwriter legends Judy Collins, Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul & Mary) and Aztec Two Step.

Callahan has been  awarded the prestigious United Arts Campaign’s Featured Artist of the year in 2014 and named Connecticut’s Best Singer-Songwriter.  She has also received Hartford’s Woman of Character Award and has five albums including her 2014 release Two Doors, which was featured on WNPR.

The Boston Globe says “Kate has garnered an appreciative audience with her easy going vibe and mystical lyrics.”  She lives in Connecticut where she also leads a vocal improvisation workshop she created, called the Miracle of Melody.

For more information visit:  http://www.kate-callahan.com/#!home/mainPage andhttp://music.lafamos.com/katecallahan.

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