May 25, 2017

Welcome to Our Summer Intern, Jacob Ballachino

Jacob Ballachino

We are delighted to introduce our newest intern, Jacob Ballachino, to our readers.  Jacob, who lives with his family in Old Lyme, has completed two years at UMass Amherst where he is a communications and journalism major. He is going to be working for throughout the summer covering news and events in Lyme and Old Lyme.

Jacob is especially interested in sports and entertainment and so hopes to be writing some stories for us focused on those areas.  He’s already written a couple of great pieces for us, one about the Tour de Lyme and the other about A Woman’s Exchange, and we think he’s off to a flying start!

Asked why he wanted to intern for, Jacob responded, “I hope to gain first-hand experience in reporting and also to build personal connections with a diverse group of local community members.”

If you have any news tips or story suggestions for Jacob, you can contact him directly at and if you see him around town, make sure to say hi to him.

Finally,  welcome on board, Jacob — we’re so pleased you’ve joined our team!


Wildcats Look to Bring Home Shoreline Conference Championship This Afternoon … Again

Reigning Shoreline Conference girls lacrosse champions and top seeds Old Lyme defend their title against North Branford this afternoon at 5 p.m. in Clinton.  The Wildcats reached today’s final after defeating fourth-seeded Haddam-Killingworth in Tuesday’s semifinal.



SECWAC Presentation Tonight Explores Unexpected Partnership Between US, Russia in Arctic

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) hosts its next meeting Thursday, May 25, at 6 p.m. at the Crozier Hall (Student Center, second floor) at Connecticut College, Mohegan Ave, New London.  A reception at 5:30 p.m. will precede the 6 p.m. presentation.

Lieutenant Commander Jeremy McKenzie, United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), will give a presentation at 6 p.m. titled, The Bering Strait: Reducing Risk Through International Cooperation and Capability Improvements, about unexpected partnerships and how the U.S. Coast Guard cooperates with Russia in the Arctic.  McKenzie is the Public Policy Instructor – Department of Humanities, and Researcher – Center for Arctic Study and Policy, at the USCGA.

Following the presentation, join McKenzie, guests, and fellow members for a meal at Connecticut College. Tickets for the meal are $35/person.

A reservation is required to attend the dinner; call 860-912-5718 or email to make your reservation (vegetarian option available if reserved in advance). Checks payable to SECWAC (or credit card payment) are accepted before the meeting by Courtney Assad.

Serving as the sole connection between the Pacific and Arctic Oceans, the Bering Strait is seeing increased maritime activity and risk due to environmental changes that are opening the Arctic. The increased activity in the Bering Strait region poses cross-border management challenges that are complicated by diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Russia. McKenzie will explore these management challenges through the following questions:

  1. How effectively are international and bilateral agreements governing maritime activity in the Bering Strait region being implemented at the “street level” by responsible agencies on either side of the border?
  2. Are there gaps in existing agreements that prevent effective bilateral collaboration?

The recommendations from research (interviews and other data) include decoupling the Arctic from other aspects of the U.S. and Russian bilateral relationship, the immediate resumption of bilateral oil spill and search, and search and rescue (SAR) exercises, and the establishment of a joint maritime domain awareness center (MDAC) to maintain situational awareness and implement maritime traffic control measures.

Join SECWAC on June 6 for their final meeting of the season, “A Turbulent China Takes on the World,” with author and The Daily Beast columnist Gordon G. Chang. This presentation will be held at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School in Old Lyme.

Learn more about SECWAC’s 2017 season programs at


Hartford Ave. in Soundview Closed Through 7pm Today for Paving

5/22, 8:30am UPDATE: Due to Monday’s rain, the paving planned for Monday has been postponed until today.

Hartford Avenue will be closed to traffic from Bocce Ln. to Pond Rd. on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 23 and 24), starting at 7 a.m., for milling and paving.

A parking ban will be in effect from 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 23, through 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 24.

Local residents can park on Martino Avenue or north of Bocce Lane during this time.

Town officials apologize for any inconvenience.

Residents are asked to be aware that in approximately two to three weeks, permanent epoxy street markings will be applied between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. While this is not generally a noisy process, the equipment and process, including lighting, may be distracting.

