February 24, 2018

Watch Recording of Old Lyme’s Blight Ordinance Info Meeting on Comcast Community Channel

The Informational Meeting on the Town of Old Lyme’s Proposed Blight Ordinance was recorded and will be aired on Public Access Channel 14.

Broadcasts will take place for the next several weeks on Sundays at 5 p.m. and Thursdays immediately following the board of selectmen meeting,


Public Hearings Scheduled on Proposed Rate Hikes, Service Reductions for Local Bus, Rail, Ferry Services, Wednesday

The Connecticut Department of Transportation will conduct public hearings on proposed public transit fare increases for bus, rail and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services; and proposed service reductions to the New Haven Line, New Canaan Line, Danbury Line, Waterbury Line and Shore Line East rail services.
The nearest hearing to Lyme and Old Lyme on these proposed changes will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the New London City Hall Council Chambers, 181 State St.  The snow date is Wednesday, March 7, at the same time and location.

Additionally, information meetings will be held on proposed Connecticut River ferry fare increases.  The hearing for those will also be on Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Chester Town Hall Conference Room, 203 Middlesex Ave., Chester. The snow date is Tuesday, March 6, at the same time and location.

No bus or ADA paratransit services reductions are proposed at this time.

Greg Stroud, founder of SECoast.org and a key member of the successful opposition to the proposed high-speed rail-route through Old Lyme, states, “It is hardly news that Connecticut faces ongoing and significant budget shortfalls, leaving residents, taxpayers, and representatives with few easy choices.

One choice — a relatively easy one for those elsewhere in the state — is to cut back radically on Shore Line East Service, altogether eliminating weekend service, and cutting weekday service by more than half.

That’s what Governor Malloy and CTDOT Commissioner James Redeker are proposing for southeastern Connecticut beginning July 1.

In our view such cuts will weaken rather than save Shore Line East service, dooming riders from Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, and New London to a spiral of declining value, ridership and economics, leaving what remains of regional train service even more vulnerable to cuts in future budgets.

So what can you do? Show up and make yourself heard.”

We heartily agree with Stroud and urge readers to attend the Feb. 28 meeting in New London from 5 to 8 p.m.

If approved, a rail fare increase would take effect in three phases:

  • 10 percent on July 1, 2018
  • 5 percent on July 1, 2020
  • 5 percent on July 1, 2021, for a cumulative total of 21.28 percent.

A 14.3 percent, or 25-cent, bus fare increase would take effect on July 1, 2018.

Rail service reductions would also take effect on or about July 1, 2018; no bus service changes are proposed at this time.

A $1 increase in the car fare for the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury and Chester-Hadlyme ferries is also proposed.

The rail service proposals include significant reductions to off-peak and weekend rail services on the New Canaan, Danbury and Waterbury branch rail lines, and elimination of off-peak and weekend service as well as significant reductions in peak period service on Shore Line East.

Proposed Bus Fare Increases (pdf)

Proposed Rail Fare Increases

   New Haven Line Proposed Fares to/from Grand Central Terminal – July 2018 (pdf)

   New Haven Line Proposed Fares to/from Grand Central Terminal – July 2020 (pdf)

   New Haven Line Proposed Fares to/from Grand Central Terminal – July 2021 (pdf)

   New Haven Line Proposed Intermediate Station Fares – July 2018 (pdf)

   New Haven Line Proposed Intermediate Station Fares – July 2020 (pdf)

   New Haven Line Proposed Intermediate Station Fares – July 2021 (pdf)

   New Haven Line UniTicket Proposed Fares 2018-2021 (pdf)

   Shore Line East and UniRail Proposed Fares – July 2018 (pdf)

   Shore Line East and UniRail Proposed Fares – July 2020 (pdf)

   Shore Line East and UniRail Proposed Fares – July 2021 (pdf)

   Hartford Line Proposed Fares – July 2018

   Hartford Line Proposed Fares – July 2020

   Hartford Line Proposed Fares – July 2021

Proposed Rail Service Reductions

   New Haven Line and Branch Line Weekday Service Reductions – July 2018 (pdf)

   New Haven Line and Branch Line Weekend Service Reductions – July 2018 (pdf)

   Shore Line East Service Reductions – July 2018 (pdf)

Proposed Ferry Fare Increase (pdf)

Service and Fare Equity (SAFE) Analysis (pdf) (available 2/20/18)

Find the dates and times of all the scheduled Public Hearings on the proposed bus and rail fare increases and rail service reductions, and informational meetings on ferry fare increases at this link.

