April 24, 2017

Old Lyme Library Hosts Half Price BookCellar Sale, Local Author Discussion, Saturday

The Old Lyme Library’s BookCellar is a treasure trove of books, all competitively priced — and every single one will be half that price on Saturday, April 29!

There are two exciting events being held at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library on Saturday, April 29.  Kicking things off from10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the Phoebe’s BookCellar Half-Price Sale and then at 1 p.m., join a book discussion with a local author.

If you have never been to the BookCellar — or haven’t been recently — now is your chance to get some incredible bargains on books, DVDs, CDs and audio books.  The BookCellar is a volunteer-run, used bookstore operating on the lower level of the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.  With over 10,000 books in all genres, including History & Biography, Fiction & Mystery, Children’s, Fine Art and Rare & Collectible books.  All proceeds from the BookCellar benefit the Library.

Plan your visit to the BookCellar so that you can enjoy the local author book discussion, which the library is hosting at 1 p.m.  Cynthia Parzych presents a program in which she will discuss her latest book titled, “Connecticut Made”, which is a new guidebook extolling the virtues of homegrown products by Connecticut craftsmen, artisans and purveyors.

Connecticut Made is a unique guidebook and local resource full of hundreds of things to find and buy, crafts to discover, factories to explore, and history to uncover––all made in Connecticut. Organized by product type, categories include ceramics/pottery, clothing/accessories, furnishings/furniture, glassware, home décor, jewelry, specialty foods, toys/games, and so much more. Together, these homegrown establishments help make up the identity of the Nutmeg State and are part of the larger fabric of what is distinctively New England.

Cynthia Parzych

Born and educated in Connecticut, Parzych is a writer, book publisher, editor and professional chef. She lives in Glastonbury where she runs her publishing company and a food business. She utilizes the produce grown on her property and sourced locally to make sauces, soups, pesto, pickles, vinegars, jams and marmalades all sold from her house and farm stand.

Autographed copies of Connecticut Made will be available for purchase at a discount following the talk.

About the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library: The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, off Lyme Street. Spring hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10 AM to 7 PM; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 AM to 6 PM; Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM. For more information, call 860-434-1684 or visit www.oldlyme.lioninc.org

Parking at the Library: If the Library’s parking lot is full, additional spaces are available on Lyme Street. There is also a parking lot behind the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall across the street from the Library.

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Find Foxtrots, Friendship, Florida Sunsets in ‘Biloxi Blues’ at Ivoryton Playhouse, Opens Wednesday

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 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 www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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Linda Clough Presents ‘Invasive Plants—Law and Lore’ at Duck River Garden Club Meeting, Tuesday; All Welcome

On April 25, Linda Clough will present to DRGC members and friends on invasive plants, such as the water lilies pictured above.

The next meeting of the Duck River Garden Club (DRGC) will be held Tuesday, April 25 in the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall. The evening will begin with a social time at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. and the business meeting at 8 p.m.

This month’s presenter is Linda Clough, who is a DRGC member with a B.A. from UCLA in history; MLS (Library Science) from SCSU; and JD from the UConn School of Law. She received certification as a Master Gardener in 2011 and went on to receive Advanced Certification in 2013.

Her topic is Invasive Plants—Law and Lore. Clough will define what an invasive plant is and make attendees aware of the Connecticut General Statute covering their sale and propagation. She will talk about invasive plant habits, habitat, and address some remedial measures. In her talk, Linda hopes to emphasize why propagation of native species is important to the general environment. She will also discuss the findings presented at the seminar given by UConn’s Invasive Plant Working Group in October 2016.

For more information, visit the DRGC website at this link.

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Old Lyme Town Budget Calls for 3.26 Percent Increase, Requires 0.55 Mill Rate Increase to 21.75

Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Andy Russell presents the Town’s proposed 2017-18 budget at Monday night’s meeting.

Around 30 residents showed up for Monday night’s public hearing in the Old Lyme Town Hall Meeting Room of the Town’s proposed budget of $36,355,031 for the 2017-18 fiscal year.  The proposed budget presented by Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Andy Russell, which includes $26.5 million for Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools, represents a 3.26 percent increase over the 2016-17 approved budget.