Once the date is confirmed, we sill publish it on


Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Science Olympiad Team Sets New State Record at National Contest in Ohio

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ Science Olympiad team has just returned from the 2017 National Science Olympiad held at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio, after breaking the Connecticut state record for their final position in the B Division (Grades 6 through 9)

The Lyme-Old Lyme team broke the Connecticut state record at last year’s tournament when they came in as the top-placed team from Connecticut and in 33rd place overall.

At this year’s event, Lyme-Old Lyme placed 28th overall beating their previous year’s record.

Lyme-Old Lyme debuted in the National Science Olympiad tournament in 2012 placing 51st nationally. The competition includes over 60 teams representing the United States as well as a dignitary team representing Japan.

Nick Fava’s and Regan Kaye’s “Wright Stuff” placed 8th nationally thanks to their tremendous effort and the strong support they received from community member and event coach John Koptonak. 

Head coaches Shannon Glorioso and Elizabeth Dushin credit their ongoing success to the talent and commitment of both the students and volunteers involved in this community effort.


Coyotes in Connecticut? Learn All About Them at Old Lyme-PGN Library Presentation Tonight

Coyote — friend or foe? Learn all about coyotes tonight at a presentation at the Old Lyme-PGN Library by Paul Colburn.

The Old Lyme-PGN Library hosts a presentation by Paul Colburn titled, ‘Coyotes in Connecticut’ this evening at 6 p.m. in the Community Room.  All are welcome. Admission is free but registration is required.

This presentation by Colburn, a certified Master Wildlife Conservationist (MWC) will focus on the history of coyotes in Connecticut, and provide an overview of coyote habitat, diet, behavior, and reproduction.  It will also provide practical recommendations for optimum coexistence with our coyote population.  Coyote artifacts will be shared with the audience.

The presentation is intended for ages 12 and up.

Colburn is a graduate of the Master Wildlife Conservationist Program (MWCP) , a Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) adult education program that trains participants in the fields of wildlife management, natural history and interpretation. The purpose of the program is to develop a volunteer corps capable of providing education, outreach, and service for state agencies, environmental organizations, libraries, schools, and the general public.

For more information or to register, call the library at 860.434.1684.


Singles Social Connections Offers Variety of Early Summer Events

Singles Social Connections is a social club for singles in Connecticut; the club has non-profit 501(c)3 status from the IRS.  Its goal is to give singles the opportunity to meet new people, have fun, and network.  The following upcoming events are all sponsored by Singles Social Connections.

MAY 27  (Saturday)  SINGLES MEMORIAL WEEKEND PICNIC at Gail’s beach cottage, 46 Swan Avenue, Sound View, Old Lyme at 2 p.m.  For picnic, bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert, if no food, pay extra $5.  Dues-paying Members $10, Guests $15.  To reserve, call Gail in Bristol at 860-582-8229 or Old Lyme 860-434-6426.

JUNE 2  (Friday)  SINGLES HAPPY HOUR at the Tuscany Grill, 120 College Street, Middletown starting at 5 p.m.  If the weather is nice, seating may be outside on patio.  Come after work and mingle with old and new friends.  There is no charge.  For more information, call Gail at 860-582-8229.


Community Music School Opens Summer Registration for Arts, Music Programs & ‘Broadway Bound’

Broadway Bound with the Community Music School.

Community Music School (CMS) is currently enrolling for summer arts programs for students of all ages, including Broadway Bound, a two-week summer musical theater experience for ages 8 to 15. This very popular program, now in its 17th season, will produce “The Addams Family” and “The Lion King.”

At the School’s Centerbrook location, private lessons, group classes and ensembles are available including Tutti Flutie Flute Ensemble with Cheryl Six; Beginning Group Piano with Tom Briggs; CMS Drum Village with Marty Wirt; Introduction to Music Technology with Tom Briggs; Jazz for the Beginning Student with Tom Briggs; Drums & Percussion Workshop with Tom Briggs; the Science of Sound with Christine Coyle; and Summer Kindermusik Drop-in Classes with Martha Herrle.

Community Music School’s eight-week summer session of private lessons runs from June 26 through Aug. 18 and registrations are accepted throughout the summer. Summer lessons can be scheduled around family vacations at your convenience, and a four-pack of lessons is offered at reduced rate.  For additional information, visit or call CMS at 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 34 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  Learn more at or call (860)767-0026.


