February 25, 2018

Duck River Garden Club Presents ‘Hello Spring,’ March 26

On Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m. the Duck River Garden Club will present ” Hello, Spring,” featuring guest speaker Sylvia Nichols.  The meeting will be held at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall on Lyme Street.

Nichols will provide an  interactive presentation demonstrating simple, easy to create floral designs suitable for spring entertaining or just plain fun.  She will also teach some flower arranging tricks, and give tips on using your own garden material or fresh flowers from a floral store.
Nichols brings a practical approach to playing with flowers.  Her presentation is expected to be funny, enlightening, and entertaining.
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Musical Masterworks Host Japanese Pianist Rieko Aizawa in Old Lyme Concert This Afternoon

Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa

This month Musical Masterworks welcomes back three-time Grammy nominee and Musical Masterworks veteran, Todd Palmer on clarinet.  Joining Palmer and Musical Masterworks Artistic Director, Edward Arron on cello, will be Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa, who has been praised by the New York Times for an “impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing.”

The concerts will be held on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and will feature music by Beethoven and Chopin.  Concertgoers will also hear from an international cast of composers including Poulenc (France), Svante Henryson (Sweden), Glinka (Russia), and Piazzolla (Argentina).

Musical Masterworks’ 27th season continues through April 2018.  To purchase a mini-subscription for any three concerts ($100 each) or individual tickets ($40 individual; $5 student), visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

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Second Annual Festival of Women’s Plays Opens Season at Ivoryton Playhouse, March 2-3

Kathleen Cahill

The Ivoryton Playhouse has announced the dates of its Second Annual Women Playwrights Initiative – Passion, Power and Prose 2018.

The Initiative provides a safe, nurturing environment for the development of new, one-act plays by and about women and the issues that shape their live, including a week of intensive rehearsal with the playwrights, directors, and actors.

The workshop culminates in two evenings of staged readings which will take place on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3, at The Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT, followed by discussions with playwrights, actors and directors.

Friday, March 2, at 7 p.m., there will be two readings presented:  

  • Henry, Louise and Henri by Kathleen Cahill and directed by Linda MacCluggage is an hilarious look at the different effects of art on an American couple in Paris.
  • Karen Howes

    To Fall in Love, Do This by Jennifer Lane and directed by Hannah Simms. Scientists claim that there are 36 questions you can ask to fall in love with anyone. But can this seemingly simple exercise save even Wyatt and Merryn’s marriage?

Saturday, March 3, at 7 p.m. there will be two readings presented: 

  • Blood by Yael Haskel and directed by Kathryn Markey. When a young woman elects to donate blood to a sick pastor and pillar of the community, hellish truths are exposed forcing a devastating decision for both her and the nurse.
  • The Gentleman’s Pact by Karen Howes and directed by Addie Gorlin. A witty, acerbic look at marriage, fidelity, and self-determination when Bill, a college professor, tells his colleague, Arthur, that he wants to marry Arthur’s wife, Evelyn. Can their pact survive Evelyn’s unexpected response?

To purchase tickets for the Friday, March 2 or Saturday, March 3 readings – each starts at 7 p.m. – call 860.767.7318 or visit www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

Tickets:

  • $20 adult each night: $15 senior each night; $10 student and LPTW.
  • Special two-day pass: buy tickets for Friday and Saturday night performances for $30.00 – call box office 860.767.7318 to book 2-day pass.

Yael Haskal

The Ivoryton Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT  06442.

For more information about the Women Playwrights Initiative, visit the Playhouse website or  contact Laura Copland, Director of New Play Development,  laurac@ivorytonplayhouse.org.

The Women Playwrights Initiative is generously funded by The Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut, the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Laura Copland, Kathleen and Al Jaffe, and Rosalind Pressman.

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Special Olympics CT Winter Games Offer an Action-Packed Weekend of Competition, Feb. 24-25

Celebrate the joy and spirit of sports competition and Special Olympics’ 50th Anniversary at the 2018 Special Olympics Connecticut Winter Games, which will be held at multiple venues in Hartford County, Saturday, Feb. 24, and Sunday, Feb. 25. Winter Games offers athletes of all abilities from across the state the opportunity to compete in sports with their peers and teammates after a season of training and preparation.

Winter Games weekend is presented by Eversource Energy – a sponsor of the event for 28 years – and all events are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit soct.org, email specialolympicsct@soct.org or call 203-230-1201.