The Towns of Lyme and Old Lyme divide the LOL Schools’ budget of $33,634, 371 between them based on percentages representing the respective number of students that each town has attending LOL Schools. The total LOL Schools budget for both towns reflects a 0.49 percent increase over the current year, but when translated exclusively to the Old Lyme budget, the sum represents a 3.65 percent increase over the current year’s figure.

Old Lyme’s general government and capital budgets, which make up the balance of the Town budget (excluding the school budget), total $9,819,829 representing a 1.84 percent increase over the current year.  This number comprises $8,774,129 for general government and $1,045,700 for capital spending.

Russell summarized key increases and decreases in the the two sections of the budget, noting that regarding grants to non-profits , “The only one to receive an an increase is the Old Lyme Library.”  He commented on the subject of Debt Service that “The only debt that the Town has relates to the Town Hall,” and that the period remaining on the debt is seven years.

The two largest single items in General Government capital expenditures are replacement of the Cross Lane Playground equipment ($150,000) and renovations to the bathrooms at Hains Park (also $150,000.)

The former expense was the reason that many in the audience attended the meeting.  Stacy Winchell, Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club President, which has been working to raise money for the playground, commented in an email after the meeting, “As we have been working diligently for three years in bringing a safe and all-accessible playground to Cross Lane, we wanted to represent to the public that we continue to support and contribute to the return of a playground at Cross Lane.”

Renovations to the Hains Park bathrooms were originally included in the boathouse plans but now needed additional funding.

Another project which received increased funding ($10,000) was a feasibility study to determine the viability of a sidewalk from Town Woods Park to Rte. 1/Boston Post Rd.

Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Andy Russell answers a question about the Town’s proposed 2017-18 budget at Monday night’s meeting.

Russell said the board of finance was proposing to take, “$800,000 out of surplus to soften the blow to taxpayers,” but adding, “$600,000 was taken out of surplus for each of the last two years … but not needed last year.”  Adding, “We probably won’t need it this year,” he noted that the mill rate for 2017-18 is scheduled to increase from 21.2 to 21.75 mills, an increase of 2.58 percent.

Russell cited three examples of how the mill rate will impact property owners.  The first was for a house appraised at $347,200 and assessed at $243,000.  This homeowner paid $5,152 in property taxes in 2016-17, but will pay $5,285 under the proposed mill rate next year.

His second example related to a house appraised at $540,200 and assessed at $378,100.  This homeowner paid $8,016 in property taxes in 2016-17, but would pay $8,224 next year under the proposed budget.

Russell’s consistent message throughout the presentation was that the board always pursues a course that errs on the conservative side.  As a result, he explained, the town enjoys the highest credit rating possible.  Additionally, he noted that the board uses a predicted collection rate on taxes of 98.25 percent whereas the rate is, in fact, typically over 99 percent.

When public comment opened, one resident asked if the cameras being installed in police cars would be transferable between vehicles and Russell  confirmed they would.

Former Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold, who is now town treasurer,  stated, “The Hains Park bathhouse is a controversial issue.” He agreed the bathrooms “need to be fixed,” but said, “The question should have gone to a Town Meeting … to be aired fully.”  Griswold suggested it was now, “… lost in the budget.”

Russell responded that the question had been much discussed by the board and in the end, members had decided that since, “The Town had approved bathrooms and the boathouse,” the board should now add the necessary funds for the bathrooms into the budget.  David Kelsey commented from the floor that this new sum to fund the bathrooms is now, “… buried in the budget.”  Judith Read also questioned the boathouse project funding asking whether there was a surplus in hand on the boathouse project and if monies for the bathrooms were originally included in the boathouse project.

After the close of public comment, Russell said the proposed budget will now go forward for approval by residents at a town meeting to be held May 15.

Prior to that, Lyme and Old Lyme residents will vote separately in a referendum on the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools $33.6 million budget to be held May 2. Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in both towns and the results from each town are combined to determine if the budget has passed.  Voting in Old Lyme will be held in the Cross Lane Firehouse.

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Potapaug Sponsors Hike in Nehantic State Forest, May 7

Potapaug Audubon is sponsoring a “Hike at Nehantic State Forest” on Sunday, May 7, with leader Leader Fran Zygmont from Litchfield Hills Audubon Society. This is a follow up to his Bird Migration program at Old Lyme Town Hall.