In case of inclement weather, public hearings or informational meetings that need to be re-scheduled will be announced through local media and on the CTDOT website at www.ct.gov/dot

At these hearings, CTDOT will provide information and accept public comments about the fare and service proposals and the Service and Fare Equity (SAFE) Analysis.  The SAFE Analysis evaluates the proposed changes to determine if they will cause a disparate impact to minority populations or have a disproportionate burden on low income populations.

The proposed fare increases and service reductions may be viewed on the Department’s website at

www.ct.gov/dot/farecomments. The Service and Fare Equity (SAFE) Analysis is available for public review as of Friday, Feb. 16, 2018. (Please note the SAFE will not be available until Tuesday, February 20, 2018.)

Written comments on the proposed fare changes must be received by March 9, 2018 at COMMENT ON PROPOSED FARE AND SERVICE CHANGES, Bureau of Public Transportation, P.O. Box 317546, Newington, CT 06131-7546 or via e-mail to dot.farecomments@ct.gov

The meeting facilities are ADA accessible. Language assistance may be requested by contacting the Department’s Office of Rail at (203) 497-3374 at least five (5) business days prior to the meeting. Persons with a hearing and/or speech disability may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). Language assistance is provided at no cost to the public, and efforts will be made to respond to timely requests for assistance. 


Enjoy ‘Dinner & a Show’ Tomorrow at Old Lyme Inn, Benefits High School’s New Show Choir

As a result of the wonderful performance that Kristine Pekar’s new Lyme-Old Lyme High School Show Choir group Amped Up gave at the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce’s Holiday Dinner in December, Ken and Chris Kitchings prompted the group to perform a benefit concert to raise funds for the choir and generously offered The Old Lyme Inn as a venue for the show.

This concert will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25, from 5 to 7 p.m.  All are welcome and tickets are $40 per person payable at the Inn by check to Friends of Music.

Entree choices are: hanger steak, stuffed chicken or pasta primavera.

This is the start-up year for this new high school group and the members have been competing all winter long and achieving significant success.  The group is very excited for their upcoming performance at the Old Lyme Inn and the hope is that their first local show is a sell-out.  The show has limited seating of 100 and there are only 17 tickets remaining at the time of writing.

So if you’d care to dine out on Sunday while also catching a great show, go down to the Old Lyme Inn as soon as possible and buy your ticket!

The poster to the left was created by Jared Ritchie and the Amped Up logo designed by Skyelar Shaw.


UConn Professor Discusses ‘Puerto Rico: Wrecked by Storms and Politics’ at SECWAC, March 5

Professor Charles Venator-Santiago

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) will host Charles Venator-Santiago, Associate Professor of Public Law and Latino/a Politics at the University of Connecticut, to speak at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 5, at Crozier Student Center at Connecticut College in New London.