‘Black and White’ Opens at Cooley Gallery, Saturday

‘Passion fruit’ by Christian Peltenburg Brechneff is featured in the new ‘Black and White’ exhibition opening May 27 at The Cooley Gallery.

There are those days when you think “wouldn’t it be nice if things were just a little simpler?”  Black and White, an exhibition and sale of drawings, paintings and photographs in, you guessed it, black and white opens at The Cooley Gallery May 27 to July 2, with an opening reception on May 27 from 5 to 7 p.m.  The Cooley Gallery has had over 30 years of representing the works of artists who were all about color, intensity, form and interplay but just thought it would look this exhibition a little differently and go back to basics. Real basics.

Black and White is a group show of historic and contemporary paintings, drawings and photographs
all in black and white.

When thinking about black and white it’s easy to go to contrasts: positive and negative, yin and yang, darkness and light. You could argue that the quality of each color’s existence is greatly benefited by the existence of its opposite. You could talk about those opposites attracting or repelling. Whatever your interpretation of the relationship between black and white in an artwork you can’t argue the clarity and simplicity of the pair.  Yes, there are shades of gray which are often integral to a “black and white” composition, but, for this exhibition The Cooley Gallery is making it as plain as “black and white.”

Black and White will include both historic and contemporary works of art. The intimacy and delicacy of drawings are often overlooked by today’s collectors. They are a great way to really get familiar with an artist’s style and sensibility. Drawings and etchings by listed artists from the past can be a great addition to any collection. They are affordable and imminently engaging,” says Jeff Cooley, owner of The Cooley Gallery.  “We have quite a selection in this show of works on paper that reveal artist’s sensibilities in a way oils just can’t.”

Among the historic works there will be drawings by Charles Harold Davis (1856-1933). In his day, Davis was considered among America’s greatest painters. He was the founder of the Mystic Art Association and lived in nearby Noank.  Platt Hubbard (1889-1946) was an artist from Old Lyme who among other things did a series of etchings of trees. Far from “wooden” Platt’s etchings call out the individuality of each of his subjects. Works by the “Father of American Impressionism”, J. Alden Weir (1852-1919) include interiors and portraits in this exhibition. Thomas Nason (1885-1971) was known as the “Poet Engraver of New England”. The etcher and print maker gained wide recognition with his illustrations in “The Wood-Pile: By Robert Frost” a book of poetry by the famous American poet. Nason’s prints embody the moody changes in atmosphere and somber introspection inspired by the New England hills and fields that surrounded him.

Works by contemporary artists will also be included in this exhibition. Well-known photographer Peter Harron who lives and works in Essex has traveled around the world photographing poetic landscapes in black and white.  Miniature landscapes in charcoal by Donna Levinstone will hang alongside paintings by Hartford artist Zbigniew Grzyb. In the award-winning movie, “Like Notes of Music,” Christian Brechneff’s life and art comes to the screen. There are scenes in the film when Christian is free-hand drawing voluptuous flowers in India ink from a glass tube or pipette.  Employing a glass tube to deliver the line on the paper seems an unnecessarily difficult added challenge but Christian’s facility with the medium and the expressiveness he gains illustrate the delicacy and boldness of black defining form. The seemingly random sweeps of black over white by Michael St. Germain belie the discipline they require.

“Black and White” opens May 27th at The Cooley Gallery, 25 Lyme Street in Old Lyme and runs through July 2nd.  Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 12 – 5 and Sunday 12 – 4.  For more information, or 860-434-8807.  There will be a gallery reception on Saturday, May 27th from 5-7 p.m. The public is welcome.

Founded in 1981 and located in the heart of historic Old Lyme, the Cooley Gallery specializes in fine American paintings from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and select contemporary artists. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 12 to 5pm. Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. Please call (860) 434-8807 or visit for additional information. The Cooley Gallery is located at 25 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371.


East Lyme Touch-a-Truck Welcomes LIFE STAR Today; Benefits Child & Family

A Life Star helicopter will land at McCook Park during the Touch-a-Truck event, May 20

On Saturday, May 20, the East Lyme Auxiliary of Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut and the East Lyme Parks and Recreation Department will co-sponsor our tenth annual Touch A Truck.  This family event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at McCook Point Park in Niantic, CT.