Meet at commuter parking lot at Exit 70 off I-95 on Rte. 156 in Old Lyme between 7  and 7:15 a.m. to carpool. Groups leave promptly for Nehantic at 7:15 a.m. to start the walk at 7:30 a.m. 

Zygmont will demonstrate a few of his amazing bird song imitations.

The rain date for the  walk is May 13.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.

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Golf Tournament Swinging With Opportunity for Lyme Consolidated School, May 6

Lyme Consolidated School will host its Second Annual Golf Tournament and 19th Hole Event on Saturday, May 6. The event is hosted by the Lyme Consolidated School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), a non-profit group that works to support the Lyme Consolidated Elementary School that serves students of Lyme and Old Lyme, Conn., through volunteerism, parent involvement and funding activities, programs and materials for the students and staff of the school. Net proceeds from the tournament will go to the school PTO.

The tournament will be hosted on the beautiful grounds of Fox Hop Yard Golf Course located in East Haddam, just minutes from the Lyme Consolidated School.

There will be a BBQ lunch and a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. The golf will include several contests on the greens including a $10,000 putting contest. The PTO is grateful to their sponsors: Reynolds Subaru, Mohegan Sun, Holth & Kollman LLC, Sapia Builders Corp., River Valley Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, Novak Brothers, Ashlawn Farm Coffee, All-Pro Automotive, Brown & Knapp Insurance, Benchmark Wealth Management and Julia Balfour LLC.

The festivities will continue after golf into the early evening at “On the Rocks” at the Fox Hop Yard Golf Course where golf awards, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails (cash bar) will be enjoyed.  Non-golfers are invited to join in the fun as well from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wonderful silent auction items will be available such as original jewelry by Ann Lightfoot, Lady Gaga tickets, Yankee Tickets and more.

The Lyme PTO offers an array of special activities that help the children of our community flourish. Each year the PTO offers roughly 20 enriching programs for K to 5th grade, such as Curiosity Shop, where children can choose from a variety of specialty workshops held in an after school program or school assembly cultural events such as African American storytelling. PTO also hosts the Circle of Giving, in which families and students in need are helped during the holiday season and our hallmark Veteran’s Day Tea, Staff Appreciation Day and many field trips for all classes to name a few.

In order to have a successful tournament, sponsors are needed to offset the costs. The PTO is looking for local community members and businesses to support the event by being one of the Hole Sponsors, and, of course, golfing!

A single player registration is $150.00, which includes a BBQ lunch, 18 holes of golf, golf carts, use of the golfing facility and a ticket to the 19th Hole Event & Silent Auction. Non-golfing guests can also attend the 19th Hole Event & Silent Auction for $50.00 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. There are many other opportunities for local community members and businesses to support the event such as tee signs for $100.00.

The PTO is also looking for silent auction items and volunteers. Contact Josh Grenier at lymepto@gmail.com.

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Con Brio’s Gala 20th Anniversary Spring Concert to be Held in Old Lyme, April 23

Con Brio Celebrates 20 years!

The acclaimed shoreline chorus, directed by Dr. Stephen Bruce, will be joined Sunday, April 23, at 4 p.m. by soloists Patricia Schuman, soprano, Clea Huston, mezzo-soprano, Steven Humes, tenor, Matthew Cossack, bass and Associate Music Director Susan Saltus, organ, with the recently augmented Con Brio Festival Orchestra. Con Brio will offer the “best of the best,” — the most beloved pieces from its twenty-year repertoire.  Don’t miss this one!

Beethoven’s Mass in C, sung by Con Brio at Carnegie Hall during its very first year, opens the program.  Composed in 1807, Beethoven was already suffering hearing problems.  And yet he produced a masterpiece, fresh, innovative. Robert Schumann wrote that this Mass, “…still exercises its power over all ages, just as those great phenomena of nature that, no matter how often they occur, fill us with awe and wonder.  This will go on centuries hence, as long as the world, and the world’s music, endures.”

Patricia Schuman, soprano.