Winter Games sports, locations and times* include:
Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding
Location: Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort, 99 Powder Hill Road, Middlefield
• Opening Ceremonies – 9:30 a.m. (Saturday)
• Competition – 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Saturday); 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Saturday); 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sunday)

Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Location: Eversource, 1985 Blue Hills Avenue Extension (Route 187), Windsor
• Parade of Athletes – 9:45 a.m. (Saturday)
• Opening Ceremonies – 10 a.m. (Saturday)
• Competition – 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Saturday); 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards – 12:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Saturday); 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sunday)

Figure Skating and Speed Skating
Location: International Skating Center of Connecticut, 1375 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury
• Opening Ceremonies – 10 a.m. (Saturday)
• Competition for Figure Skating – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Saturday); 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards for Figure Skating – 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Sunday)
• Competition for Speed Skating – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturday); 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards for Speed Skating – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)

Unified Floor Hockey and Skills
Location: Pratt & Whitney Hangar, East Hartford
Located off Silver Lane
• Opening Ceremonies – 9 a.m. (Saturday)
• Competition – 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturday); 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards – 12 to 3:30 p.m. (Sunday)

Gymnastics
Location: Farmington Valley Gymnastics Center, 5 Northwest Drive, Plainville (Sunday only)
• Opening Ceremonies: 10:30 a.m. (Sunday)
• Competition: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Sunday)
• Awards: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. (Sunday)

As part of Special Olympics’ Healthy Athletes Program, athletes will have the opportunity to participate in activities that teach good nutrition, proper hydration and improving fitness at the Floor Hockey venue on Saturday and Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing on Sunday.

Winter Games weekend is made possible through the support of dedicated volunteers and coaches and the generosity of sponsors. In addition to Eversource, sponsors include Adams Hometown Markets, Griffin Industrial Realty and Powder Ridge – Gold Sponsors, and Atlas Copco, Ferry Law Group, Henkel, MDC, Michels Corporation, Otis Elevator Company, and Pratt & Whitney – all Bronze Sponsors. Farmington Valley Gymnastics and Olsen Construction are Supporting Sponsors and iHeart Radio Connecticut and NBC Connecticut, Media Sponsors.

Special Olympics Connecticut provides year-round sports training and competitions for over 12,000 athletes of all ages with intellectual disabilities and Unified Sports® partners – their teammates without disabilities.

Through the joy of sport, the Special Olympics movement transforms lives and communities throughout the state and in 172 countries around the world by promoting good health and fitness and inspiring inclusion and respect for all people, on and off the playing field. (www.soct.org) 

Partner Sponsors: Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets, Dream Ride, ESPN, Eversource Energy, The Golisano Foundation, Law Enforcement Torch Run, NBC Connecticut, TD Bank, United Technologies and WWE.

Year-Round Suppliers: Adams Hometown Markets/IGA Hometown Supermarkets, Campus Customs, The Coca-Cola Company, Connecticut Portable Storage/PODS, Crystal Rock Water and Coffee Company, Dunkin’ Donuts, Guida’s Milk and Ice Cream, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Marcus Communications, State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Community Service and WORX.

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Republican Ziobron Joins Race for 33rd State Senate Seat, District Includes Lyme

State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-34th) who has announced her candidacy for the State Senate 33rd District seat.

Republican State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-34th) has announced her candidacy for the 33rd State Senate District a day after Democratic Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman (D) had announced his campaign for the same district. which includes the Town of Lyme.  This is Ziobron’s first run for a State Senate seat while Needleman ran unsuccessfully in 2016 for the 33rd District seat against then incumbent State Senator Republican Art Linares.

Linares is not seeking re-election in 2018 and has announced his candidacy for State Treasurer.

Ziobron is in her third term as State Representative for the 34th District comprising East Hampton, East Haddam and part of Colchester. Needleman is in his fourth as Essex First Selectman.

Ziobron explains in a letter to her supporters that her decision to run for the Senate seat represents, “a change in course,” so that she can rise to , “the greater challenge of serving as State Senator in the 33rdDistrict.” She notes, “This larger, 12-town district includes three towns I’ve been honored to represent — East Hampton, East Haddam and Colchester – and nine more in the Connecticut River Valley that I will be spending many hours meeting new friends and voters this spring.”