Venator-Santiago will discuss how Puerto Rico’s constitutional status informs the U.S. response to the devastation of the island’s infrastructure by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which also caused a humanitarian crisis. This catastrophe has been exacerbated by both the federal and island government’s response to the crisis. This talk will provide an overview of Puerto Rico’s territorial status and examines the island’s future.
A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the main event will begin at 6 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC Speaker Series. SECWAC meetings are free to members (half-year membership February-June is $37.50/year; $12.50/year for young professionals under 35).  Walk-ins are $20 for the general public (non-members; the $20 cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership). SECWAC membership is free for area college and high school students.
Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC meeting attendees have the option for $35 to attend a dinner with the speaker at Connecticut College.  Reservations are required by Friday, March 2, at 860-912-5718.
Charles R. Venator-Santiago is a Associate Professor of Public Law and Latino/a Politics at the University of Connecticut with a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and El Instituto. He has earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has researched the history of U.S. territorial law and policy with a primary focus on Puerto Rico.
His most recent book is Puerto Rico and the Origins of U.S. Global Empire: The Disembodied Shade (Routledge 2015) (Reviewed and Recommended by CHOICE: http://bit.ly/1Qh9frH). He is also the author of Are Puerto Ricans Really American Citizens?March 2, 2017; The Conversation (reprinted in The Observer, TIME, U.S. News and World Report, Univision, Salon, AP and other venues) (280,000+ reads). Available at: https://theconversation.com/are-puerto-ricans-really-american-citizens-73723
Professor Venator-Santiago has provided research and academic support to Puerto Rican and Latino/a organizations in Hartford and Connecticut during the past decade. He is currently working on a series of projects to provide support to Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans migrating to Connecticut. He is the Secretariat of the Puerto Rican Studies Association (PRSA) at El Instituto, University of Connecticut.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.

Old Lyme Celebrates Renewal of ‘HEARTSafe Community’ for 7th Year

As the Town of Old Lyme enters its 7th year of certification as a HEARTSafe Community by the State Department of Public Health (DPH), citizens and visitors can view the red and white HEARTsafe road signs proudly proclaiming the award throughout town.               

“The HEARTSafe Communities program is designed to increase the awareness of the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac events by ordinary citizens,” according to the DPH. “Old Lyme has demonstrated its commitment toward ensuring that its residents and visitors receive the early lifesaving response proven to increase the chances of survival”

A HEARTSafe Community promotes and supports cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in the community, public access to defibrillation through strategic placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for use by public safety professionals and other community members and early advanced care.

First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder notes, “Not only have most of our Town employees received certification, but other organizations like the OL-PGN Library, Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) and many local businesses and civic groups have endeavored to certify as many individuals as possible. I applaud all of their efforts on behalf of the citizens of Old Lyme.”

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) Colleen Atkinson and Doug Lo Presti, responsible for the training and organization of the town’s effort for the award, credit the Selectwoman’s dedication and commitment to the program for their training of more than 1,000 rescuers in Old Lyme, far in excess of the state requirement. “The recent addition of more defibrillators in our town, bringing the total to 24, greatly increases the odds that one will be available to a member of the public at large when needed,” notes Lo Presti.

The two EMTs, also American Heart Association Instructors, state Emergency Medical Services Instructors and founders of Critical Skills Education & Training, once again taught CPR with the use of an Automated Electronic Defibrillator (AED) s0 to the entire junior and senior classes at LOLHS in January. Atkinson comments that the result will produce hundreds of graduates who enter their community knowing how to give a victim of Sudden Cardiac Arrest the best chance of survival.

With the renewal comes the commitment to continue to increase the number of CPR-trained community rescuers and AEDs throughout Old Lyme. Anyone interested on learning, renewing or sponsoring CPR or willing to install an AED in their place of business can contact the EMTs through the Selectwoman’s office in Old Lyme Town Hall or call 860-304-8471 directly.


Transportation Guru Jim Cameron Discusses Local, State Transportation Issues Tomorrow in Old Lyme

Jim Cameron

How will the proposed transportation project freeze, commuter rail fare increases and schedule reductions affect Old Lyme?

Should we have tolls on our major highways?

What can be done to fix Metro-North?

Will the gasoline tax be raised?

What about high-speed rail?

Jim Cameron will speak to these concerns and answer questions on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall. Cameron served 19 years on the Metro-North Commuter Council, four as its Chairman.  In 2015 he formed a new advocacy organization, The Commuter Action Group.

His popular weekly newspaper column “Talking Transportation” appears in LymeLine.com.