Opening the second part of the program is a piece that will stun with its majesty:  the Coronation Anthem of Handel, Zadok the Priest. Then, in a more reflective style, Con Brio presents Brahms’ Trõste mich wieder —one of the most beloved a cappella pieces of all time, showcasing Brahms’ mastery of choral writing.

Mendelssohn’s Heilig and Lotti’s Crucifixus, other well-known motets, will be performed in the round, as has become Con Brio’s custom in the wonderful sanctuary of Christ the King Church. Et in Saecula Saeculorum, from Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus, is an exemplary fugue, even more amazing for having been discovered only in 2005.

Mascagni’s Easter Hymn, the renowned chorus from the Cavalleria Rusticana, is a world-wide, as well as a Con Brio, favorite; internationally acclaimed soprano Patricia Schuman will perform in the magnificent role of Santuzza.

In a lighter vein, Con Brio offers the Ward Swingle arrangement of Bach’s G minor organ fugue, as well as Arlen’s version of Over the Rainbow —an audience favorite since 1939, and When I Fall in Love, by Victor Young, made famous by Doris Day and Natalie Cole recordings.

Matthew Cossack, bass.

Bernstein’s Make Our Garden Grow, the radiant finale from the operetta Candide, is one of his great ensemble numbers, scored for soprano (Cunegonde) and tenor (Candide) soloists, chorus and orchestra.  Celebrating imperfect people who try to do the best they know, the piece has been sung by performers such as June Anderson, Renée Fleming, Jerry Hadley, Barbra Streisand and Judy Collins.

Over two decades, virtually every Con Brio concert has featured audience participation.  Maintaining this tradition, Dr. Bruce will ask the audience to join with Con Brio, in Hairston’s arrangement of the great African-American spiritual, In Dat Great Gittin’ Up Mornin’. Dr. Bruce has taught this to audiences all over Europe; with Con Brio featuring this ever-popular piece in all its six concert tours to Europe — and doubtless again, in its 2018 concert tour to Croatia and Slovenia.

Ticketsare $30 adult, $15 student and available online at www.conbrio.org, from any Con Brio member, or by calling 860 526-5399. Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme, CT.

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DeMeo, Korsmeyer Honored in Zahn Gallery Art Exhibition at Shoreline Medical Center

The w inning artists of the Zahn Gallery’s current exhibition gather for a photo after presentation of their awards. The Old Lyme artists honored are Kathleen DeMeo (back row, first from right) and Renni Ridegway-Korsmeyer (back row, second from left.)

Two artists from Old Lyme have received major awards in the Valentine H. Zahn Gallery’s Local Vision II exhibition.  Kathleen DeMeo took top honors winning ‘Best in Show’ with ‘Water’s Edge’ while Renni Ridgeway-Korsmeyer won a Juror’s Choice award for ‘Ephemeral.’

The exhibition opened March 23 and highlights the work of 38 local artists from 22 Connecticut cities and towns. It remains on display until May 20. The Gallery is located at the Middlesex Hospital Shoreline Medical Center, 250 Flat Rock Place in Westbrook.

Other  winners are:
First Place: Maryanne Rupp (seated, center)of Killingworth for Day’s End.
Second Place: Judy Perry (back row, first from left) of Old Saybrook for Breakthrough.
Third Place: Diane Brown (seated, right) of Pawcatuck for Going Steady.
Juror’s Choice: Diane Aldi DePaola (seated, left) of Old Saybrook for Where the River Meets The Sound.
Juror’s Choice: Nile Barrett (back row, third from left) of Westbrook for Storm Fence, Hammonasset.

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Robert Tougias, ‘Day’ Columnist, Birding Expert to Speak at Lyme Public Hall, April 23

On Sunday, April 23, at  2 p.m. the Lyme Public Hall Association will present a program on Wild Birds of Connecticut-Natural History and Conservation with  New London Day columnist Robert Tougias.

Tougias syndicates nature articles in newspapers throughout New England and writes birding columns for newpapers in Connecticut. His articles on wildlife have appeared in many nature/outdoors magazines.

He began birding at the age of seven and has been presenting his artwork in juried shows since age eleven. His books include Birding Western Massachusetts: A Habitat Guide to 26 Great Birding Sites from the Berkshires to the Quabbin.

