March 20, 2018

Chamber Welcomes MCCD as Speaker at Tomorrow’s Dinner Meeting

Join members of the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce at their next Monthly Dinner Meeting at Stella’s Restaurant & Pizzeria on Wednesday, March 21. All members, prospective members and other interested parties are welcome.

Cocktails and business networking begin at 6 p.m., with a three-course dinner starting at 7 p.m. The cost is $25 per person and the dinner choices are as follows:

Everyone will receive a side Caesar salad  and fresh bread for the tables
Pennette – Italian sausage, peppers, onions, tomatoes, fresh basil and spinach in a garlic chardonnay sauce, tossed with penne. **Can be made vegetarian
Grilled Shrimp Scampi – grilled shrimp & tomatoes n a garlic lemon basil wine sauce served with linguine
Chicken Piccata – baked breaded chicken breast topped with capers with a EVOO and lemon wine sauce served with penne pasta
Fallen Chocolate Cake
Ricotta Cheese Cake

The guest speakers are members of the Mentoring Corps of Community Development (MCCD).  This group, which operates in both Lyme and Old Lyme, does an enormous amount of ‘good works.’  It promises ot be an exciting presentation since everyone is looking forward to hearing what MCCD has achieved to date and what the group plans to do in the future.

New members can join the Chamber and current members can renew at the meeting. Annual membership is still only $50, payable to Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce.

Seating is limited. Make payment for a dinner reservation at this link on the Chamber website or send details by email to email@lolcc.comDinner selections must be received by end of day on Tuesday, March 20, and payment can either be made online or by check brought to the meeting.

Questions? Contact Chamber President Olwen Logan at


Lyme-Old Lyme High School Presents ‘Once Upon a Mattress,’ Opens Thursday

Reharsing a number from the show are, from left to right, Hannah Morrison, Lauren Mitchell, Katie Reid, Haley Stevens, Emma Bass, Heather McGrath, and Grace Edwards.

Hear ye, hear ye! The dates for the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) spring musical are rapidly approaching and the whole community is invited!

This year, the Old Lyme Players are tackling the classic comedy Once Upon a Mattress. The musical reveals the untold stories of The Princess and the Pea as the audience discovers that the “lost princess” was actually royalty in the swamp lands, not a girl wandering through a storm, who stumbled upon the castle.

Princess Winnifred, nicknamed “Fred,” falls in love with the dapper Prince Dauntless and must pass the Queen’s virtually impossible royalty test before she and Dauntless can get married, but Queen Aggravain plots to sabotage Fred so that she and Dauntless cannot be together. Meanwhile, Lady Larken and Sir Harry, an unmarried couple living in the kingdom, are expecting a child, and they wait anxiously for the royal wedding since no one in the kingdom is allowed to get married before Prince Dauntless.

The musical is directed by Jim Motes with musical direction by Kristine Pekar, choreographed by Bethany Haslam, and conducted by Jacob Wilson. The show also features sets by William Allik along with costumes created and organized by Denise Golden.

Once Upon a Mattress stars Natalie Golden as Princess Winnifred, Caroline LeCour as Queen Aggravain, Jacob Olsen as Prince Dauntless, and Lauren Mitchell as the Minstrel. Additionally, the show features Sean Spina as the king, Elyza Learned and Liam Clark as Lady Larken and Sir Harry, Haley Stevens as the Jester and Sophia Griswold as the Wizard

The cast auditioned for the show in December and has been rehearsing weekdays from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m. with additional Sunday choreography rehearsals from 4 to 6 p.m. The company has devoted a great deal of time and energy to the production and is eagerly anticipating sharing the production with the audience.

Old Lyme Players encourage audience members to arrive ready to sit back, relax and enjoy this lighthearted musical comedy set in a fairy-tale world, which the cast and crew magically create onstage.

Once Upon a Mattress opens at LOLHS on Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m.  There are also 7 p.m. performances on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24.  In addition, there is a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on the Saturday.

Tickets, sold online at this link  and at the door, are $12 for students and senior citizens and $15 for adults. For more information, call the high school at 860-434-1651.


And the Winner is … Trivia Bee Creates a Big Buzz in Town!

2018 Trivia Bee champions RTC Elephants, (from left to right, Atty. Mike Miller, LOLHS Class of 2013 alumnus Sam Stadnick, State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) and Cliff Johnson) proudly pose with their coveted Bee Trophy.

