June 28, 2017

State Budget Discussion at OL Church Draws Large Crowd With Wide Range of Concerns, Questions

Attendees at Monday night’s state budget discussion listen attentively to a speaker.  Photo by Jacob Ballachino.

About 60 community leaders and citizens, including members of the clergy from both New London and Middlesex Counties,  attended a “Conversation on the State Budget,” Monday evening at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL)

Only two state-elected representatives attended out of a total of the 55 senators and representatives invited. State Rep. Devin Carney, (R-23rd), whose district includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern segment of Westbrook, and State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R- 34th), whose district includes East Haddam, East Hampton and Colchester, attended.

Carney and Ziobron answered questions from the audience carefully and thoughtfully, shedding light on how the budget process is proceeding. They also listened attentively to concerns raised by many of those who attended.

Chief among those concerns was expressing the importance of maintaining appropriate and adequate state funding for programs that are critical to those most in need throughout the state. In light of pending federal cuts to health care programs, maintaining the State of Connecticut’s support of medical care for the low-income and elderly was a constant theme of the evening.

Many of those who attended made it clear that, if the priorities and commitment to support the neediest among us were clearly articulated, paying higher taxes would seem both an appropriate and honorable response. Cutting taxes was not considered a priority. Several speakers commented how it is a privilege to live in this area and, as a consequence, there should be an expectation to pay a fair share to compensate for those who shoulder unreasonable burdens in Connecticut’s cities.

There was a lively discussion about the state pension-funding crisis during which former State Senator Melodie Peters reminded the audience that state employees had paid into those funds over many years.  She expressed her firm opinion that it is critical now to honor the state’s commitments to those people.

There was almost universal consensus that the state is in a challenging place in terms of the budget and compromise on all sides in the legislature is imperative. Frequently, questions were raised about why the two parties seem so crippled by partisanship.

A wide-ranging discussion about increasing state revenues ensued. Questions were raised regarding the possibility of re-implementing tolls and taxing sugary drinks. Another audience member asked, “Could we add a small fee onto our car registrations to fund our state parks and their employees?”  A third speaker questioned whether the state could consider raising taxes on those in upper income brackets.

The subject of the questions then moved to business with one audience member asking, “Can we incentivize businesses to come to this state?” while another questioned, “Is it possible to raise the minimum wage so that people in the state have more ability to participate in our economy?”

The Rev. John Selders of Amistad Congregational Church in Hartford, Conn., who serves as coordinator of the Moral Monday, Conn., program, and Moral Monday Board Member Pamela Selders helped to lead the discussions, along with FCCOL Senior Associate Minister Carleen Gerber

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Old Lyme First Congregational Church, ‘Moral Monday’ Group Host Community Conversation on State Budget’

State Senators and Representatives from 30 Area Towns Invited To Attend Public Forum
Event is Free and Open to the Public

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) and the nonprofit organization, Moral Monday CT, are hosting a “Community Conversation on the State Budget” tonight at 7 p.m. to help facilitate a peaceful, respectful, community conversation on the state budget between area elected officials, nonprofit groups and members of the general public. 

The public forum hopes to inspire an insightful discussion surrounding the state’s planned cuts to health care, education and social services and their likely impact on marginalized populations.

More than 30 area elected officials have been invited to attend the public forum on the church’s front lawn, including the state senators and representatives who represent the citizens of Branford, Cheshire, Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Haven, East Lyme, Essex, Guilford, Haddam, Hamden, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown, Montville, New Haven, New London, North Branford, North Haven, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Salem, Wallingford, Waterford and Westbrook.

In the event of bad weather, the forum will take place inside the church’s historic Meetinghouse.

Moral Monday CT is a statewide coalition of individuals and organizations – originally brought together through the Black Lives Matter movement – that fights for civil rights and social justice for black and brown people in Connecticut.  The organization was founded by Bishop John Selders, Lady Pamela Selders and Minister Cornell Lewis.