The program is free and open to the public.

The Lyme Public Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Road (Route 156) in Lyme, Connecticut.  For  more information go to www.lymepublichall.org, 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.

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Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus Gives Next Concert, June 11

Music Director/Conductor and co-founder of Cappella Cantorum, Barry B. Asch

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus will give their next concert Sunday, June 11, 3 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church. 56 Great Hammock Rd. Old Saybrook, CT.

Music includes: Wade in the Water, Psalm 84, Brothers Sing On. Hallelujah-Cohen, Spiritual and Broadway. $40.00 Registration, including Music at rehearsal.

Contact Barry Asch at (860) 388-2871 for more information.

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Lyme Public Hall Celebrates Earth Day with Town-Wide Clean Up Through April 23

The Lyme Public Hall Association and the Town of Lyme are sponsoring a town-wide roadside clean-up April 1 through 23 in celebration of Earth Day.  Plastic trash bags will be available free to the public at the Hadlyme Country Store at the corner of Ferry Road and Rte. 82.  Bags can also be obtained at the Reynolds Store at 254 Hamburg Rd. (Rte. 156) in Lyme, the Lyme Public Library, and the Lyme Town Hall.

Residents are invited to collect litter that has accumulated along the roads over the winter months. The Town of Lyme will pick up bags left along the road side. Trash bags will be available after April 1.

For more information call 860 526-8886 or email wdenow@comcast.com.

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Lyme-Old Lyme High School Multi-Class Reunion to be Held July 29

A Lyme-Old Lyme High School multi-class reunion spanning the years 1985-1995 has been announced.  It will be held on Saturday, July 29, from 6 to 11 p.m. at Groton Motor Inn & Suites99 Gold Star Hwy., Groton, CT.

The cost (non-refundable) is $50.00, which includes a buffet dinner and cash-only bar.  The menu includes:

•Tossed Salad

•Warm rolls & butter

•Teriyaki Chicken

•Baked Cod

•Top Round w au jus

•Pasta and Sauce

•Green Bean Almondine

•Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

•Desserts

•Coffee regular and decaffeinated, and hot tea

Hotel Policy:  debit and credit cards are not accepted for our bar.  ATM on premises.

For discounted hotel arrangements, call the hotel @ 860-445-9784.  Ask to reserve a room in our room block for a discounted rate.  Use “Lyme-Old Lyme High School Reunion 2017” as the Group Code.  The cut-off date for reserving the room block at the hotel is Thursday, June 29.

Share your favorite pictures by sending them to LOLH8992@gmail.com

Visit the event Facebook page at LOLHS Wildcat Reunion Hub: https://www.facebook.com/groups/544288812424026

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Overeaters Anonymous Sponsor Workshop on ‘Twelve Steps to Recovery,’ April 29

Overeaters Anonymous of Southeastern Connecticut Intergroup is sponsoring a workshop on the Twelve Steps to Recovery Saturday, April 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Saint David’s Episcopal Church, 284 Stoddards Wharf Road in Gales Ferry.

The workshop leader will guide participants through the Twelve Steps, focusing on the first 164 pages of the Big Book.  Overeaters Anonymous is based on the steps, principals, and program of Alcoholics Anonymous, substituting the word “sober” for “abstinent.” The workshop is open to anyone who wants to refrain from compulsive overeating behaviors and choices.

There is no registration necessary and no fee for this program, but a goodwill offering will be accepted.  Participants should bring their own bag lunch and their own Big Book. Additional Big Books will be available for purchase or loan for use during the workshop. 

For more details, contact maren@snet.net.

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‘Discover Oswegatchie Hills’ in OL Town Hall Presentation Tomorrow by Suzanne Thompson, Greg Decker

Greg Decker, Friends of OHNP chief steward, points the way through Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve in East Lyme. Decker will be giving the virtual tour of OHNP, terrain, wildlife and plants.

Potapaug Audubon presents “Discover Oswegatchie Hills” on Thursday, April 6, at 7 p.m. at the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St. with guest speakers Greg Decker and Old Lyme resident Suzanne Thompson, who are both Friends of Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve.