UPDATED 11:34am: It was a hotly-contested event with brainpower being tested to the extreme.

The 2018 Trivia Bee organized by the Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation (LOLEF) was held Friday evening in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium and saw more than a dozen teams doing battle over challenging questions posed by WFSB News Anchor Eric Parker.

The 3-PEAT team played hard to the bitter end taking the RTC Elephants to three rounds of play-off questions in the ‘Sting Off’ before finally succumbing to the runner-up position.

There were three ‘swarms,’ which involved all the competing teams in a 10-question play-off situation to identify the three finalists, who ultimately were the All-Pro, 3-Peat and RTC Elephant teams.

Concentration was intense among this team’s members whilst working on their answers.

With tension rising in the final round, All-Pro fell out of contention fairly rapidly but 3-Peat and the RTC Elephants kept going neck-and-neck question after question. When finally the last available question was posed, the RTC Elephants secured the win with the correct answer while 3-Peat had to settle for second place after a valiant effort.

Question master and Channel 3 news anchor Eric Parker (standing) and timekeeper Rob Roach kept things under control at all stages.

All funds raised at the event benefit programs and equipment selected by LOLEF for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

After the winners were declared, the judges, (second from left to right, Martha Shoemaker, and LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser) posed with LOL Education Foundation Board member Liz Rubitski (extreme left.)

The Old Lyme Historical Society’s (OLHS) team, some members of which are pictured below, came dressed in wonderful costumes (but surprisingly did not win the Best Costume award) and also put up a valiant fight in the quiz section to no avail.

And we just had to include a full-length photo of this dashing gentleman …

So to the OLHS team, better luck next year … and to all the competitors, sponsors and the LOLEF, thanks for making an otherwise cold and dull Friday evening into a fun-filled night at which everyone learned something and funds were raised for a worthy cause.


Art Supply Expo to be Held at Lyme Art Association, April 7

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme Conn., is presenting the second annual Art Supply Expo on Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Art Supply Expo is an opportunity for artists to meet premier art supply vendors, learn about new techniques and materials, see demonstrations, and enjoy discounts and special offers. This event is free and open to the public.

The Art Supply Expo is the brainchild of the Lyme Art Association’s Education and Activities Committee, who felt that the region’s numerous active art associations and artists could benefit from finding high quality vendors under one roof demonstrating and selling their wares. Companies signed on enthusiastically, knowing that online sales, while convenient, are not the best tool for demonstrating their unique and high quality materials and supplies.

Vendors who will be participating also include Royal Talens, Chelsea Classical Studio, Wholesale Frame Company, Vasari, Jerry’s Artarama, and New Wave Palettes.

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within the town’s historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours areWednesday through Sunday10 to 5 pm, or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit


‘Exhibition in Four Acts’ on Show at Lyme Art Association

Four new exhibitions, each with a different theme, will be on view in the Lyme Art Association (LAA)’s beautiful historic galleries from March 18. “A Show in Four Acts” features a separate exhibition in each gallery: Interiors/Exteriors, Animal Kingdom, Holding Still, and Faces and Forms run concurrently.  An opening reception for all four exhibitions will be held on Sunday, March 18, from 2 to 4 p.m.

“A visit to the Lyme Art Association to see the A Show in Four Acts feels like visiting four different galleries.  There is a variety and a shift in mood as you move from one gallery to the next,” states gallery manager, Jocelyn Zallinger.  “This show also allows a visitor to focus on each genre in a way that is not possible in other exhibitions.”

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday12 to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit


It’s LOL Education Foundation’s Annual Trivia Bee Tonight

full_5738The Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation’s (LOLEF) 6th Annual Trivia Bee will be held Friday, March 16, starting at 7 p.m. prompt at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.

Local businesses, community organizations and neighborhoods are invited to enter teams of four into this adult trivia contest, arguably the most “bee-dazzling fun-draiser” in The Lymes!

Full details of the contest and rules are at this link.

Teams are encouraged (but not required) to choose a fun team name and dress in costume. The evening will be hosted by LOLEF and there will be entertainment with prizes galore for the audience between rounds.

Fighting off stiff competition, the Lyme firemen were the ultimate winners of the coveted Trivia Bee trophy in 2016.

The winning team from each round will participate in a championship round. Teams will compete for the Honey Cup, a perpetual trophy, as well as the honor of being crowned Lyme-Old Lyme’s Trivia Bee Champion. Prizes will also be awarded for the Best Team Costume and Best Team Name.