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Ramblin’ Dan Stevens to be Inducted in CT Blues Hall of Fame This Evening in Old Lyme

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens (center) of Old Lyme will play at the ‘Rock The Dock’ event at Black Hall Outfitters this evening. Stevens will be inducted into the CT Blues Hall of Fame at the start of the evening.

This evening, veteran folk-blues musician Ramblin’ Dan Stevens of Old Lyme will be inducted into the Connecticut Blues Hall of Fame in a ceremony starting at 6 p.m. at Black Hall Outfitters on Shore Rd.(Rte. 156) in Old Lyme. All are welcome. Take a picnic and enjoy the beautiful location along with the sounds of music.

Ramblin’ Dan and a selection of his musician friends will give a concert after the ceremony.

 

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Old Lyme’s Children’s Learning Center Creates a Delicious ‘Edible Garden’

The OLCLC Edible Garden is thriving.

The cold start to the month of June may have had many gardeners worried about their harvest. Thanks to the pro bono labor of Anu Koiv, the children of the Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center (OLCLC) have already been enjoying fruits and vegetables from their thriving edible garden.

Anu Koiv not only works pro bono on the edible garden, but also on the beds that surround the OLCLC.

“Not only do the kids get to learn about eating healthy foods, but they learn about sustainability and how to manage their own garden,” says Alison Zanardi, director of the OLCLC. It is not very often that preschoolers have the opportunity to interact with a garden and a myriad of different fruits and vegetables like this one. The kids can interact with the plants in the sensory garden, feeling and smelling different tantalizing plants, like mint, cacti and more.

Vegetables patiently waiting to be picked by the preschoolers.

Preschoolers are free to walk around the garden during their time outside and select whatever food that they choose from their luscious garden. Kale chips, fresh tomatoes, blueberries, and strawberries are often enjoyed as snacks.

More vegetables in the Edible Garden that are ‘ripe for the picking’ by the preschoolers.

Anu Koiv is the mastermind behind the garden, and the staff and students are all extremely appreciative of the work she has done.  Not only is she building a garden for the benefit of the preschooler’s education, but also to benefit the wildlife who will be inhabiting the garden. “We’re inviting nature back into the landscape of the courtyard. Each and every plant has ornamental and food value,” notes Koiv.

Pike’s Playground is named in honor of Connie Pike, founder of the OLCLC.  Children can interact with plants in the sensory garden.

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Want to go to Tanglewood? ECSO Has a Few Tickets Left for All-Inclusive Day Trip, July 16

Only a few seats remain for the Tanglewood Bus Trip on Sunday, July 16, sponsored by The Friends of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony. Under the baton of Andris Nelsons, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra opens the concert with the world premiere of Markings, composed by John Williams. Violinist, Anne-Sophie Mutter, then takes the stage, performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. The afternoon concert ends with Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique.

Anne-Sophie Mutter is a four-time Grammy Award winner who is dedicated to the performance of traditional composers as well as new music. Although she is known for her classical repertoire, several pieces have been specially written for her. She performs the world premiere at Tanglewood of John Williams’ Markings – a work for solo violin, strings and harp, which the composer dedicated to the soloist. This year also marks the 40-year anniversary of her debut as a soloist, making her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic at the age of 13.

The trip costs $120 per person and includes a ticket in The Shed, round trip bus fare with gratuity, an informative lecture en route, and wine and cheese on the way home.  The bus leaves from the East Lyme Park and Ride at 10 am and arrives at Tanglewood around 12:30 pm to give patrons two hours to picnic on the beautiful grounds or to purchase lunch. The concert starts at 2:30 pm.  The bus returns directly after the concert and arrives back by 8 pm.

For more information, or to reserve seats, call the Eastern Connecticut Symphony office at 860-443-2876.

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Simpson Healthcare of Old Lyme Wins “Best Scientific Communications Agency-CT” at 2017 Business Excellence Awards

Simpson Healthcare Executives wins “Best Scientific Communications Agency-Connecticut” at the 2017 Business Excellence Awards hosted by Acquisition International Magazine. (PRNewsfoto/Simpson Healthcare Executives)

Simpson Healthcare Executives have announced that they have won “Best Scientific Communications Agency-CT” at the 2017 Business Excellence Awards, presented by Acquisition International Magazine.