Suzanne Thompson of Old Lyme hiking Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve in East Lyme.

This free program comprises a photo overview of the 457-acre Nature Preserve, which was opened in 2007 by the Town of East Lyme.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.

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Eastern CT Ballet Performs Family-Friendly Ballet Double-Bill at The Kate, May 6, 7

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “The Kate”, welcomes back Eastern Connecticut Ballet for two performances in one featuring Ballerina Swan and Carnival of the Animals.

Four family-friendly performances will be held on Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., as well as Sunday, May 7, at 1 and 4 p.m.

Ballerina Swan is based on a new book by New York City Ballet’s Allegra Kent and is choreographed by Gloria Gorvrin, the Artistic Director of Eastern Connecticut Ballet.  Laugh and cry as Sophie the swan follows her dream leaving the safety of her home on the water to experience humorous escapades in the ballet classroom.  The ballet concludes with breathtaking variations from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

Complete the unique double-bill family event with Carnival of the Animals.  Lions, birds, and fish will frolic on stage in Camile Saint-Saen’s musical masterpiece.

This promises to be an afternoon of beautiful music and dance.

For more information on tickets for any shows at the Kate, visit www.thekate.org or call the Kate Box Office at 860-510-0453.

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Chanticleer, “An Orchestra of Voices” Concludes Essex Winter Series’ 40th Anniversary Season

Chanticleer, an orchestra of voices, perform April 2 in Old Saybrook to conclude Esex Winter Series 40th anniversary season.

Essex Winter Series’ 40th anniversary season concludes with Chanticleer, “an orchestra of voices,” performing on Sunday, April 2 at 3 p.m. at Old Saybrook High School, 1111 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook.

One of the world’s most renowned vocal ensembles, Chanticleer is an all-male chorus that performed as part of the Series in 2015 to a near sold-out audience, despite snowstorm conditions. This year, they present “My Secret Heart,” a program that invokes images of love across time and space.

In addition to Cole Porter and Noel Coward standards, the program highlights two special Chanticleer commissions. They are a brand new work from the pen of Finnish composer Jaako Mantyjärvi, and five evocative and heart-wrenching poems from “Love Songs” of Augusta Read Thomas, featured in the Grammy-award winning CD “The Colors of Love.”

Individual tickets are $35 or $5 for full-time students. Seating is general admission. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit www.essexwinterseries.com or call 860-272-4572.

The 2017 season is generously sponsored by The Clark Group, Essex Meadows, Essex Savings Bank, Guilford Savings Bank, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP LLC, and Tower Laboratories. Outreach activities are supported by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Community Music School and donors to the Fenton Brown Circle.

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Handweavers’ Guild of CT Presents “Weavers’ Haven” in New Haven; Demo Day, April 8

“Weavers’ Haven,” the Juried 2017 Biennial Show of the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut opened April 1, at the River Street Gallery at Fairhaven Furniture, 72 Blatchley Avenue in New Haven, CT. Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.

The show offers a creative, colorful and masterful wonderland of original handwoven works of all kinds from the practical to the artistic created by handweavers from across the state.  Works by a number of local handweavers are featured in the show.  Admission is free.

The opening reception and awards ceremony were held Saturday, April 1.  Demonstration Day will take place on Saturday, April 8, from 11 to 3 p.m. The show will be open through April 28.

Founded in 1948, the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut invites handweavers, spinners and other fiber artists from all levels of experience to exchange ideas and share knowledge, to encourage and educate, to stimulate creativity and to challenge their abilities in fiber art techniques.

Hand spinners demonstrate their craft.

For more information about the show, visit the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut website or contact Barbara Smith at 860.608.9708 or smith.assoc1@gmail.com

About the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut: The Guild meets five times a year on the third Saturday of the month, bimonthly from September through May. All meetings are held at the Congregational Church of South Glastonbury, located at the intersection of Main & High Streets in South Glastonbury, CT. For more information, visit the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut website

About River Street Gallery at Fairhaven Furniture: In 2003, Fairhaven Furniture renovated a former workspace in our building into an expansive, loft-like showroom… and a gallery was born. River Street Gallery showcases fine art and craft by regional artists in combination with high-quality, artisan-made furniture in a warm and welcoming environment.  For more information, visit their website.