In celebration of our tenth anniversary, LIFE STAR will be making a special appearance.  The helicopter will land at McCook Park at 9 a.m. Then for two hours, children and their families will be able to learn about the LIFE STAR mission. At 11 a.m. they will be able to see the impressive take-off as the vehicle heads for its home base.

LIFE STAR is a critical care helicopter service that responds to and provides air transport for patients needing care at a tertiary care facility.  LIFE STAR can travel at 155mph and become airborne within minutes. Its crew consists of a flight nurse, flight respiratory therapist, pilot, mechanic, and communication specialist.

LIFE STAR began operation in 1985.  Its services are available to all emergency/critical care patients within a 150-mile radius.  Approximately 1,200 patients are transported annually.  This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for families to see LIFE STAR up close and personal!

In addition to LIFE STAR the main event is, of course, trucks!   Children will be able to climb, steer, blow horns, and imagine in an amazing array of vehicles. There will be a smoke truck, Dunkin Mobile, a wide variety of tow trucks, Channel 3 satellite truck,  Humvee, paramedic van, police cruiser, two different limousines, US Navy’s patrol boat, US Coast Guard’s rescue boat, moving van, aerial lift truck, Reynolds Subaru, several Crest Ford trucks, a 1980 Checker Cab and a 1985 London Cab and more!

There will be over 50 trucks, including:
Crest Ford of Niantic-1930 Ford Truck and a 2017 Ford 150;
Yellow Cab Co. of CT-1980 Checker Cab and a 1985 London Cab;
Joshua’s Limousine-Two state-of-the-art limousines;
Two  school buses: M & J Bus, Inc., and Winthrop STEM Elementary Magnet School;
Farm tractor and implement-Judges Perennials;
Cement Mixer-Kobyluck Ready-Mix, Inc.;
Boom trucks- Lenihan Lumber, W. J. Tree Service and  Eversource Energy;
The Media-Channel 3 WFSB – Weather Tracker;
Big Fish Promotions-Dunkin’ Box O’Donuts;
Wide Variety of Tow Trucks – Compare and Contrast – Axle & Spindle Truck Repair, Tolland Automotive Ent Inc.,  Firmin’s Garage, Guy’s Oil;
Police Vehicles- East Lyme Police and Waterford Police

Kids will be able to clamber all over and sit inside the trucks and other vehicles at the Touch-a-Truck event, May 20.

Children can climb the various vehicles and sit in the driver’s seat. They will be able to see, touch, and interact with the wide variety of vehicles and learn their functions. This unique event will feature vehicles from the town of East Lyme, the US Navy and Coast Guard, law enforcement, fire departments, commercial companies, industrial companies and rental companies.

Once children have explored all of the various vehicles, they can go on to experience activities, crafts, face painting, hair beading and balloon animals. Roaming Railroad will be on hand to give rides around the park for an additional charge. The delight and fun of all of these activities can be captured in memory by snapping a picture in Crest Ford’s special photo van.

Of course, active children work up an appetite.  Throughout the day, there will be hotdogs, hamburgers, ice cream, kettle corn, and drinks for sale.  No one should go home hungry, but they will go home happy and tired!

The requested donation is $4 per person.  Children age two and under are admitted free.

Don’t miss this fun family event! A LIFE STAR helicopter, fire engines, food, face painting, and photos – there is no better way to spend a day with your favorite children!   Proceeds benefit the work of Child & Family Agency of Southeastern CT as it meets the needs of over seventeen thousand children and their families annually in our communities.

Additional information can be found on the Agency’s website,, or by calling the Agency at 860-443-2896, ext. 1406.


Two Organizations Working for Middle East Peace Co-Sponsor Film Series; Next Screening is ‘An Oasis on the Hill,’ Tonight

Members of the Tree of Life group that traveled to Israel-Palestine in March 2017 stand on the front steps of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme’s Meetinghouse on the day of their departure. Others would join the travelers from Ohio, Washington DC, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Hawaii.