Simpson Healthcare is a diverse, scientific strategy and communications agency, founded in 1998 by Kelly Simpson-Angelini, CEO+CSO and located in Old Lyme, that challenges all healthcare stakeholders to think disruptively about change in healthcare. Acquisition International featured Simpson Healthcare in a congratulatory interview in their Winners Supplement for the 2017 Business Excellence Awards.

Simpson Healthcare is honored to have won this prestigious business award at the 2017 Business Excellence Awards, a program that was created to acknowledge the trailblazers of the corporate domain. Their agency is proud to have been designated as one of these leading, esteemed organizations who have demonstrated creativity, commitment, experience, and strong leadership in the modern corporate business climate.

Simpson Healthcare would like to thank their internal teams and their leadership, as they are proud to have the right people on every team; they have created a great, talented culture of learning, science, and innovation that is rooted in the agency’s purpose: to support our clients in sharing the scientific story of the diseases they touch and therapies they discover for all in need.

The Simpson Healthcare team looks forward to the future as they unite to advance science and the discovery and development of the game-changing therapies for their clients, and encourage collaboration among key stakeholders to improve the healthcare experience for patients into the next coming decades.

Acquisition International is a monthly magazine published by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting. The magazine has a global circulation, which brings together all parties involved in deal-making and, in an increasingly global deal market, is uniquely positioned to reach the deal-makers that matter. For more information, visit: http://www.acquisition-intl.com/.

Simpson Healthcare Executives is located in Old Lyme, CT and is a global leader in biopharmaceutical marketing and communications, dedicated to driving therapeutic innovations forward. Since 1998, Simpson Healthcare Executives supports their clients in sharing the scientific stories of the diseases they touch and therapies they discover for all in need. For more information on Simpson Healthcare Executives, visit: www.simpsonhealthcare.com.

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Saybrook Stage Presents ‘Barefoot in the Park’ at ‘the Kate,’ July 13-15

The cast of ‘Barefoot in the Park’ gather for a photo.

The Saybrook Stage Company presents “Barefoot in the Park” by Neil Simon at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, ‘the Kate,’ July 13 through July 15, at 8 p.m. with matinées July 15, at 2 p.m. and Sunday, July 16, at 3 p.m.

Neil Simon is at his best in this hilarious and touching romantic comedy about a conservative straight-as-an-arrow young lawyer and his free-spirited new bride. They are newlyweds in every sense of the word – still giddy from their over-the-top honeymoon at The Plaza – and now find themselves in a less-than-perfect Greenwich Village fifth-floor walkup in New York City.

The pricey apartment with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job is only the beginning of their rocky happily-ever-after life. The play is clever and funny, filled with snappy dialogue and witty one-liners. – Neil Simon is simply masterful in this 1960’s story of newlywed life.

A rehearsal scene from ‘Barefoot in the Park.’

The comedy unfolds as the couple moves into their new apartment and receives a surprise visit from the bride’s easily-winded, loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor in-the-attic – where everything that can go wrong does. The antics just get started as the mother and neighbor surprisingly get along better than anyone expected; while the newlyweds can only argue. The bride thinks the groom is too staid and boring – she wants him to be more spontaneous – and running barefoot in the park would be a nice start!

“Barefoot in the Park” originally opened in 1963 to rave reviews and was nominated for three Tony Awards. The play ran for over 1530 performances making it Neil Simon’s longest running Broadway hit. The New York Times wrote at the time “I don’t think anybody stopped laughing while the curtain was up”.

The Saybrook Stage Company is pleased to return once again to The Kate in Neil Simon’s romantic comedy directed by Jim Hile. This will be their 14th production at The Kate and the second Neil Simon play having performed “Rumors” in July 2014 – the more recent previous plays are Noises Off, Deathtrap, The Wayside Motor Inn, Moon Over Buffalo and this past January, The Farnsworth Invention.