Ziobron says in her letter that the reason why she is running is simply, “Because I love the 34th State House District, and the CT River Valley Towns of the 33rd State Senate District, and our entire state – I want to see all of our friends and neighbors prosper.”  She mentions the challenges of the current budget situation and states, “It’s no secret we urgently need to address the state’s chronic over-spending!”

Laying out what she sees as the requirements of the incoming 33rd District State Senator, Ziobron writes, “We need a strong voice in the State Senate who: 1) is a proven fighter and has a reputation for putting their constituents first, fighting full-time for their small town communities, and 2) can immediately and effectively navigate the difficult legislative landscape, with the proven and dedicated commitment needed to focus on the budget, and 3) fights for fiscally conservative policies and has a record of implementing them, with bipartisan support, at the Capitol.”

Ziobron comments that she has, “thought a lot about one question,” which is, “How can I best help my state first survive over the near term, and then thrive over the long term?” She responds to her own question, “No matter which legislative chamber I serve, I will work to protect my district and offer the same high level of constituent service, and active community involvement – along with a laser-like focus on reducing wasteful and unneeded state spending,” concluding, “The bottom line: I can help more people in our state in service as your State Senator.”

Noting how well she knows the 33rd State Senate District, Ziobron describes it as, “an amazing treasure,” saying, “I’ve never imagined myself living anywhere else,” adding, “I’m thrilled for this opportunity to expand my many years of dedicated public service to this beautiful part of the state, I love.”

For more information on Ziobron, visit www.melissaziobron.com

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host Budget Forum This Evening

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools are hosting a Budget Forum this evening, Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m. in the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School.

All members of the public are invited to attend this forum and ask questions on the proposed 2018-2019 proposed school budget.

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Body Washed up on Old Lyme Shore Now Identified

State police identified the man whose body washed up on a local shore Monday as a 44-year-old New Britain resident reported missing last year …

Read the full article at this link, Missing New Britain man found dead in Old Lyme. It was written by Lisa Backus and published today on www.newbritainherald.com

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Norm Needleman Announces Campaign for State Senate, 33rd State Senate District Includes Lyme

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman who yesterday announced a second run for the 33rd State Senate District.

Yesterday, Essex First Selectman and successful businessman Norm Needleman announced his campaign as a Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, promising to use his business and small town leadership experience to bring people together to get Connecticut back on track.

The seat will be vacant due to the incumbent Senator Art Linares (R) moving out of the District and announcing his candidacy for State Treasurer.

“Leading a small town and building a business taught me that the best way to get things done is to put people and their needs ahead of party politics,” said Needleman. “I respect taxpayers’ dollars because I know how hard you’ve worked to earn them.”

He continued, “That’s why as First Selectman, I brought Democrats and Republicans together, found consensus, solved problems, and kept property taxes among the lowest in the state without cutting services. If elected State Senator for the 33rd District, I will make a clean break from the decades of bickering and harmful policies that have come from Hartford, and I will get Connecticut working for the towns in our district.”

“As an elected town official, I’ve seen the work Norm does as the First Selectman of Essex,” said Colchester Selectman Rosemary Coyle. “Norm governs in a fiscally responsible manner, making sound decisions. His hands-on, small town government experience in the legislature will benefit our communities and help us build a brighter future for our children and families.”

Needleman, who campaigned for the seat in 2016, is currently in his fourth term as Essex First Selectman. He has over 20 years of experience advocating for his small town, having previously served as an Essex Selectman, a member of the Essex Zoning Board of Appeals, and a member of the Essex Economic Development Commission.

Needleman is also a member of the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments, helping the 17 member towns coordinate various government functions. He is also a board member of Valley Shore Emergency Communications, a center formed by local pubic safety professionals to handle emergency call processing and dispatching needs for communities throughout the region.

“Building a company from the ground up has given me invaluable experience on how to grow jobs and create a region where businesses want to start and thrive,” said Needleman. “I will be a State Senator who will create good-paying jobs in our towns and throughout Connecticut.”

Needleman founded Tower Laboratories, an Essex manufacturing company, 38 years ago. The company has grown to become a leader in its field, employing over 250 people. As a leading CEO in the region, he serves as a board member of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. He is also a board member of Valley Shore Emergency Communications, a center formed by local pubic safety professionals to handle emergency call processing and dispatching needs for communities throughout the region.