Spectators are encouraged to cheer on their favorite teams in person. Audience admission to the Bee is free.

Refreshments, local honey and tech-raffle tickets will be available for purchase.

The LOLEF supports innovative educational initiatives throughout our schools and community. Thanks to community support, the LOLEF has donated over $160,000 since its inception in 2006. The LOLEF works closely with, but is independent of, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

The LOLEF counts on the success of fundraisers such as the Trivia Bee to keep the Foundations’ grants program vibrant.

Businesses and organizations are invited to enter a team of their own or, if they prefer, to sponsor a team made up of teachers and or students from our local schools. Admission is $200 for each team.

If you would like to participate in the Bee or become a corporate sponsor, visit this link for all the information relating to the event or call Roger Nosal at 860-434-0814 with questions.

Visit the Facebook page for the event at this link.


Enjoy a Night of Community Music at Lyme Public Hall, April 13

The Lyme Public Hall Association in conjunction with the MusicNow Foundation invites you to join us on Friday April 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Lyme Public Hall for a night of music performed by our friends, family and neighbors in celebration of our community and all it has to offer. This is a wonderful opportunity to perform in an inviting, friendly and supportive environment while having the opportunity to meet other performers and even form collaborative relationships. If you are not a performer it will simply be a great night of local talent playing great music.

Participants of all ages are encouraged to sign-up by contacting David Gregoire of the MusicNow Foundation at  or Leslie Lewis at so we can accommodate everyone and have the night run as smoothly as possible.  This event is free and complementary refreshments will be served.  Hope to see you there.

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. The MusicNow Foundation, Inc.  is a 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Old Lyme, CT dedicated to the support of music to engage, enrich, and inspire emerging artists through workshop programming, performance opportunities and musical mentorships nurturing creative and artistic growth in our communities and making music accessible to all.

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


Lyme-Old Lyme High School Hosts Open House Today for Prospective Students

Students hard at work in a Chinese class at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, where it is a popular elective subject.

Next Thursday, March 15, Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) welcomes prospective students who do not currently attend a Lyme-Old Lyme School and/or their parents to visit the high school during Spring Open House.

In order to offer a customized experience for each prospective student and/or their parents, interviews are being offered throughout the day to accommodate varying schedules. Each meeting with a school counselor will be preceded by a student-led tour of the high school. This format is intended to allow all attendees an opportunity to gain a general overview of the school and interact with current students, as well as to obtain answers to individual questions and information on curriculum, student opportunities and more.

In December 2017, Lyme-Old Lyme High School was named to the 8th Annual Advanced Placement (AP®) District Honor Roll by the College Board. Only 447 schools were named to this prestigious list in the United States and Canada. Superintendent Ian Neviaser noted, “This continues to support our strong reputation as a premier school district in Connecticut and the nation as a whole” adding, “The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools are committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.”

Lyme-Old Lyme High School hosts an Open House for prospective Students, March 15

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools were also named #18 in’s ranking of 2018 Best School District in Connecticut, which gave them the top spot in New London County, and in’s ranking of 2018 High Schools with Best Teachers in Connecticut, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools came in 10th.

In 2016, LOLHS took 6th place statewide in terms of SAT results, with average scores significantly above the state average in all disciplines, while in April 2015, Lyme-Old Lyme High School was awarded the 185th spot nationally and the 5th place statewide in Newsweek‘s annual list of Americas Top High Schools.

Facilities at the high school are exceptional with state-of-the-art technology implemented throughout the building thanks to a $49 million renovation project completed in 2014. The math, science, language, and technology and engineering areas, along with the art, music, drama and athletic facilities are now of a quality and sophistication that resembles a college environment, rather than a high school.

View from inside the Commons atrium at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

Current enrollment at LOLHS is 475 students from Grades 9 through 12 and the average class size is between 15 and 20. The school offers a full spectrum of core subjects taught in-house, including 17 Advanced Placement subjects, and also an extensive range of classes taken online.  Students also have the option to pursue the acclaimed Techno-Ticks robotics program along with more than 35 other extra-curricular clubs including High School Bowl, Mock Trial, and Key Club.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School enjoys widely acclaimed music, drama and art programs, which have been recognized with numerous awards both at the state level and nationally. The school’s athletic program has similarly received innumerable honors over the years and is proud to have several past, present and future Olympians among its alumni.