Visit www.thekate.org or call 877.503.1286 and reserve your tickets now. Also, visit www.SaybrookStage.org for more information about The Saybrook Stage Company.

The Saybrook Stage Company was founded as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality local theater on the Connecticut Shoreline at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Saybrook Stage welcomes actors of all levels and abilities – and anyone who genuinely loves the arts – to come together and share in the experience that only live theater can provide. The actors that have been part of The Saybrook Stage Company to date have varied backgrounds and “day jobs” from teachers, artists and homemakers to lawyers, business people and judges. The Company looks forward to producing many more quality productions at the beautiful venue of The Kate and continuing to thrive in this wonderful, artistic region of Connecticut.

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Cappella Cantorum Presents ‘Music From Around the World’ at ‘the Kate,’ July 5

Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus will present Music From Around the World on June 25, 3 p.m. at St.Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Madison.

‘Music From Around the World’ sung by the Cappella Cantorum Men’s Chorus will fill the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center , the Kate, at 300 Main St., Old Saybrook on Sunday, July 5, at 7:30 p.m. The Chorus will present an extraordinary evening of great male choral music under the direction of Barry B. Asch with accompanist Deborah Lyon.

Featured selection along with their country of origin include: Sweden-Brothers, Sing On!; Wales-All Through the Night; Hebrew-Bashana Haba’ah; France-Cantique de Jean Racine; Germany-Brahms Lullaby; France-Viva L’Amour; and America: Climbin’ up the Mountain Children; Ezekiel Saw de Wheel; Johnny Cash Medley and Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen. 

Tickets are $20 at the door or www.CappellaCantorum.org

An additional concert will be held as follows:.

Sunday, July 9,
3 p.m.

Trinity Lutheran Church, 109 Main St., Centerbrook,
This performance will be followed by a reception.
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Lyme DTC to Interview Candidates for Probate Court Judge Tonight

Lyme Town Hall

In preparation for a special election to be held this November, the Lyme Democratic Town Committee has announced it will be interviewing four Democratic candidates for the soon-to-be-vacant position of probate court judge on Thursday, June 22, at 8 p.m. in the Lyme Town Hall, during the committee’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting.

The public is invited to attend the meeting and listen to the candidates’ presentations and responses. The four probate judge candidates, who will speak at the meeting are James Carey, Sean Donlan, Jeannine Lewis and Steven Sheehan. Each will deliver a five-minute presentation on their qualifications, then respond to questions from members of the Town Committee during a brief Q & A period.

Probate judges handle such important matters as estates, trusts, adoptions, name changes, and the termination of parental rights and conservatorships, among others.  All candidates for the position must be members of the Connecticut bar. The probate court for the district in which Lyme falls is located in Old Saybrook and, in addition to Lyme, serves the towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

Terrance Lomme, the current probate judge for the district, is retiring on July 18, 2017.

The four candidates have made – or will be making – similar appearances before other Democratic Town Committees in the district.  Each committee will send delegates to a nominating convention to vote for the candidate of their committee’s choice.  At this convention, the official candidate of the Democratic party will be selected and announced.  The candidate from the nominating convention will go on to compete in a primary on September 12 – if there are other Democratic contenders for the position (who may enter the election by collecting signatures in a petition drive).  The winner of the Democratic primary will then go on to face Republican and other challengers in the special election.

The special election for the probate judge seat will be held Tuesday, November 7.  Whoever wins the election will serve the remainder of Judge Lomme’s term, which ends Jan. 9, 2019.

The Lyme Democratic Committee’s mission is to support and strengthen the Democratic Party in the Town of Lyme and the State of Connecticut.  The committee meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyme Town Hall. These meetings are open to the public and all registered Democrats are encouraged to attend.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber to Present Scholarships to Local Students at Annual Dinner Meeting Tonight

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual meeting this Wednesday, June 21, at the Old Lyme Country Club.  Cocktails (self-pay) start at 6 p.m. and the dinner at 7 p.m.  All are welcome.