“Norm asks the right questions, and is willing to listen to all options,” said Centerbrook businessman and Clinton resident Gary Stevens. “I believe that with Norm’s insight into the way that a successful business (his) is run and considering the wasteful and unnecessary spending habits of the State, he could go a long way to make the government a more responsible entity.” Stevens, an unaffiliated voter who has known Needleman since the 1980s, owns Stevens Excavating, Inc. and has worked with Needleman on numerous projects.

The 33rd State Senate District consists of the Town of Lyme along with the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Portland, Westbrook, and a portion of Old Saybrook.

Needleman lives in Essex with Jacqueline Hubbard, the Executive Director of the Ivoryton Playhouse. His two sons and their families also live in Essex.

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SECWAC Hosts IRIS Executive Director Tonight to Speak on “Refugee Resettlement in CT”

Chris George, CEO of IRIS, will speak on “Refugee Resettlement in Connecticut,” Feb. 5, at Saybrook Point Inn.

The next Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) meeting takes place Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Saybrook Point Inn. Chris George, Executive Director of Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), based in New Haven, will speak at 6 p.m. on “Refugee Resettlement in Connecticut,” and discuss the role of IRIS, a government- and privately-funded nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a new home to refugees.

IRIS helps refugees on the road to self-sufficiency by providing lifesaving support during their transition to life in the United States. The organization helped welcome 475 refugees to Connecticut in 2016.

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 Saybrook Point Inn. Reservations are required by Monday, Jan. 29, at 860-912-5718. Reporters are welcome to attend as guests of the SECWAC Board. Interested reporters should contact Paul Nugent at info@secwac.org or 860-388-9241. -more-

IRIS is a government- and privately-funded nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a new home to refugees. Starting out in 1982 as the Diocesan Refugee Services Committee, it changed its name to the Interfaith Refugee Ministry (IRM) in 1990. The organization then underwent another name change in 2007 to IRIS – Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services – reflecting its inclusive, more secular organizational culture and the decision to extend some services to address the critical needs of immigrants. Throughout its history, IRIS has helped refugees from all over the world, with the numbers and nationalities of clients fluctuating over time. Learn more at http://www.irisct.org/.

Chris George has worked overseas for most of his career. Beginning in 1977, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Sultanate of Oman, which led to a job with the Quakers in Lebanon, and then to a job with Save the Children in the Gaza strip. Overall he spent about 12 years on the West Bank in Gaza, doing humanitarian work, working with refugees. He returned to the United States in 2004, settling in Connecticut, and was hired by the Interfaith Refugee Ministry in 2005.

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.

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Politics, Power, Policy … and US First Ladies: Old Lyme Library Presents Intriguing Talk at 1pm Today

Professor MaryAnne Borelli of Connecticut College.

Throughout the history of the United States, first ladies have routinely been influential members of the presidents’ inner circle. The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library hosts a fascinating prsesentation Saturday, Feb. 3, at 1 p.m. titled, ‘Politics, Power and Policy: The Modern First Ladies.’

MaryAnne Borrelli, who is a professor of government at Connecticut College, will discuss the politics, policy, and power of the presidents’ wives throughout the modern presidency and their contributions to their husband’s administrations. Come and enjoy a conversation that is both historical and timely, examining the contributions of the men and women who have won the White House.

Borrelli, a graduate of Wellesley College, Boston College and Harvard University, joined the faculty of Connecticut Cohttp://www.oldlyme.lioninc.org/llege in 1992. Her research focuses on gender and the U.S. presidency, and she has participated in the White House Transition Project, which has mentored both Democratic and Republican White House staff members.

Borelli is the author/editor of several books and articles with her most recent book being The Politics of the President’s Wife.

Register for this event at this link.  Admission is free, all are welcome.

For more information about the library, visit this link.

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CT Farmland Trust Announces Protection of New Mercies Farm in Lyme

Turning the soil with horses at New Mercies Farm.

Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT) has recently announced the protection of New Mercies Farm in Lyme, Conn. The development rights were donated by a couple to CFT as part of their master plan for the farm and the community around them: to preserve the land for agricultural use, to provide wholesome food for the community, and to create an opportunity for young farmers to pursue their chosen profession.

New Mercies Farm is a small farm at 4.6 acres, but the compact size does not stop the farm managers from sustaining a 100-member Community Supported Agriculture venture. The farm, close to Beaver Brook and Cedar Lake, contains 100 percent important farmland soils.

In 2012, the Hornbakes purchased the property that was slated to be developed for several homesites. They bought the land to conserve it and created a farm where none was before, New Mercies Farm, named after a hymn.