Greg Stroud, founder of SECoast.org and a key activist against the proposed high-speed rail route, writes on the SECoast Facebook page, “Few people in Connecticut have a better grasp of transportation politics than Jim Cameron, a long-time commuter rail advocate, columnist, and key ally in our outreach to Fairfield County on the issue of high-speed rail. So we are excited to have Jim to speak and take questions on the proposed reduction of Shore Line East service, tolling, gas tax, etc. We highly recommend that you come with your questions.”

Stroud adds, “To kick off his visit, Jim has agreed to answer few questions for us, which we hope you will find provocative and informative. Take a look…

SECoast: How seriously should we take the Governor’s latest proposals for Shore Line East? Is this a real proposal to eliminate weekend service, and cut weekday service by more than half? Or do you see this as more of an effort to drum up support for additional transportation funding during coming budget negotiations?

JC: I take it as a very real (but unwanted) proposal. The last thing CDOT wants to do is cut service. But the alternatives to balance the Special Transportation Fund are few, though this is one. Only the legislature can finding funding alternatives (tolls, gas taxes) to avoid this.

SECoast: How do you see the results of the coming race for governor affecting coming decisions on tolling, gas taxes, commuter service, and the widening of I-95? How much does political party matter in this case? Do any of the candidates stand out in terms of transportation issues?

JC: This is not a partisan issue, nor should it be. But in my mind any candidate who is dismissing tolls as a “tax” are not being honest with voters. Tolls are users fees, paid by those who choose to use them. Who else should pay for our roads if not drivers? It’s early days yet in finding candidates who’ve embraced this issue so voters must keep asking candidates where they stand.

SECoast: Looking to the future, do you believe there will be tolling within 8 years? Two additional lanes on I-95 within 15 years? Significantly expanded high-speed rail within 30?

JC: I think the first and easiest step will be raising the gasoline tax. Remember, it was the legislature in 1997 that lowered that tax 14 cents a gallon, losing us $3.7 billion in money that could have been spent on transportation. Tolls I think will happen, but in 2-4 years. Widening I-95 between New Haven and RI makes sense and will probably happen… if money can be found. As for the FRA’s plans for HSR, I can’t predict given your and other groups’ successful lobbying against the plan.

You can find Jim Cameron on the web at: www.CommuterActionGroup.org and on Twitter at: @CTRailCommuters


Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber Hosts ‘Business After Hours’ at Lyme Academy Tomorrow, All Welcome

The 2018 Student Art Exhibition will be on view at Lyme Academy College, where the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber will hold its ‘Business After Hours’ on Wednesday.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce holds its next ‘Business After Hours’ on Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven.

It is expected to be a wonderful evening with Coffee’s catering the event and plenty of time to view the outstanding 2018 Student Art Exhibition, network with business friends and colleagues, as well as hear the latest Chamber news.

The College will be giving an update on all their news and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder​ will also be speaking about an important new initiative that the Town of Old Lyme has just joined.

All are welcome and there is no admission charge, but RSVP’s to email@lolcc.com are requested for catering purposes.

For more information, visit the Chamber’s website at VisitOldLyme.com


Old Lyme VNA Sponsors Flu Clinic Tomorrow

The Old Lyme Visiting Nurse Association is sponsoring a walk-in Flu Clinic on the lower level of the Old Lyme Town Hall, Wednesday, Feb. 21, from 4 to 6 p.m.  Flu vaccines will be available at no charge for adults

Enter through the doors at the rear of the building.


Potapaug Audubon Presents ‘Blanding’s Turtle’ at Old Lyme Town Hall, March 8

Blanding’s turtle.

Potapaug Audubon presents “Blanding’s Turtle” on Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m. at the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St. with guest speaker, Emilie Wilder of Zoo New England.

This endangered species, named for William Blanding, the early Philadelphia naturalist who first described it, needs help. The hatchlings are being protected and then raised by school children.

Come learn about this unique project and a turtle about which you’ve probably never heard.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.


9 Town Transit Faces Drastic Funding Cuts From State, Seeks Help From Readers to Prevent Them

For decades, transportation programs in Connecticut have been funded by a tax on gasoline and diesel fuels that goes into the Special Transportation Fund (STF.)  The 25 cent gas tax has not changed since 2000, while vehicles have become more fuel efficient, both of which combined have resulted in a significant decrease in revenues.