The colleges attended by LOLHS graduates include a wide range of Ivy League and top-tier schools each year. Complementing the academic success of the students, the high school faculty is renowned for their commitment and dedication to the students with most having obtained a sixth year teaching qualification.

If you would like to attend this informative event, please call Glynis Houde at 860-434-2255 to schedule your appointment.

For further information, contact Tracy Lenz, Director of Guidance, at 860-434-2255 or or James Wygonik, Principal, at 860-434-1651 or


LOL Chamber of Commerce Invites Applications from High School Seniors for Two Scholarships

One Scholarship Recognizes Business Leadership, Second is for Promise and Achievement in the Arts

The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Chamber of Commerce is offering two scholarships this year to high school seniors who are resident in Lyme or Old Lyme and either currently attending an accredited high school or pursuing a home school program.  The scholarships are also open to all students attending Lyme-Old Lyme High School regardless of town of residence.

The two scholarships are the Business Leadership Senior Scholarship and the Senior Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts.  The Chamber’s intent is to present a single award of $1,000 for each scholarship. The Chamber, however, reserves the right to change the amount of the award and/or to make additional awards if deemed appropriate.

For both scholarships, the applicant must submit the appropriate application form, both of which are available in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Guidance Office or online on the Chamber’s website at this link. The deadline for receipt of applications is midnight on Friday, April 27 — the deadline will be strictly applied.

For the Business Leadership Senior Scholarship, the applicant must have demonstrated achievement in economics, business, technology, or a closely related area; be entering college in fall 2017 to pursue a career in a business-related field, and demonstrate the use of his/her skills in a community setting that requires an ability to balance and integrate academics with community service and/or paid employment: for example, in an internship, a part-time job, a business or a nonprofit organization.

For the Senior Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts, the applicant must have demonstrated achievement in the arts; be entering college in fall 2017 to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts or equivalent degree at a recognized art school or college, and demonstrate the use of his/her skills in a community setting that requires an ability to balance and integrate art and academics with community service and/or paid employment: for example, in an internship, a part-time job, a business or a non-profit organization.

The LOL Chamber of Commerce Scholarship program has awarded over $33,000 in scholarships and grants to local students since its inception. The Chamber Scholarship Fund is supported through donations to CMRK clothing donation bins located in Lyme and Old Lyme: at the Lyme Firehouse, behind The Bowerbird, at 151 Boston Post Rd., and on Rte. 156 at Shoreline Mowers.

For more information about the scholarship program, contact LOL Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Committee Co-Chairs Russ Gomes at or  Olwen Logan at or 860.460.4176.

For more information about the LOL Chamber of Commerce, visit or call hamber President Oldwen Logan at 860-460-4176.


Major Preservation Project Now Underway at Lyme Art Association, Gifts Made by April 30 Matched

Removing old dilapidated shingles and rotted millwork on the west side of the Cooper-Ferry Gallery over the Studio.

In 1914, the American Impressionist painters of Old Lyme formed an association and dreamed of building their own gallery to exhibit their work. For the sum of one dollar, Ms. Florence Griswold deeded a portion of her property to the artists; where, in 1921, the Lyme Art Association (LAA) Gallery opened its doors.

Sadly, nearly a century later, this landmark gallery had the same shingles, deteriorated and literally falling off the building, and rotted woodwork coming apart.

There was simply no choice; the three Rs – repair, restoration, and renovation – had to begin.

But makeovers take money, and so the LAA’s Second Century Capital Campaign was launched to bring the historic building back to life. Generous contributions have put the Association close to the $364,000 goal, and the progress of the project has been amazing.

“Just as the original artists raised money to open the Lyme Art Association’s doors, we, too, find ourselves working to ensure that our historic landmark gallery will thrive for the next 100 years,” said Kathy Simmons, Board President of the Association. As of mid-February, generous donations have brought the Association to within $68,292 of their $364,000 goal.

First course of cedar shingles going up on the west side of Goodman Gallery.

Restoring this building is important for so many reasons. Today the LAA continues its commitment to advance the cause of representational fine art, while maintaining and preserving its historic building and galleries. It is a vibrant art center and gallery where professional and developing artists mount major exhibitions year-round – open to the public and free of charge. The Association also has a robust schedule of art classes, workshops and lectures. The landmark means a great deal to artists, those who appreciate art and, of course, the community.

“The Lyme Art Association takes immense pride in its cultural, educational and historical significance in our community,” explained Gary Parrington, LAA’s Development Director. “We are grateful for the financial support we have received already, and are excited to showcase the progress thus far made possible by our donors.”