Deborah is a distinguished sculptor and Rod is a physician. They are lifelong organic gardeners who have owned a cattle farm in the past. That has not stopped them from sharing their love and respect for farming. Rod Hornbake will tell you that, “Supporting young farmers is critical. Young people need and deserve our respect and support.”

After the Hornbakes purchased the property with the idea of protecting it and then selling it to a farmer, they found a beginner farmer with whom to enter into a lease-to-buy arrangement, and then leased the land to Baylee Drown and Ryan Quinn. Drown, with her husband Ryan Quinn, already owns Upper Pond Farm one town over. Drown has brought her high energy and passion for excellent, nutritional food to the community just as the Hornbakes had hoped.

“The Hornbake’s goal to preserve a healthy farm then turn the ownership over to young farmers at an affordable cost is an inspiration,” said Elisabeth Moore, CFT’s Executive Director. The organization hopes that more land owners will think about conserving their land in 2018.

Deborah and her husband approached Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT) in early 2017 to protect New Mercies Farm.  Although the farm is located in a suburban region ripe for housing developments, the family chose to donate for the development rights. CFT staff facilitated the preservation of the farmland. This is also the smallest farm CFT has protected and one of several vegetable farms. Deborah Hornbake is clear, “By accepting our gift of the development rights, the Connecticut Farmland Trust makes the farm affordable to the farmers.”

After closing, Deborah and Rod Hornbake will sell the protected farm to the young farm couple, Baylee Drown and Ryan Quinn, who already manage the land. Drown says, “We are excited to continue the farming tradition in our community. We hope to work within our community to increase the quality and healthfulness of food on people’s plates in their home.” Drowns’ farming style is highly invested in Lyme-Old Lyme’s community and the community responds positively.

Since its founding in 2002, CFT has protected 43 farms, saving 3,364 acres. CFT is a private 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that relies on Connecticut residents to support its operations. CFT is Connecticut’s only statewide land trust, and the only land trust in the state dedicated solely to the protection of agricultural land.

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Volunteers Needed to Help Valley Shore Residents With Literacy Challenges

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc. is a private non-profit organization.  Its mission is to train tutors to help residents of the Valley Shore area who wish to improve their reading, writing or speaking English to improve their life and work skills.  This one-to-one instruction is held confidential and is completely without charge to the student.

Tutor training is a 14-hour program conducted over seven sessions held each spring and again in the fall of every year.  The next training session begins March 22 and runs through May 15. Workshop Leaders have developed a comprehensive program that provides prospective tutors the skills and resources to help them succeed.

A background in education is not necessary – just a desire to tutor and a commitment to helping a student improve their skill in basic literacy or English as a Second Language over the period of one year after the completion of training.

If you are interested in becoming a tutor, contact the Literacy Volunteers office in the lower level of the Westbrook Public Library by phone at (860) 399-0280 or by e-mail at jargersinger@lvvs.org .  Registration for the spring session is open now.

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Potapaug Hosts “American Woodcock” Program Tonight in Old Lyme

Potapaug Audubon presents “The American Woodcock” on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Old Lyme Town Hall. All are welcome.

The speaker will be Patti Laudano, naturalist and former Potapaug President, who will give a PowerPoint presentation illustrating all the unique adaptations of this elusive and well-camouflaged bird.

For more information or weather update, call 860-710-5811.

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CT River Museum Offers Range of Winter Wildlife Programs, Activities

Eagles on Ice: White-headed adult eagles can be seen in numbers along the lower Connecticut River. Photo by Mark Yuknat.

Winter along the Connecticut River brings many things – including cold winds and grey skies.  But the change in seasons also signals a shift in the ecology of New England’s Great River.  The osprey, the swallows and the egrets may be gone, but in their place now are mergansers, goldeneyes, and the highlight – bald eagles.  These once rare, majestic birds can be seen fishing along the unfrozen lower Connecticut River, a testament to one of the greatest environmental recoveries of the last half century.  To highlight these winter wonders, Connecticut River Museum (CRM) has planned a range of programs and activities.

Connecticut River Museum is happy to again partner with Connecticut River Expeditions to offer Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruises in February and March.  These popular trips offer visitors a chance to get out on the River in winter to see eagles, as well as other winter species that visit the estuary such as harbor seals.

This seal is relaxing on the Connecticut River ice. Photo by Bill Yule.