Film Series Aims to Educate, Inspire Dialogue About Peace, Justice in Middle East and Beyond

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)-New Haven and the Tree of Life Educational Fund (TOLEF) are jointly sponsoring a film series titled, ‘From the Jordan to the Sea: Israel-Palestine in Film’ at Westbrook Public Library. The series comprises three feature-length films on successive Thursdays, April 27, May 4 and May 11, and a short film on May 18, which will be followed by a “talk-back” with young people recently returned from TOLEF’s  2017 trip to Israel/Palestine and Bosnia.  

All four films will have a start time of 7 p.m. in the Community Room at Westbrook Library. The public is welcome to attend these events.

Tree of Life travelers stand on the roof of the Austrian Hospice in the Old City of Jerusalem as Dr. Reza Mansoor offered an introduction to Islam to the group of 37 travelers, who incorporated Muslim, Jewish and Christian representation.

The film series strives to educate and inspire dialogue by offering diverse perspectives with dramatic heartfelt storytelling. The selected films offer a human face to the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians in the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. It is  hoped the series raises questions, challenges some common myths and jumpstarts candid discussion about the complexities of working for peace and justice in the Middle East and in the US as well. 

Details of the program are as follows:

When I Saw You (2012)  93 minutes
Thursday, April 27     

It is 1967. The world is alive with change: brimming with reawakened energy, new styles, music and an infectious sense of hope. In Jordan, a different kind of change is underway as tens of thousands of refugees pour across the border from Palestine. Having been separated from his father in the chaos of war, Tarek, 11, and his mother Ghaydaa, are amongst this latest wave of refugees. Placed in “temporary” refugee camps made up of tents and prefab houses until they would be able to return, they wait, like the generation before them who arrived in 1948. With difficulties adjusting to life in Harir camp and a longing to be reunited with his father, Tarek searches a way out, and discovers a new hope emerging with the times. When I Saw You is the story of people affected by the times around them, in search of something more in their lives. A journey full of adventure, love and the desire to be free. A story of the human spirit that knows no borders. 

Five Broken Cameras (2011)  94 minutes
Thursday,  May 4 

 A documentary film co-directed by Palestinian Emad Burnat and Israeli Guy Davidii.  It is a first-hand account of protests in Bil’in, a West Bank village affected by the Israel West Bank barrier. The documentary was shot almost entirely by the Palestinian farmer who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son. Structured around the destruction of Burnat’s cameras, it follows one family’s evolution over five years of turmoil. The film won a 2012 Sundance Film Festival award and was nominated for a 2013 Academy Award.         

A Bottle in the Gaza Sea (2013)  100 minutes
Thursday  May 11

Tal (Agathe Bonitzer) is the 17-year-old daughter of recent French immigrants to Israel who live in Jerusalem. Following a bomb attack on a local café, she throws a bottle into the sea near Gaza with a message asking for an explanation. Naïm (Mahmoud Shalaby), a sensitive but aimless 20-year-old Palestinian living in Gaza, discovers the bottle and tries to answer Tal’s question by initiating an email correspondence. Their mutual suspicion soon develops into a tender friendship.

An Oasis on the Hill (2013)  10 minutes
Thursday May 18  

This inspiring documentary follows Omer and Rami, who grew up in Neve Shalom / Wahat al Salam, an Israeli village where Jews and Arabs have peacefully coexisted for over 40 years. Included with this film will be a “talk back” by young people recently returned from TOLEF’s  2017 trip to Israel/Palestine and Bosnia.  

For more information about the film series, contact TOLEF Coordinator Mary Tomasetti at or 860-391-5384 or call Westbrook Library at (860) 399-6422

Directions to Westbrook Library: I-95 to Exit 65. South on Rte. 153 to center of Westbrook, left onto Boston Post Rd (Rte. 1), then left onto Burdick Dr.  Look for the entrance sign to Daniel R. Wren Park. The library will be on your right. The Community Room is located at the back of the Library. Entrance is next to Literacy Volunteers.          

About Jewish Voice for Peace: Jewish Voice for Peace is a national organization with over 65 chapter across the United States, including a chapter in the Greater New Haven area.  JVP supports the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestine; self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinians refugees based on principles established in international law; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East.