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Florence Griswold Museum Director Jeffrey Andersen to Step Down After Successor is Chosen

Jeff Andersen, Director of the Florence Griswold Museum, will step down from the position he has held for more than 40 years when a successor has been selected.

After over 40 years of service to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., Director Jeff Andersen is planning to step down after a new director is appointed. Ted Hamilton, President of the Board of Trustees, announced that a comprehensive national search will be undertaken in the months ahead, overseen by a committee of trustees and coordinated with an executive search firm.

“Jeff Andersen has guided the growth of this museum with equal measures of vision and attention to detail,” Hamilton said. “He sees things clearly and stays focused on long-term goals.  Jeff charted a course for the Florence Griswold Museum to become a singular American art institution based on its history as an artist colony.  He inspired our trustees, staff, and volunteers to dedicate themselves toward this mission. Under his leadership, the Museum has become known for its compelling exhibitions and innovative educational programs.”

A fifth-generation native of Northern California, Andersen began his career at the Museum after completing his M.A. in Museum Studies from Cooperstown Graduate Program in Cooperstown, N.Y. During his tenure, the Florence Griswold Museum evolved from a seasonal attraction with one staff member and fewer than 1,000 visitors per year to an accredited art museum with 20 staff members, 225 dedicated volunteers, nearly 80,000 visitors annually, and over 3,000 members.  Early on, Andersen helped establish an endowment fund for the institution, which now funds one-third of the Museum’s annual operating budget of $2.6 million.

Working closely with teams of trustees and professional colleagues, Andersen led a transformative, decades-long campaign to reacquire the original Florence Griswold property with the goal of creating a new kind of American museum based on the site’s history as the creative center of the Lyme Art Colony.  Reunifying the historic estate, much of which had been sold during the 1930s, took seven different real estate transactions, culminating in 2016 with the purchase of the last private parcel of the original estate.

Supported by capital campaigns that raised over $20 million collectively, the Museum implemented master plans to reconstruct historic gardens, relocate the William Chadwick artist studio, build education and landscape centers, and open the Robert and Nancy Krieble Gallery, an award-winning modern exhibition, collection, and archives facility designed by Centerbrook Architects.  In 2006, the Museum completed the restoration of the National Historic Landmark Florence Griswold House (1818) as a circa 1910 boardinghouse of the artists’ colony.  Located along the banks of the Lieutenant River, the Museum’s 13-acre historic site now forms an essential part of a visitor experience that integrates art, history, and nature.

As part of his duties, Andersen has organized exhibitions for the Museum and written extensively about American artists in Connecticut. For a museum of its size, the Florence Griswold Museum has been active in publishing scholarly books and catalogues to accompany many of its exhibitions.  Beginning in 1983, Andersen established a close relationship with The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company on behalf of the Florence Griswold Museum, assisting the company in assembling a major collection of 190 paintings and sculptures by American artists associated with Connecticut.

In 2001, Hartford Steam Boiler donated the entire collection to the Museum, where it serves as a centerpiece of ambitious collection, exhibition, and education programs revolving around diverse expressions of American art from the eighteenth century to the present day.  Works from this collection by such artists as Ralph Earl, Frederic Church, Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, and others have been lent to over forty museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and The National Gallery, London.

Over the years, Andersen has been a leader in the cultural community, serving on numerous non-profit boards, such as Connecticut Humanities and the New England Museum Association, and working as a peer accreditation reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums. In 2004, he received the Public Service Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.  In 2016, Andersen was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Museum Association (NEMA).  “Throughout his career, Jeff has been an inspirational leader at the Florence Griswold Museum, on the NEMA board, and through all of his community service,” said NEMA Executive Director Dan Yaeger.

“It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to be a part of this Museum,” Andersen reflected.  “What I am perhaps most proud of is the deep sense of loyalty and camaraderie that is felt amongst our staff, trustees, volunteers, and members. In many ways, it echoes what Florence Griswold and the original Lyme artists had with one another. In this spirit, I know that everyone will give their full support to the next director to help the Museum flourish in the years ahead.”