“For those who give by April 30th, your gift will be doubled by a generous couple. Every donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000,” Parrington points out.

Carrie Walters, Capital Campaign Chair, Board Member, and the “go-to person” for the exterior restoration stated, “I’m honored to have the position because it’s a wonderful building. It’s been the source of incredible art for so many years and it just deserves to exist for many more.”

Simmons said, “The Lyme Art Association building, designed by world-renowned architect Charles Platt, is an integral part of Old Lyme’s historic district and stands as a reminder of Old Lyme’s important place in the history of American art.” She adds, “Every day, I am inspired by the thought that as we repair and restore the exterior of this grand, historic building, we honor Old Lyme’s place in the history of American art.”

We encourage our readers to visit the gallery, see the immense progress, the stellar job and quality of work, and to be part of this major preservation project. Parrington points out that generous gifts from donors today will help complete the exterior restorations.

The LAA, located at 90 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Rd., is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment.

For more information, call (860) 434-7802 or visit


Carney (R) Seeks Third Term as State Representative, Democrat Pugliese Announces Challenge

State Rep. Devin Carney

UPDATED 3/7 10:09pm: Devin Carney, a Republican who ran unopposed for a second term in 2016, has announced his intention to seek a third term as State Representative for the 23rd General AssemblyDistrict, which includes the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and coastal Westbrook. But this November, Carney will be challenged by Old Saybrook resident and Democrat Matt Pugliese.

Pugliese, a non-profit arts executive, notes in a press release that, “The frustration that our community feels is palpable.  The community wants change, wants new voices.  I’m running for state representative to help lead that change.   I’m a listener, and a leader who believes in building consensus, finding compromise and getting things done.”

Carney, who works as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Old Saybrook. explains his decision to seek a third term in a press release in this way, “Over these past two terms, I have always put the people of the 23rd District first.This community is everything to me. I was raised here and I understand the unique values and needs of my constituents. In these difficult and divisive times, it is important that the state has leaders with a proven track record of putting people over politics and who will work together to get Connecticut’s fiscal house in order.”

Matt Pugliese.

Pugliese, a resident of Old Saybrook, has spent his career working in the non-profit theatre industry, beginning at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  He served as the Executive Director at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theatre in Middletown, CT and now is the Executive Producer at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, based on UConn’s Storrs campus. Pugliese holds his BA in Theatre (’04) and his Masters in Public Administration (’17), both from UCONN. Pugliese said, “My work in the arts has been about activism.  It is about bringing together diverse audiences and creating opportunities for dialogue.  That is how we solve problems.  Every day running a theatre is about creative, problem solving and strategic thinking. The intersection of the arts and government – that is community.  That has been my professional career for 15 years.”

A lifelong resident of the district, Carney graduated from Old Saybrook Public Schools and currently lives in Old Lyme. He is the Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee, meaning he is the highest-ranked House Republican on the committee, and he serves on the Environment Committee and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. In addition, Carney chairs the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus, was the founding House Republican of the bipartisan Young Legislators Caucus, and serves on both the bipartisan Tourism Caucus and bipartisan Intellectual and Developmental Disability Caucus. He has also served as the Connecticut House Republican State Lead for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

Pugliese comments in the release, “Non-profit organizations need to run efficiently and effectively.  We know how to get the most out of every dollar.  My experiences in the non-profit sector in Middlesex County really opened my eyes to the incredible need we have in our community.  We have young people and families facing the most extreme and basic risks.  But we also have incredible resources in our community to draw upon.  That is what makes our district a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.”

Over his first two terms, Rep. Carney says he advocated for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, seniors, tourism, small business, local public education, and improving I-95. In 2015, he voted against the second largest tax increase in Connecticut’s state history. In 2017, he voted against the SEBAC agreement, but supported the bipartisan budget compromise in October.

Pugliese’s community involvement includes Old Saybrook’s Economic Development Commission since 2015, of which he was recently elected Chairperson.  He served on the Board of Directors for the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce for two years.  He served as the co-chair of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County Live Local Give Local 365 initiative when it was launched in 2011.  In 2012, Pugliese was named to the Hartford Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for his professional work and civic involvement.

Carney’s community activities include serving on the Board of Trustees at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and the Board of Directors at Saye Brook Senior Housing. He is a member of both the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce, a lector at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook, and serves on both the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee as a member and the Old Saybrook Republican Town Committee as an honorary member.