About Tree of Life Educational Fund: Tree of Life Educational Fund is a non-profit organization that provides travel experience, conferences and educational opportunities to help participants to become more enlightened and engaged in making this a more just and peaceful world. The TOLEF’s latest trip to Israel/Palestine and Bosnia took place March 8-24, 2017.


Join Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber’s ‘Business After Hours’ Tonight; All Welcome to Networking Event, Emergency Cardiac Care Presentation

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce is hosting Business After Hours at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Ave., in the Soundview area of Old Lyme, on Wednesday, May 17, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. 

Join Chamber members to network with other local businesses and hear Doug LoPresti and Colleen Atkinson of Critical Skills Education & Training, LLC, give a short presentation titled, “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.” 

All are welcome, especially prospective Chamber members — this is a great opportunity to see the Chamber in action and evaluate whether you wish to join.
Come and enjoy some wine or soft drinks and cheese plus other light hors d’oeuvres while LoPresti and Atkinson explain how to become part of Old Lyme‘s commitment to Emergency Cardiac and Stroke Care.

This will be an informative and interactive event to learn things that everyone from age 4 to 104 should know, such as:

  • When to call 911
  • What you can do before the ambulance arrives
  • What we will do after we arrive
  • What happens when we arrive at the hospital
  • Old Lyme‘s award as a “HeartSafe Community” and what it means to you
LoPresti and Atkinson are founders and owners of Critical Skills Education & Training, a business dedicated to Instruction, certification and consultation in health and safety related topics. They are National Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMTs) and professional educators who are in active practice in the field.
For more information, visit
There is no charge to attend, but an RSVP to would be helpful for planning purposes.

Danenhower Read Announces Bid for Old Lyme First Selectwoman in November Election, Kerr to be Running Mate

Judith Danenhower Read

Judith Danenhower Read has announced that she is running for the position of Old Lyme First Selectwoman in the upcoming November 2017 election and Chris Kerr will be joining her in a bid for the post of Old Lyme Selectman.  The Old Lyme Republican Town Committee has not yet made any formal endorsements for the November elections, but Read notes that she and Kerr will be campaigning as Republicans.

In a brief press release, Read says, “Old Lyme needs an effective management / leadership team to run our community. We [Read and Kerr] bring 40 plus years of small business experience and a common sense approach.”

She adds, “We deliver results.  We have good relationships with many groups in our community and are looking forward to building more.”


‘J.J. Audubon, The Nature of the American Woodsman’ is Final Topic Today in Estuary Center’s Spring Lecture Series

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) Spring 2017 Lecture Series presents three powerful lectures during early May. The final one will be held Tuesday, May 16, at 5 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association.
Dr. Gregory Nobles is a historian and author of the new biography, John Jay Audubon, The Nature of the American Woodsman. This lecture discusses J.J. Audubon, the naturalist and painter, as well as the rise of citizen science.

These lectures continue RTPEC’s tradition of  attracting leading scientists, artists and authors to lecture on interesting vital topics and critical issues on the Connecticut River Estuary and its watershed. Members of RTPEC are also working with Kimberly Damon-Randall to have a “Meet a Scientist event at the Lyme Consolidated School with the 5th grade class.

Piping Plover by John J. Audubon.

The RTPEC also plans to meet the explosive demand for their Science in Nature Education Programs in Middlesex County (Essex Elementary School) and New London County (Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, New London Harbor Elementary School, and East Lyme Elementary School). These are provided with the assistance of numerous private donors, the Kitchings Family Fund at The Community Foundation for Middlesex County, The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut,, and the Rockfall Foundation.

To date, the” outdoor classrooms” have included Hammonasset State Park, Old Lyme Land Trust’s Mile Creek Preserve and Lyme Land Conservation Trust’s Jewett and Pleasant Valley Preserve. In the Spring, RTPEC will also access natural areas of the City of New London.

This  Spring, RTPEC thanks the following partners for their support:
(a) Connecticut River Museum

(b) Town of Old Lyme

(c) Essex Meadows

(d) Lyme Art Association

(e) National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

(f) Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection


Cappella Cantorum Cofounder Barry Asch Announces His Retirement June 30 After 48 Years as Director, Conductor

Barry Asch, who has announced his retirement June 30, 2017, after 48 years as director and conductor of Cappella Cantorum.