Without action from the legislature, the Connecticut Department of Transportation warns that there will not be enough funding coming into the STF to cover the expenses of the state’s transportation system.  As a result, 9 Town Transit would see a 15 percent reduction in funding in 2018 and a 50 percent reduction of funding in 2019.

An Estuary Transit bus awaits its passengers.

9 Town Transit has asked LymeLine.com to let its readers know that a 15 percent reduction of state funding beginning July 1, 2018 would result in changes such as fare increases, elimination or reduction of bus routes and reduced Dial-A-Ride service.  In addition, a 50 percent reduction of state funding beginning July 1, 2019 would result in changes such as additional fare increases, elimination of most bus routes, elimination of Saturday service and elimination of Dial-A-Ride service.

These changes would have a significant impact on the more than 100,000 trips made each year on these services.  Hundreds of area residents would be stranded, and unable to get to work, school and medical appointments.

9 Town Transit is therefore asking our readers who are transit users and/or supporters to let their state representative and senator know how important 9 Town Transit, Shoreline East and/or other public transit services are to them. We urge our readers to support all these transportation programs in those ways and also to share this message with others, who may not read LymeLine.com.

More information about the possible service reductions and ways to help prevent the funding cuts can be found at www.9towntransit.com/fundtransit


Town Halls, Senior Center, Lyme Transfer Station Closed Today for President’s Day; No Change to Trash/Recycling Schedule in Old Lyme

Both the Lyme and Old Lyme Town Halls will be closed today, Monday, Feb. 19, in honor of President’s Day.  The Lymes’ Senior Center will also be closed.

In addition, the Lyme Transfer Station will be closed, but in Old Lyme, there will be no change to the trash or recycling pick-up schedule.


Dazzling Red Carpet Oscar Event to Raise Funds for ‘The Kate,’ March 4

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) will hold an Oscar Party benefit on Sunday, March 4beginning at 7 pm at the center located at 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook. This annual red-carpet event honors the Kate’s 12-time Oscar Nominated, 4-time-winning namesake and makes for an entertaining evening.  Proceeds support quality performing arts and cultural presentations at the Kate throughout the year.

“This event has always been volunteer-driven and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past eight years to support the Kate,” said Diane Hessinger, Oscar Party chair. “Not only is it a very fun evening, but it’s a perfect way to pay homage to our namesake, Katharine Hepburn and raise funds to expand the arts on the Connecticut shoreline.”

Delicious hearty hors d’oeuvres and desserts are provided by Fresh Salt and a cash bar is available while the 90th Academy Awards ceremony airs live on the Kate’s big screen. Guests will walk the red carpet, pose for photos, and have the chance to hold a real Oscar, thanks to Devin Carney, state representative and grandson of the late award-winning actor Art Carney. Carney is an honorary chair of the event along with Ann Nyberg of WTNH, both members of the Kate’s board.

A silent auction and raffle add to the fun of the evening and, new this year, is the Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook “Mystery Red Box” activity. Fifty jewelry boxes wrapped in a vibrant red paper are available for purchase with each box containing a Becker’s gift certificate and one grand prize box holding a beautiful 14k gold bracelet with forty-nine diamonds.

For tickets, visit www.thekate.org or call 877-503-1286.

The 2018 Oscar Party is held in memory of Beverly Whalen, a long-time volunteer at the Kate who gave generously of her time and helped launch this event. The evening is sponsored by Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook, Secor Volvo, Comcast, Gulick & Co., Pough Interiors, and Saybrook Point Inn Marina & Spa.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) is a non-profit performing arts organization located in the former theatre and town hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, on Main Street in Old Saybrook. The Kate includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn. From live music concerts, to children’s arts camp, to films of fine art, and the MET Opera and Bolshoi Ballet simulcasts, events presented at the Kate help to shape the community, making it brighter and more imaginative.