Cruises aboard the environmentally friendly R/V RiverQuest provide passengers with a comfortable, heated cabin supplied with hot coffee and tea, as well as binoculars to aid in spotting and narration from a staff naturalist.  These cruises depart Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at various times in the morning and early afternoon, and are $42 per passenger.  Museum members get 10 percent off and group rates are available.

In addition, the Museum will offer its annual Eagles of Essex exhibit, which offers a wealth of information about bald eagles and their return to the lower Connecticut River.  Patrons can try their hand at building an eagle nest, and marvel at life size silhouettes of Eagles and other large raptors, a map showing good shore viewing locations, and other displays.  On the opening day of the season, Saturday, Feb. 3, the exhibit will host Family Activities related to the return of the Eagles from 1 to 4 p.m., free with Museum admission.

On Saturday, Feb. 17 and March 17, award-winning photographer Stanley Kolber returns to CRM to offer his annual Bird Photography Workshop.  Kolber has been photographing birds for years, and takes great pleasure in sharing his experience with aspiring photographers of all levels, through anecdotes, slides, and question and answer.  In addition to helping skills development, his greatest pleasure in giving workshops is the opportunity to kindle and encourage his audience’s interest in the natural world.  He hopes that young people as well as adults will attend the workshops, so that he can impart some of his own enthusiasm to the next generation.  These popular programs are also free with Museum admission.

Species other than Eagles visit our River during the winter months. Photo by Joan Meek.

A Live Birds of Prey Show will be offered on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 4:30 p.m.  CRM will partner with Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation Organization for this annual show, which features a bald eagle and several other species of raptors.  Visitors will be able to get an up close look at the birds while learning more about the lifecycle and ecology of these magnificent animals.  This event will be held at the Centerbrook Meeting House and is free to the public.

For a full listing of event details, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.  The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open Tuesday – Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Connecticut River Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River.

For more information, call CRM at 860.767.8269 or RiverQuest at 860.662.0577.

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Community Leaders Hope to Help Parents Improve Communication With Teens; Forum in OS Tonight

Compassion Counts invites shoreline community members to join an upcoming community conversation, ‘Weathering the Adolescent Storm in a Pressure-Filled World,’ on Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Old Saybrook High School Auditorium.   This free event will be a dynamic evening for teens, parents and teachers to learn how to nurture positive communication and foster resilience.

Attendees will watch a series of skits simulating common family conflicts in today’s pressure filled world to demonstrate both negative and positive communication styles.  A panel of Shoreline area teens will share their reflections on the skits.  The evening will conclude with an important talk on failure, resilience and success along with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions.

Dan Osborne, CEO of Gilead Community Services will be the moderator. Facilitators include Tom Allen, Ph.D., founder Pathways Center for Learning and Behavioral Health; Andy Buccarro, LSW, LADC, founder Project Courage Substance Abuse Treatment Center; and Alicia Farrell, Ph.D., Cognitive Psychologist and founder Clearview Consulting.

“We are responding to the requests of many parents in our community to learn how to better communicate with their teens,” says Dr. Alicia Farrell.   “This forum is the perfect opportunity for families to recognize that they are not alone in their daily challenges.  Parents, teens and teachers, will leave uplifted with new tools to keep communications with their teens positive, help them to foster grit and resilience while harnessing the hidden power of imperfection.”

To attend this free event, register online at https:/weatheringtheadolescentstorm.eventbrite.com.  Light refreshments will be served from 6 to 6:30 p.m.  A snow date is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20.

For more information contact Lucy McMillan at 860.343.5300 or lmcmillan@gileadcs.org.

Compassion Counts is an ongoing series of community conversations held in the upper and lower Middlesex County. The purpose of these events is to educate and support the public around challenging life issues. Previous events have addressed topics like mental health, addiction, and suicide.  The Compassion Counts events are made possible by the generous support from various nonprofits throughout Middlesex County.

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘Troubles’ by J.G. Farrell

When a world is collapsing all about us, how much are we willing to recognize?

J. G. Farrell’s description of a veteran of the World War I trenches going to Ireland to rejoin a young lady he had met only once in London during the War is an allegory on human inertia and lethargy in the face of rapid change.

In 1919, Major Brendan Archer travels from London to Kilnalough, Ireland, thinking to ask Angela Spencer to join him in marriage, even though he could not remember ever asking her outright to do so. He finds an elusive young lady and a scene of inertia and decay. Ireland has entered the “Troubles” with Sinn Fein pushing for complete separation from the British Empire.