The Chamber will present its Business Leadership Scholarship award during the evening and also honor all the students who have won the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Rutherford Sheffield “Business Student of the Month” award during the school year.

The Chamber will also review its achievements over the past year and look forward to the new year with the appointment of new officers. There will also be plenty of opportunity for business networking.

Admission to the meeting, which includes a three-course dinner, is $25.00 in advance or $27.50 at the door.  Register at this link.

 

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Old Lyme Historical Society Honors Special Member, Retiring Board Members; Presents Scholarship

The Grange Hall on Lyme Street is home to the Old Lyme Historical Society.

The Old Lyme Historical Society, Inc., (OLHSI) at its annual meeting on June 12, recognized the following people:  departing Board members:  Julia Griswold, Dolores Green, Sheila Wertheimer, Martha Hansen, Jennifer Hillhouse and Tim Griswold.

Martha Hansen was recognized for her many years of service to the Board as secretary and webmaster.

Jennifer Hillhouse and Tim Griswold, founding members of the Society, were honored for their 12 years of service to the Board, Griswold having served as Co-Chairman for five years during which time he spearheaded the campaign to purchase and fund the former Grange building on Lyme Street.

The Old Lyme Historical Society Annual Meeting was held on June 12, 2017 at 55 Lyme Street. The Society elected its 2017-2018 officers (shown from left): Mark Lander, Co-Chairman, Andi Williams, Secretary, Ned Farman, Co-Chairman and Ann Marie Jewett, Treasurer.

New Board members were welcomed: Sandy Downing, Andi Williams, Nick Westbrook, Matt LaConti, John Pote and Mark Terwilliger. Officers for the upcoming year were announced: Co-Chairmen: Ned Farman and Mark Lander, Secretary: Andi Williams and Treasurer: Ann Marie Jewett.

This years OLHSI Carol Noyes Winters Scholarship recipient was Lyme- Old Lyme High School senior Rose Datum. Shown with recipient Rose Datum are her parents Michael and Jennifer Datum, Rose’s sister Chloe and OLHSI Scholarship Committee member Kevin Cole.

The Carol Noyes Winters Scholarship was awarded to Lyme-Old Lyme High School Senior Rose Datum, who will attend UConn.

This years OLHSI James Brewster Noyes Award recipient was Architect Stephen Joncus. This award honors a Society member who goes “above and beyond” in time and effort to support the Society. Shown from left are Architect Stephen Joncus and board members Martha Hansen and Mark Lander.

The James Brewster Noyes (Chairmen’s) Award was given to Society member Steve Joncus is recognition of his efforts on behalf of the remodeling of the Society Building and his work with the Tuesday Morning Work Crew.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Graduates Told, “Go Off … Save the World,’ But Know, ‘Old Lyme Will Forever Welcome You Home’

The traditional cap toss rounded off a special evening celebrating the Class of 2017.

It was a truly beautiful June evening last Thursday as 118 students received their high school diplomas along with the privilege of calling themselves alumni of Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS.) Principal James Wygonik, class advisor Brett Eckhart, and four empowering students reflected in different ways on the class’s past four years at LOLHS.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Principle Jim Wygonik told the Class of 2017 they had made the school “An even better place.”

Wygonik recalled the Class of 2017 as one never to be put down nor to sidestep a challenge. He described how, when told that public prom proposals would no longer be permitted this year as in some cases they could be upsetting, the class dutifully complied on the personal level, but, on the group level, took matters into their own hands. In a very public event, a large group of class members proceeded to invite him to the prom!  Wygonik said that inspired response demonstrated, “The culture you have fostered,” and as a result, that day, “Our school became an even better place.”

Class of 2017 Adviser Brett Eckart proudly wears the Class of 2017 pin with which he displaced the one for the Class of 2005.