Andersen, who lives in Quaker Hill, Connecticut, is looking forward to spending more time with his family in California and traveling with his wife, the artist Maureen McCabe, who was a longtime professor at Connecticut College. Andersen intends to stay active in the art world and in the community at large.

The Florence Griswold Museum has been called a “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal and a “must see” by the Boston Globe.  Its seasonal Café Flo was just recognized as “best hidden gem” and “best outdoor dining” by Connecticut Magazine. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut.   Visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for more information.

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Carney Testifies in Support of Harsher Drug Dealer Penalties

State Rep. Devin Carney testifies during the Judiciary Committee hearing on proposals to introduce stricter penalties for drug dealers.

Proposals Seek to Increase Penalties for the Possession and Distribution of Narcotics

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) testified this week before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee in support of three proposals that would seek to create harsher penalties for possession and distribution of narcotics.

Specifically, Senate Bill 1039 An Act Concerning Criminal Liability In The Case Of Drug Overdose Deaths, Increasing The Penalty For The Possession Of A Narcotic And Criminalizing The Misbranding Of Synthetic Drugs, House Bill 7290 An Act Increasing Penalties For Dealing Synthetic Drugs and House Bill 7292 An Act Concerning The Classification Of Drugs And Creating Drug Dealer Civil Liability.

In his remarks, Representative Carney stated, “The State of Connecticut is in the midst of an epidemic caused by fentanyl and the drug dealers who knowingly sell it to our residents. Fentanyl is so powerful that only 55 pounds of it has the power to kill every resident in Connecticut – twice. This is not normal and should not be dealt with lightly or else more of our residents, including the sons and daughters of our constituents, will die.”

According to the Hartford Courant, in 2016, 479 people who died of an overdose had fentanyl in their system – six times more than those who died two years ago when 75 people who overdosed had fentanyl in their system … In 2012, there was one death from a mix of fentanyl and heroin. In 2016, there were 276. In 2012, there were two deaths from the mixture of fentanyl and cocaine. In 2016, there were 142.

Carney continued, “The time has come to make drug dealers face stricter penalties for knowingly dealing fentanyl or other narcotics laced with it. Knowingly selling fentanyl to a drug addict or someone interested in trying an illegal narcotic is reprehensible and no one should feel pity for these dealers. Justice will be served when they are behind bars and incapable of dealing death sentences to drug addicts by supplying fentanyl to our citizens.”

The bill awaits further action by the Judiciary Committee.

Carney represents the 23rd District communities of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

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Final Week to View Lyme Academy College Student Work at Old Lyme Town Hall

The vestibule of Old Lyme Town Hall’s Meeting Room is one of several places that artwork by students from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is on display in the town hall.

The Town of Old Lyme is currently hosting an exhibition through the end of March featuring works from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts students. The exhibition showcases recent works from Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) students, freshmen to seniors, in all disciplines, including Drawing, Illustration, Painting, and Sculpture.

A new picture hanging system was installed at the town hall in late spring, when an inaugural exhibit featured pieces created by students in classes at the Lymes’ Senior Center. Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder explains “Art is such an important part of our Old Lyme community. We installed the new system for the express purpose of displaying art from organizations in our community.”

The art work by Lyme Academy students currently on view in Old Lyme Town Hall incorporates a variety of styles and media.

Asked his reaction to the opportunity for Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts students to participate in the exhibition at the town hall, Campus Dean Todd Jokl, told LymeLine, “The College is thrilled to be a part of this exhibition in the Old Lyme Town Hall. We are honored the town partnered with us to showcase some of our remarkable student artists’ work.”

“We hope the exhibition of our BFA students’ work symbolizes the important connection the College has with this community and how excited we are to be collaborating with so many institutions in the area. As we all know, this town and region offer a remarkable network of support and interest in the arts and culture. We cherish our role as being an active member of the community.”

The public is welcome to participate in College openings, lectures, workshops, and various community and undergraduate programs.

Lyme Academy College, as part of the University of New Haven, is the only Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design institution in the State of Connecticut. Lyme Academy College has played an integral part in the town’s culture since 1976. The College has grown in numbers, ranking and prestige from a small community art school to a national presence.

The student exhibit can be viewed during regular town hall hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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