Lyme Ambulance Association Donates AED to Lyme Library

Andy Smith (left) President of the Lyme Ambulance Assoc. Board of Directors, presents an AED machine to Jack Sulger of Lyme Library. Photo by Frank Yaskin, 2017.

Lyme Ambulance Association Board of Directors President Andy Smith (left) recently presented an Automated External Defibrillating (AED) machine to Jack Sulger, President of the Lyme Library Association, for use in the Lyme Public Library.

Automated External Defibrillating machines are now found in most public buildings as they are simple to use and can prevent sudden cardiac death.

This donation program is part of Lyme Ambulance Association’s commitment to the Lyme community.


Old Lyme Church Rings Bell 17 Times in Memory of Those Killed in Parkland, Fla.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme where the bell will be rung 17 times this afternoon in memory of the 17 individuals shot and killed in Parkland, Fla., last Wednesday.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) held a bell-ringing vigil on the front lawn of its church Sunday afternoon, Feb. 18, ringing the bell in its steeple 17 times, once for each of the victims of the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.

In announcing the community vigil, FCCOL Senior Minister Steve Jungkeit said: “In times past, bells were used in small New England villages as a way of drawing people out of their homes to announce times of worship, celebration and mourning – but also as a way of sounding an alarm, of calling a community to action.”

He continued, “We invite the entire Old Lyme community to come out of their homes and join us, as we remember the 17 individuals who lost their lives to the recent gun violence in Parkland, Florida. The somber tolls will not only remind us of each precious life lost, they will also serve as an alarm, calling us to attention as a community – providing loud, resonant, insistent reminders of the insanity of firearms in this country.”

He concluded, “As a country, we need the clarion call of a bell to rouse us from our national slumber. We need to improve our society and change the way we live.”

The church held vigils after the mass shootings in Las Vegas, Nev., and Sutherland Springs, Texas.


Atty. Kelly of Old Lyme Succeeds in Appeal for US Veteran Denied Benefits

Attorney Kristi D. Kelly

Attorney Kristi D. Kelly, who works for Suisman Shapiro of New London and is an Old Lyme resident, recently prevailed in an appeal on behalf of a client for Veterans Disability Benefits filed with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The veteran applied for service-connected disability benefits in 2014 and was denied service-connection for his claimed ailments at that time.

The denial was appealed in 2015 and has been pending for approximately two years. Attorney Kelly successfully obtained service-connection for all of his ailments and recovered $166,248.13 in back benefits previously denied by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

This successful appeal and recovery of retroactive benefits, as well as monthly benefits going forward, is truly life-changing for this veteran.

For more information about or to contact Atty. Kelly, visit her webpage at this link.


CT Valley Camera Club Presents Talk on How to Photograph National Parks, Mar. 5

Photographer Chris Nicholson at Acadia National Park (Photo courtesy of Steven Ryan)

The guest speaker at the Monday, Mar. 5 meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will be the acclaimed photographer and author Chris Nicholson, who will give a presentation titled “Photographing National Parks.”  The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, Conn. All are welcome and there is no charge for admission. Potential members are especially welcome.

Chris Nicholson is a photographer and writer based in southern Connecticut and New York City. Formerly a magazine editor for ten years, he has worked on a freelance basis since 2004, with his camerawork focused primarily on the travel and sports genres. His writing and photographs have been published in over 30 magazines and several books.

Nicholson works in a primarily conservative style, believing that ideal composition is simple, strong and powerful. He has covered locations in Australia and throughout the continental United States (especially in New England, which he considers to be one of the most aesthetically unique regions of America).

Throughout his career he has studied the American national parks. Whether for assignments, publishing projects or personal work, Nicholson travels to national parks several times per year for photography. Over the past two decades he has paid particular attention to Acadia, Everglades, Grand Teton, Great Smoky Mountains, Olympic, Shenandoah and Yellowstone, visiting and photographing those seven a combined 26 times.

The CVCC is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers. The group offers a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help members expand their technical and creative skills. Photographers of all levels of experience are welcomed.  The club draws members from up and down the river, from Middletown to Old Saybrook; from East Hampton to Old Lyme; and along the shoreline from Guilford to Gales Ferry.