Brett Eckart, who served as Class of 2017 Adviser and is a social studies teacher at the high school, used a multiplicity of props to enhance his speech to the class.  He confessed that he knew this class was tired of hearing about the “Great Class of 2005,” which he had always regarded as the ultimate class in terms of their character and achievements.  He duly placed a large 2005 pin on his gown to remind them of that fact one last time.

Lauren Quaratella stands with a fellow graduate, whom she first met at Lad & Lassie Pre-School.

But by the end of his speech, after describing some of the many memorable times he had shared with the Class of 2017, he reached down into the podium, pulled out something and then proceeded to stick an even larger 2017 pin over the 2005 one to indicate how this class has now risen to prominence in his mind over that of 2005.  Eckart also reminded the class not always to focus on their destination but to savor the journey along the route.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent ian Neviaser, Board of Education Chairman Mimi Roche and Board of Education member Nancy Edson share a smile after the ceremony.

Class President Callie Kotzan opened the ceremony by saying goodbye to all things about high school that will be missed, both important and unimportant. She formally gave her last goodbye to the Class of 2017 and encouraged her classmates to hold on to that inner child, despite all of the changing that comes with growing up, saying, “As we go off into the rest of our lives I encourage you to find the beauty, and although we are growing up it does not mean we must lose our passion and excitement for life.”

Twins Maggie and Abbie Berger celebrate their graduation.

Honor Essayist Rachel Hayward used the children’s book, Oh the Places You’ll Go, by Doctor Seuss to highlight the accomplishments she and her classmates have made, and the endless opportunity that awaits the class in the future. Quoting Seuss’s famous words, she told her classmates, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose,”  …  and the direction Hayward has chosen for herself in the autumn is Lafayette College, Pa.

Salutatorian Laura Wayland steps down from the podium after giving her speech.

Salutatorian Laura Wayland, who is headed to Yale University in the fall, compared the hard work, pain and accomplishments she had experienced as a dancer, to those she had endured and achieved as a student. She encouraged her fellow classmates never to forget the hard work needed to find blissful happiness in life, advising them to, “Let those passions guide you, and ground you, in the complex dance that is life, and then noting optimistically, “As long as you continue to follow your passions, and follow your dreams, you will be able to accomplish anything.”

Valedictorian Natalie Rugg smiles after giving an emotional, stirring speech.

Valedictorian Natalie Rugg opened her speech by thanking her family, friends and teachers, “who have supported and inspired me through the past 18 years,” saying, “I would not be the person I am today without you all.” Then she addressed her classmates, declaring, “We all have bright futures ahead of us. With the unmatched education that Region 18 and Lyme-Old Lyme High School have offered us, we have a breadth of tools at our disposal.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education members, administrators, faculty and seniors file into the Thursday evening’s graduation ceremony led by the Class Marshals.

Rugg continued by recognizing the beauty and intimacy of the town of Old Lyme and encouraged her peers never to forget the town from which they came.  As the daughter of a career submariner, Rugg commented, “My hometown could have been anywhere: Guam, Hawaii, California. But I ended up growing up here in Old Lyme.” Noting that, “The beaches may not be as beautiful as those in Guam,” and “the weather isn’t as predictable as California,” she stated proudly, “Out of all the places in the world, I would not have rather grown up anywhere else than in Old Lyme.”

Celebrating a certain graduate with a special sound.

Rugg elaborated noting, “Yes, Old Lyme is small, but it’s also a beautiful, tight-knit community,” adding, “I realized that this place, this is my hometown.” and stating unequivocally, “When I’m in Providence next year {Rugg will be attending Brown University in the fall], I’ll introduce myself as growing up in Old Lyme, and one day I’ll bring my children here and show them around, just as my parents did for me.”

The LOLHS Chorus sang ‘Unwritten’ under the direction of Chorus Director Kristine Pekar.

Looking out over the “sea of seniors,” an emotional Rugg gathered her composure and said firmly, “And, my classmates, this is your hometown, too. Even when we’re taking on the world, we’ll still have Old Lyme to keep us together.” Fighting back tears, Rugg took another long pause and then concluded, “Though we will soon be going off to save the world, remember that Old Lyme will forever welcome you home. Reserve this one day to revel together and embrace the place that has made you the brilliant person you are now.” 