Cofounder, music director and conductor of Cappella Cantorum, Barry B. Asch, has announced his retirement from the Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus, effective June 30, 2017. Asch has conducted the MasterWorks Chorus for 48 years and his tenure has included over 70 Major Choral Works.

Cappella Cantorum’s Mission Statement states the “primary purpose” of the community chorus is, “… to learn, perform and enjoy great choral music while striving for excellence and for enrichment of its singers and audience.”  Asch initiated the SummerSings in 1987 and will conduct his final performance Monday, June 19, 2017, at 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Road, Old Saybrook, when Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass will be sung accompanied by Deborah Lyon.

All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work.  The soloists will be as follows: soprano-Danielle Howard, mezzo soprano-Rachel Abrams, tenor-David Finley and baritone-Christopher Grundy. The event is co-sponsored by Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio.

Scores will be available and a $10 fee covers the cost of the event. The church is air-conditioned and handicapped accessible.

For more information call (860) 388-4110 or (860) 434-9135 or visit or

The Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus was started by Asch in 1977.  The 2017 Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus Season includes five concerts in various locations throughout the shoreline and features “Music From Around the World”

Conductor Asch started the Annual Messiah Sing or Listen at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. The Ninth season is scheduled for Sun. Dec. 17.

Cappella Cantorum’s European Concert Tours started in 1981, with Asch directing.

A highlight of Cappella Cantorum, was singing five concerts in Carnegie Hall, New York, with Mid-America Productions.  Asch contacted Mid-America Productions, which resulted in this participation opportunity.


Lyme Public Hall Association’s Annual Meeting Features Presentation on Antique Gravestones, Community Potluck Dinner

Join the Lyme Public Hall Association for its Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, for a talk on Cherub Stones of Lyme: 1720 – 1805. Jim Beers, Lyme Public Hall board member, will discuss his research into the itinerant stone carvers who decorated the headstones in the town’s graveyards.

The program is free and open to the public.  Everyone is invited to bring a potluck dish to share.

The Lyme Public Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Road (Route 156) in Lyme, Connecticut.  For more information, visit, or call 860 526-8886.

The Lyme Public Hall Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation of Lyme’s history, culture, and community through the preservation and use of the historic hall, its archives and historical programs.


‘USA and Russia: Is Trust Ever Possible?’ Local Author, Dick Shriver, To Speak at Saint Ann’s Church, June 11

Former US Department of Defense official and Old Lyme resident Dick Shriver will speak at Saint Ann’s, June 11.

Saint Ann’s Church in Old Lyme, Conn., has announced that Dick Shriver, local resident, author, and former U.S. Department of Defense Official, will share remarks and recollections under the title, USA and Russia: Is Trust Ever Possible? based on his global work experience captured in his recently published book, Glimpses of an Uncharted Life (iUniverse Editor’s Choice), at Saint Ann’s Church on Sunday, June 11, at 5 p.m.

A book of reminiscences and reflections, Glimpses of an Uncharted Life, shares what Shriver and his wife, Barbara, gleaned from living overseas for 15 years and what they learned about the life and the people under communism and among countries recovering from the collapse of tyranny.

Shriver will discuss the current relationship between the United States and Russia by drawing reference to his own compelling experiences during the end of The Cold War.  Shriver’s many accomplishments during his time abroad included the creation of a new legal system for Estonia and creating thousands of private sector jobs in an independent Ukraine.  There will be a question-and-answer session after the lecture.

A reception for the author and a book-signing event will follow the presentation in the Griswold Room at saint Ann’s.  Shriver’s new book, Glimpses of an Uncharted Life (hardcover: $33.95 and softcover: $23.95) will be offered for sale at Saint Ann’s Church during the reception.  The Shrivers will generously donate $5 per book sold to Saint Ann’s Church.  Signed copies of Shriver’s book are now for available for pre-sale, by check or cash, at Saint Ann’s Parish Office during office hours.

To reserve a seat for this timely and relevant discussion of the past, present and future relationship of the United States and Russia, contact Kathy Rowe at 860-434-1621 or register online with Eventbrite @ Dick Shriver Event.