For more information, visit the club’s website at https://ctvalleycameraclub.smugmug.com/. CVCC meeting dates, speakers/topics, and other notices are also published on the club’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CTValleyCameraClubPage.


Lyme-Old Lyme High School Students Win Major Awards at CT Scholastic Art Contest

This incredible work by Claudia Mergy was awarded a Gold Key in the Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards.

Four Lyme-Old Lyme High School students were recognized at this year’s Connecticut Scholastic Art Awards. In the painting category, senior Claudia Mergy of Old Lyme received two Gold Keys for individual works and a Gold Key for her portfolio.  She also received generous scholarship offers from both the University of Hartford Art School and Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven in recognition of the quality of her portfolio.

Senior Emily Archer won a Gold Key in the printmaking category for the excellent work shown above.

Junior Mya Johnson won a Silver Key in the Ceramics category for this exceptional piece.

Junior Kathryn Atkinson earned an Honorable Mention for the alluring work shown above in the Drawing category. 

Works that are awarded Gold Key will now go forward to be juried at the national level.

Many congratulations to all these talented artists!


Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation Announces Scholarship Awards to 26 Lyme-Old Lyme Students

The Ruth Ann Heller Music Foundation (RAHMF) has recently awarded scholarships to 26 Lyme-Old Lyme students.

As one of many supporting organizations in our towns, the RAHMF awards scholarships to instrumental students participating in Lyme-Old Middle and High Schools band programs. The 501(c)3 non-profit foundation was formed in 1999 after the retirement of Ruth Ann (King) Heller, who had a long-lasting impact on the district’s band program that continues to thrive today under the dedicated and talented efforts of Jay Wilson at the high school and Carrie Wind at the middle school.

Scholarships are exclusively for private lessons and paid directly to student-selected teachers. One-on-one instruction time provides a valuable opportunity for the students to develop their musical skills and subsequently enhance the quality of the band performances.

The RAHMF is celebrating 15 years as a non-profit organization. Over $50,000 has been granted to 310 students since its inception. These awards are merit-based.

The Foundation welcomes reader’s interest and, if possible, donations in any amount.

For more information, visit www.rahmf.org or email info@rahmf.org.


Old Lyme Selectmen Schedule Public Information Meeting Tonight, 6pm, on Blight Ordinance

The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen approved a Proposed Blight Ordinance to address the many concerns expressed by citizens about blight in the community. The proposed Blight Ordinance was approved after many meetings with land use officials, including the Zoning Enforcement Officer, the Fire Marshal, the Building Official, and Sanitarian, to ensure that the final document was what was needed and best for our community.

In addition, it has been reviewed with the Town Attorney to assure compliance with State Statutes.

The Board of Selectmen has scheduled a Public Information Meeting to review the Proposed Blight Ordinance with interested residents and voters, and to afford an opportunity to comment on the proposed ordinance.

The meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Hall.

Printed copies of the ordinance will be available at the meeting, but can also be viewed online at this link.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, readers are invited to share your thoughts with the Selectmen by emailing the Selectman’s Office at this address or or by writing to the board of selectmen at 52, Lyme St., Old Lyme CT 06371. All comments will be shared with the members of the board of selectmen.


Hear Sen. Formica, State Rep. Carney, Lyme & OL Town Leaders Speak at Business Breakfast Tomorrow

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Old Lyme are hosting a Business Breakfast tomorrow in Lyme-Old Lyme High School starting at 7:45 a.m.

State Senator Paul Formica, State Rep. Devin Carney, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and Lyme Selectman John Kiker will be speaking on Behind the Headlines: What’s Happening in our Towns and State?  Each speaker will make a short presentation and then there will be a Question and Answer session.

The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) Club at the high school will host the event at which a light breakfast will be served.

All are welcome and admission is free.  Please RSVP to email@lolcc.com or selectmansoffice@oldlyme-ct.gov so that the organizers have an idea of numbers.