Public education is a key issue for Pugliese. He comments in the release, “When I think of our communities, I think of our strong public education systems. I will fight for the funding we deserve from Hartford necessary to support our schools.  I believe we need to invest in our higher education system. We want to have a vibrant university system to educate our young people, ensure their access to this education, and keep them here as part of our workforce in Connecticut.”

Commenting on his achievements in the past four years, Carney says, “I have pushed back against drastic tax increases to residents, defeated a federal rail proposal that would have devastated the region, supported bipartisan initiatives to combat our opioid crisis, and fought Governor Malloy’s proposal to push teacher pension costs onto local school districts. I have always put the taxpayer first and engaged with the community.”

Pugliese is an advocate for paid family leave, ensuring rights for women and minorities and championing arts, culture and tourism.  He adds, “Part of the identity of our community is the incredible cultural resources we have in the 23rd district. These resources drive tourism, which is critical to the economy of the towns in our region.  We need to ensure the viability of our cultural assets, and the public infrastructure needed to support tourism.”

Carney highlights in his press release, “I have never missed a vote,” adding, “Connecticut is at a crossroads and our residents and businesses cannot afford the same tax-and-spend policies that have put the state into this mess. It is imperative Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook continue to have a strong voice at the table during this tough fiscal reality.”


Rep. Carney Declares Testifies to Government Administration and Elections Committee,

Rep. Carney testifies Feb. 26 in support of SB 180: An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) testified during a public hearing of the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) Committee on Monday, Feb. 26, in support of SB 180: An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts. This proposal would require greater executive and legislative oversight of quasi-public agency contracts by requiring the submission of certain contracts to the Attorney General and relevant legislative committee

Rep. Carney said, “Connecticut is currently in the midst of a fiscal crisis due to overly generous employee contracts and poor management of said contracts. Folks throughout this state are feeling the pinch of higher taxes and poorer state services while at the same time reading about quasi-public agencies giving away six-figure salaries and bonuses without any oversight from the General Assembly.”

He continued, “It is time to change that culture and this legislation, if passed, would allow the people to have a voice before contracts over $100,000 are approved.”

While testifying before the GAE Committee Rep. Carney pointed to the Connecticut Airport Authority and the CT Lottery as two examples of this current issue with “quasi-public” agencies.

Rep. Carney said that this proposal would allow for more transparency and oversight, which Connecticut residents desperately need as they are feeling the burden of the state budget and, at times, asked to pay more.

He added, “There is no reason these quasi-public agencies are allowed to avoid tough questions about their practices and provide answers surrounding bloated pay and benefits while others are asked to cut and save wherever possible.


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.


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!


The End of an Era … but the Journey Continues: Jeff Andersen Retires From the FloGris Museum After 41 Years

Retiring Florence Griswold Museum Director Jeff Andersen stands between State Senator Paul Formica (left) and State Rep. Devin Carney holding the State Citation with which the two legislators had presented him.

There wasn’t a parking spot to be found Sunday afternoon at the Florence Griswold Museum, nor come to that at the Lyme Art Association. And the reason?  Despite torrential rain, it seemed as if the whole town had come out to say a fond farewell to Jeff Andersen, the much beloved Director of the Florence Griswold Museum, who was retiring after an amazing 41 years in that position.

Jeff Anderson stands with Charter Trustee George Willauer and New York Times best-selling author Luanne Rice alongside the Willard Metcalf painting, “Kalmia,” which the board has now dedicated to Andersen in honor of his 41 years service.

The Museum hosted a wonderful party to celebrate Jeff and his wife, Maureen McCabe, and both Marshfield House and the tent situated in the courtyard outside were packed almost to capacity. Federal, state and local dignitaries were there along with Museum trustees, staff, volunteers, friends and pretty much anyone who had ever had a connection with Jeff, Maureen or the Museum — well over 400 people in total.

The formal segment of the event was emceed by Charter Trustee Jeff Cooley, who opened the proceedings by introducing Senator Richard Blumenthal. Describing the Florence Griswold as “a world-class Museum,” Blumenthal went on to present Andersen with a Certificate of Recognition from the US Senate, which he noted to considerable laughter, “was approved by an overwhelming bi-partisan vote.” He thanked Andersen warmly for, “Your immense public service … and your values.”

State Rep. Devin Carney says, “It all started with just one … and that was, you, Jeff.”