Shriver lives in Old Lyme, Conn., with his wife Barbara. They are active in the community as members of Saint Ann’s Parish. Dick is a founder and board member of the Mentoring Corps for Community Development and coach of Ticks Girls Lacrosse. He is former Warden of Saint Ann’s Vestry and Executive-in-Residence at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Barbara is engaged in pastoral care at St. Ann’s and sings with the Valley Shore Sweet Adelines a Cappella group.

Editor’s Note: Saint Ann’s is an Episcopal parish in Old Lyme, Conn., where the Rector, The Reverend Canon Mark K. J. Robinson welcomes all visitors. Saint Ann’s is located at 82 Shore Road (Rte. 156), two miles off I-95, Exit 70. Parking is adjacent to the church. For information, contact Kathy Rowe at 860-434-1621, via email at, or visit Saint Ann’s online at


Kuslan Presents ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ Program Today, Followed by Performance at ‘the Kate’ in HD by The Met

James Kuslan.

Opera devotee and popular lecturer on operatic topics, James Kuslan, will present an informative program on Richard Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier” at the Acton Public Library, 60 Old Boston Post Rd. in Old Saybrook on Saturday, May 13, at 10:30 a.m. This event is sponsored by the Guild of Salt Marsh Opera and the Acton Public Library.

Kuslan is a graduate of Yale University’s School of Drama and has been a voice scout in the United States for the German classical recording giant, Deutsche Grammophon.

“Der Rosenkavalier” is set in Vienna of the past, and regarded as Strauss’s most popular and grandest opera concerns a wise woman of the world who is involved with a much younger lover. It combines comedy, fantasy, and drama. This program is free, open to the public, and handicapped accessible.

The Met in HD at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center features a simulcast of “Der Rosenkavalier” starring Renee Fleming, on May 13, starting at 12:30 p.m.


Final Weekend to See ‘Biloxi Blues’ at Ivoryton Playhouse

Cast members of Biloxi Blues in rehearsal: Zal Owen, Conor Hamill, Ethan Kirschbaum, George Mayer, Alec Silberblatt, Chandler Smith, and Mike Mihm.

The Ivoryton Playhouse is leaving behind the music of Ol’ Blue Eyes and heading south to the steamy bayou country of Biloxi, Miss., with the opening of Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues on Wednesday, April 26. This semi-autobiographical play details his experiences as a young man in boot camp before he was shipped off to serve in the Second World War.

Biloxi Blues is the second chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and preceding Broadway Bound, and is the only one in which Eugene is not the central character. Biloxi Blues won the Tony Award when it opened on Broadway in 1985 and ran 524 performances.

Simon’s hit play follows the adventures of Eugene Morris Jerome and his fellow Army inductees as they struggle through basic training near Biloxi, Miss. in 1943. An aspiring writer who sees himself as an outsider observing the craziness around him, Eugene hopes to somehow remain “neutral … like Switzerland,” but finds himself having to make tough choices.

Biloxi Blues is a comedy with real depth about young men growing up, learning about life and how to live together and finally, going off to war. These men are universal soldiers – facing the same fears, anxieties, and loneliness that grip all young recruits about to encounter the ultimate test of combat. Simon brings his great sense of humor and humanity to every word of this play.

A film was also made of the play starring Matthew Broderick and directed by Mike Nichols with screenplay by Neil Simon.

Biloxi Blues is directed by Sasha Bratt and features Zal Owen* as Eugene, Alec Silberblatt* as Arnold and Mike Mihm* as Sergeant Toomey. Cast also includes Andee Buccheri, Conor M. Hamill*, Ethan Kirschbaum, George Mayer, Moira O’Sullivan and Chandler Smith. Set design is by Glenn Bassett, lighting design by Tate R. Burmeister and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

Biloxi Blues opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 26 and runs through May 14.  Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.


Potapaug Presents ‘Bears in CT’ at Old Lyme Town Hall, June 1

Potapaug Audubon presents “Bears in Connecticut” on Thursday, June 1, at 7 p.m. at the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St, with guest speaker Paul Colburn, DEEP, Master Wildlife Conservationist.

This talk will focus on the natural history, habitat, diet, behavior, population and reproduction of bears, plus the current research efforts and practical recommendations for coexistence between the black bear and humans.

Black bear artifacts will be on display.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.