Mildred Sanford Outstanding Educator Award winner Jon Goss chats with a graduate after the ceremony.

Continuing a privilege afforded to the senior graduating class, officers of the Class of 2017 then presented the Outstanding Educator Award in memory of Mildred Sanford to the faculty member selected by their class, Technical Education teacher Jonathan Goss.

Jay Wilson conducts the LOLHS band playing Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance.’

After the distribution of diplomas, the newly-pronounced alumni threw their caps high into the air in the traditional, celebratory hat toss, the band struck up the Sine Nomine Ceremonial March in a British Style by Ralph Vaughn-Williams and the graduates marched out into the arms of awaiting friends and family to celebrate their success.  

The LOLHS Chorus led the singing of the school’s Alma Mater.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

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Ivoryton Playhouse Presents Dinner-Cabaret, ‘A Night on the Town,’ at ‘Water’s Edge,’ June 25

AREAWIDE — Ivoryton Playhouse, in a new partnership with Water’s Edge Resort,  will present a series of eight cabaret-style dinner theatre performances beginning Sunday, June 11, written for and performed exclusively at Water’s Edge.  This original series will showcase the professional talent of Ivoryton Playhouse performers and musicians in four unique events.

This original series of four uniquely themed productions celebrate a broad array of musical styles and genres:

Great Balls of Fire:
Sunday, June 11, and Sunday, June 18
‘50s Rock N’ Roll and so much more.

A Night on the Town:
Sunday, June 25 and Sunday, July 9
Featuring the musical inspiration of New York City.

That’s Amore:
Sunday, July 16 and Sunday, July 23
Favorites from opera and musical theatre celebrating all things Italian.

Sounds of the ‘70s:
Sunday, July 30 and Sunday, Aug. 13
Hits from the disco era.

Carly Callahan. Photograph courtesy of Carly Callahan

Each evening will feature a professional cast of performers, in addition to a trio led by Music Director, Eric Trudel and directed by Carly Callahan.

Cast members include Marsha Ackerman, Schuyler Beeman, Carly Callahan, Billy DiCrosta, Amy Maude Helfer, Kate Hubbard, Emily Johnson, Mia Pinero, Jorge Prego, Michael Scarcelle and Charlie Widmer.

“We have put together some great talent for these evenings, including cast members from our season, to bring the Water’s Edge audience a night of entertainment that they won’t forget,” said Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director of Ivoryton Playhouse.

Water’s Edge, previously known as Bill Hahn’s Hotel, was an entertainment destination in the 1940s and 50s and featured both up-and-coming singers and stars such as Henry Youngman, Art Carney and Barbra Streisand.  “We’re thrilled to revive the wonderful provenance of this resort, and look forward to entertaining a new audience inspired by Bill Hahn’s delightful evenings here decades ago”, said Hubbard.

Tickets are $69 per person, including dinner and the show, and can be purchased by calling Water’s Edge Resort at 860-399-5901.  Tickets are not available through the Ivoryton Playhouse website or theatre box office.

For more information, visit watersedgeresortandspa.com.

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Glenn Close to Receive 2nd Annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award at Annual Gala, Aug. 26


OLD SAYBROOK —
Acclaimed actress Glenn Close has been named the recipient of the 2nd annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award. The award, given by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, is bestowed yearly upon an individual who embodies the spirit, independence, and character of the legendary actress.

The award will be presented to Close at the organization’s annual Summer Gala on Saturday, Aug. 26.

Close has been nominated for six Academy Awards, won three Tonys and three Emmys, and advocates for mental health issues.  She made her feature film debut in The World According to Garp, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She was subsequently Oscar-nominated for The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons and Albert Nobbs.  For the latter, she was also a producer, co-wrote the screenplay and composed the lyrics for the Golden Globe nominated theme song, “Lay Your Head Down.”