And that Empire is collapsing just as the Majestic Hotel — owned and operated by Angela’s father, Edward, and the scene of the entire novel — is doing the same.

Farrell gives us the Hotel dominated by “dust.” Every page describes dust, “mould,” gloom, creepers, grime, cobwebs, collapsing floors, “man-eating” plants, and an ever-expanding entourage of reproducing cats. One room featured “an enormous greyish-white sweater that lay in one corner like a dead sheep.” The weather wasn’t any better: “it rained all that July,” and the hotel residents complained of the coming  “dreadful gauntlet of December, January, February.”

Both the hotel and Ireland exuded “an atmosphere of change, insecurity and decay.” But the residents continued to follow life’s rituals: prayers at breakfast, afternoon teas, dressing for dinner, and whist in the evening.

Add to this mordant scene the author’s interjection of gloomy news reports from around the world: White Russians and English military supporters being trounced in Russia, victorious Boers in South Africa, a mess in Mesopotamia and Egypt, rebellion in Poland, and, finally, the Indians attempting to remove themselves from British rule.

In the face of all this, the hotel’s owner and operator, Edward Spencer aggravates the Major: “ … his overbearing manner; the way he always insisted on being right, flatly stating his opinions in a loud and abusive tone without paying any attention to what the other fellow was saying.” Does this also describe the Brits in other sections of the world?

The Major remains always a drifter “with the tide of events,” never able to respond, dominated, it seems, by “the country’s vast and narcotic inertia.”

This is a story of the collapse of a hotel, descending at last into ashes, and an allusion to the similar collapse of the British Empire, with the Second World War being its enormous fire. It is a compelling read, one that suggests some connections to the events of the second decade of the 21st century …

Editor’s Note: ‘Troubles’ by J. G. Farrell is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 1970.

Felix Kloman

About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year-resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction that explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farms Coffee. His wife, Ann, is also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a bubbling village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visit every summer.

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Rod White is Old Lyme’s 2017 ‘Citizen of the Year’

From left to right standing, Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, Selectman Chris Kerr, Judy White (Rod’s wife), and First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder celebrate Rod White (seated) being named the 2017 Old Lyme Citizen of the Year.

Noting at Monday (Jan.22) evening’s Annual Town Meeting in Memorial Town Hall that it was always a “joy” to announce the Old Lyme Citizen of the Year, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder then declared that Roderick M. White was the 2017 recipient.

After the applause for White has dissipated, Reemsnyder read the Proclamation that gave the justification for his honor.

Old Lyme’s 2017 ‘Citizen of the Year’ Rod White (seated) is joined by the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen. His wife, Judy, is seated second from right.

She said, “Over the course of his 50+ years in Old Lyme, Rod White has set a high standard for community service. Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, Rod graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1950. He spent the next quarter of a century making his mark in the Coast Guard. A faculty member from 1969 to 1974, he served as Dean of Academics from 1974 to 1983. In 1969, he was named the outstanding Naval Engineer of the year, receiving the prestigious Gold Medal from the American Society of Naval Engineers.”

Commenting in more detail on White’s Gold Medal citation, Reemsnyder said it, “refers to “his exceptional analytical skills and technical competence… [and] significant contributions in the advancement of icebreaker design …” It was Rod’s “White Bow” design that made it possible for the SS Manhattan to make the first successful transit of the Northwest Passage by a commercial vessel.”

Reemsnyder drew laughter from the audience of approximately 40 residents when she took a break from the text to mention that reference to White’s invention seemed, “… particularly timely this year in view of the fact that there are currently ice-breakers on the Connecticut River.”

While his wife Judy wiped away a tear, an emotional White spoke to the audience thanking the board of selectmen for the award and declaring his deep fondness of the Old Lyme community.

She continued reading the Proclamation text, saying, “Rod White has used his exceptional skills in our community in so many ways. A founding member of the Harbor Management Commission, he served as Chair from 1988 to 1994, and was elected Registrar of Voters from 1993 to 2004. An active member of the Republican Town Committee, serving as both secretary and vice-chair, he was elected for two terms to the Regional District 18 Board of Education, serving from 1997 to 2005.  Rod was our Town’s representative to the Southeastern Tourism District for many years, and currently serves on the Board of Assessment Appeals, a position to which he was first elected in 2007.”

Rod White (seated) is congratulated by previous Old Lyme Citizens of the Year, Jeff Sturges (left) and Lynn Fairfield-Sonn (right.)