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) and State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) stepped up next the podium and Carney noted poignantly, “It all started with just one … and that was you, Jeff.”  Carney was referring to the fact that 41 years ago, Andersen was the Museum’s first — and only – employee whereas now the Museum has 20 staff, 255 volunteers, 3,000 members and 80,000 visitors annually.

Saying, “I truly want to thank you, Jeff, for doing so much good for the economy as a whole,” Carney pointed out that many of the visitors to the Museum, “come, stay and shop,” in Old Lyme and the surrounding area, adding, “You did a great job at the Museum … but you also stopped a train!”  This latter was a reference to the Federal Railroad Administration’s proposal to route a high speed train through the center of Old Lyme, which Andersen actively worked to defeat.

State Sen. Paul Formica reads the Citation from the state in honor of Jeff Andersen.

Formica then presented Andersen with a Citation from the Connecticut House and Senate, which recognized Andersen for his “passionate dedication directing, restoring and revitalizing the Florence Griswold Museum,” noting, “For 40 years you shared your vision and inspired countless volunteers and workers to help fulfill this vision expanding exhibits, gardens and collections making it into the reputable attraction we know today.” The Citation concluded, “We want to thank you for your tireless leadership and congratulate you on your retirement.”

Following the legislators was Old Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who immediately confessed, “Frankly, I have to say I didn’t think there would ever be a time when Jeff wouldn’t be here.”  She continued, “It’s good for him [Jeff] and all of us to be aware of all you have done.  You’re part of our DNA, you’re the heart of our culture,” and then announced that the Town of Old Lyme was declaring Feb. 11 as “Jeff Andersen Day,”  adding to loud applause and much laughter that it was a unanimous vote.

Andersen mingled freely with the more than 400 guests gathered to say their goodbyes.

She read a Proclamation from the Town which stated, “Since he began working with the Museum in 1976, the Florence Griswold Museum has grown from a small seasonal house museum where he was the only staff member to a nationally recognized center for American art.” The Proclamation also noted that, “Jeff is recognized today as the pre-eminent scholar on the historic Lyme Art Colony … and has helped grow the Museum’s modest collection of works of American Impressionism into a deep and distinguished regional collection of American art.”  Describing Andersen as a “visionary Leader,” with a “thoughtful devotion to excellence,” Reemsnyder concluded, still reading from the Proclamation, that Andersen’s, “tireless advocacy for the Museum and its uniquely Connecticut story has transformed the Florence Griswold Museum into one of the state’s most important and beloved cultural destinations.”

Jeff Cooley (center) emceed thw formal proceedings at the party. His wife Betsy stands to his left.

Charter Trustees George Willauer and Cooley then unveiled the beautiful 1905 painting titled, “Kalmia,” by Willard L. Metcalf to which a plaque had been attached stating that it now honored Andersen’s 41 years of service during which he “transformed” the Museum “through his unswerving devotion to preserving the legacy of the Lyme Art Colony.”

Jeff Andersen addresses the at capacity audience.

A clearly emotional Andersen then addressed the audience, which by now was overflowing the tent, saying simply, “We are feeling the love …”  He gave a long list of thank you’s, noting that he and his wife had, “felt such affection and regard since announcing his retirement.” Andersen then shared his opinion that, “whatever you give to the Museum – whether time, talent or money – it is returned to you many fold.”  He said, “Not many get the opportunity to have a career in one place [in his case, from age 23 to 64] and for that I am deeply grateful and humble.  Stressing, “Be assured the future is bright,” he commented almost wistfully, “What an incredible journey this has been … but the journey continues.”

Jeff Andersen and his wife Maureen McCabe applaud the pianist after he played a tune to which they had danced together at the very end of the party.

And with that, Cooley proposed a toast to Jeff and Maureen, glasses were raised, Prosecco was drunk and then vigorous applause and loud cheers erupted all around.

Florence Griswold Museum docent Linda Ahnert points out a detail from the newspaper cutting to fellow doscents.  The cutting announced Andersen’s arrival as the Museum’s first director — and then only employee — 41 years ago.

We here at can only add our deep and personal thanks to Jeff and Maureen for an extraordinary career in which so much given with such incredible warmth and humility.  Rep. Carney said it best so we’ll end by echoing his words, “The Florence Griswold is truly a treasure, but so are you … Miss Florence would be really proud of you.”


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 or email


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.

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


  • $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,

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.