Finally, Reemsnyder mentioned that, “Despite his obviously busy schedule, Rod willingly shared his talents with a larger community, as well.”  She noted that he served as Executive Director for the Eastern CT Foundation for Public Giving, Executive Director of the Coast Guard Foundation, Chair of the Boy Scouts Long Range Planning Committee and as a member of both the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Board and Connecticut’s Olympic Committee.

Reemsnyder added, “He has also been a loyal and active member of the Rotary, an organization synonymous with service, since 1975.” 

With a broad smile, she concluded with the words, “Tonight, we recognize a resident whose name is synonymous with service in our town as we honor our 2017 Citizen of the Year, Roderick M. White.”

Rod White (seated) was joined by numerous friends and relatives to celebrate his new accolade.

When Reemsnyder stopped reading and presented him with the Citation, White was completely overwhelmed and unable to speak for a short time.  With tears still visible on his face, he finally was able to express his deep gratitude for the award, saying, “It has always been an honor to serve this community.”  He commented on how much the evening had meant to him and apologized for being in a wheelchair saying he had fallen and broken his hip and then, in a second accident, his knee.

White spoke again of his love of Old Lyme  and his profound appreciation of the award before the board of selectmen, family, and friends joined him in turn for photos.

Congratulations from all of us at LymeLine.com to Captain White!

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Community Music School Hosts Free Preview Week Through Friday

Community Music School, located at 90 Main Street in Centerbrook and 179 Flanders Road in East Lyme, welcomes the general public to enjoy a variety of music programming during Free Preview Week scheduled for Jan. 29 through Feb. 2, 2018.

Children and adults are invited to schedule a free 30-minute preview lesson, and sample a vast array of programs for all ages including private and group lessons, Suzuki violin, adult cabaret, senior band, string ensembles, music therapy, Kindermusik, and more.

The public is welcome to observe any group class or ensemble during Free Preview Week.

Community Music School is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.mMonday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays. Those interested in a 30-minute preview lesson can schedule it by calling 860-767-0026 or emailing info@community-music-school.org.

Musical instruction is available for all ages, all abilities, and all genres.

For additional information, visit www.community-music-school.org/programs, call 860-767-0026, or email info@community-music-school.org.

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 www.community-music-school.org or call (860)767-0026.

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‘Essex Ed’s Identity Will be Revealed in Today’s Annual Groundhog Day Parade on Main St., Essex

Groundhog fun at a previous parade.

ESSEX — Grab your pots and pans and head to Essex Village this afternoon, Sunday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m. for one of the most popular parades of the year.

“Essex Ed”, a larger-than-life ground hog, will make his annual pilgrimage from Essex Boat Works on Ferry Street up to the top of Main Street leading a parade of antique cars, fife & drum corps, residents, and visitors.

Immersed in the spirit of the parade, this marcher posed with her personal groundhog.

All are invited to join in and encouraged to bring their own noisemakers and ground hog gear to celebrate the day.

Each year, Essex Ed is dressed in unique attire to acknowledge a special occasion or person. As always, this year’s costume is a secret but organizers guarantee that it will be a “huge hit” when Ed makes his appearance.

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State Holds Flu Vaccination Day Today Local Clinics in Saybrook, New London

Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash.

In effort to protect the public’s health and reduce the spread of the influenza (flu) virus, which has heavily affected the state, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is teaming up with local health departments to provide free or low cost influenza vaccine at several locations across the state on Saturday, Jan. 27. DPH strongly encourages all Connecticut residents over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot, and is working with local health departments and districts to make it easy to get one.

The full list of clinics and their locations is at this link.

The two nearest clinics to Lyme and Old Lyme, which are open on Saturday, are:

Old Saybrook
CT River Area Health District Office, 455 Boston Post Rd, Old Saybrook (Saybrook Junction)
10am-1pm
860-661-3300 (M-F)

New London
Ledge Light Health District:
216 Broad St. New London
11am-1pm
860-448-4882 (M-F)

You may attend any of the clinics listed regardless of the town you live in. If you have an insurance card bring one with you. Your insurance will be billed a small administration fee, but you will not be charged anything out of pocket. The vaccine is free.

In addition to the schedule below, many local health departments around the state are conducting on-going flu clinics. If you cannot attend one listed, check with your local health department for upcoming flu clinics.  Click here to find your local health department.

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