Close won two consecutive Emmys along with a Golden Globe Award, and three SAG nominations for her portrayal of ‘Patty Hewes’ on Damages. She won a third Emmy for her title role performance in Serving in Silence: the Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (for which she also received a Peabody Award as executive producer).

In 1974, Close made her professional, theatre, and Broadway debut in The Phoenix Theatre’s Love for Love, directed by Harold Prince. Over her forty-three year career, she has always returned to the theater, receiving Tony Awards for Death and the Maiden, The Real Thing and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, as well as an Obie Award for The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs. Last spring, Close made her London-West End debut in a new production of Sunset Boulevard, for which she won a London Evening Standard Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award. She is presently starring, to great acclaim, in that same production, on Broadway.

Close’s decision to join the acting profession in part stems from viewing one of the most famous and first ever television interviews with Katharine Hepburn, conducted by Dick Cavett, the inaugural Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award Winner.  Hepburn became an inspiration to Close and Hepburn welcomed this role, finding small ways to support Close through communications and appearances at events honoring Close.

The Aug. 26 Gala at the Kate will take place on the historic Old Saybrook Town Green. The event begins at 6 pm with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails under the tent.  Dinner and dessert by Max Catering will be complemented by live and silent auctions as well as remarks celebrating Close and another tremendous year of arts and culture at “The Kate.“ The Kate will then turn the party up a notch, filling the dance floor with current tunes and crowd favorites and dancers/instructors from the Fred Astaire – Old Saybrook Dance Studio will perform and join the party.

During the event, Close will receive the award, a graceful statuette sculpted in the likeness of Hepburn by Kimberly Monson, an artist and faculty member of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

Numerous sponsorship levels are available, which include a variety of benefits, visibility, and the possibility to meet and greet with Close. The event’s top sponsor may participate in the awarding of the Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award to Close.

Visit http://thekate.org/events/2017KateGala/ for sponsorship details or to purchase tickets.  For more information contact Dana Foster at dana.foster@thekate.org

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

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‘Art in the Barn 2017’ Continues Today, Saturday in Lyme

‘Old Lyme Fish Market’ by Angie Falstrom.

On Thursday, June 15, the barn at 11 Sterling City Rd. in Lyme will open its doors to friends of local artists and artisans.

Birdhouse by Ben Kegley.

‘Rose Hips’ by Jodi Muench.

Works for sale will include Seana Bill’s handmade, one-of-a-kind wood furniture and accessories, Jodi Muench’s botanical watercolors, Ben Kegley’s rustic, whimsical cedar birdhouses, and Angie Falstrom’s miniature watercolors of local scenes.

Oak and steel coffee table by Seana Bill.

Logo for the Barn Show (copyright Angie Falstrom).

The show opens June 15, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., and continues on Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

No parking is available on site.  Visitors to the show are asked to park on Sterling City Rd. or on the lawn of the First Congregational Church of Lyme.
For further information, call 860-434-3194.
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Volunteers Needed to Control Invasive Plant in Local Rivers, Reserve an Informational Talk at Your Club/Organization

Water chestnut is an invasive plant that is easy for volunteers to remove & keep under control. Join CRC for upcoming volunteer events to learn about & remove this invasive plant.

There is an emerging threat to the Connecticut River and the waters within its basin that any boater, paddler, angler or property manager can help control. European water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aquatic invasive plant that spreads rapidly, covering bodies of water with dense foliage impeding recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC), formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council, is hosting a variety of opportunities this summer for residents to learn more and help remove this threat.

Quick and thorough action must be taken to prevent this plant from taking over because water chestnut reproduces exponentially. “The good news is that this plant is easy to identify, it reproduces only by seed, and pulls up easily,” notes Alicea Charamut, River Steward for the Connecticut River Conservancy.

She continues, “It can be managed by trained volunteers. For small to moderate infestations, no chemicals or equipment are needed other than willing volunteers in canoes, kayaks, and shallow draft boats. This work offers an opportunity for those of us who love our rivers, lakes and ponds to give back to them in a fun and easy way.”

There are two opportunities to learn to identify and report the plants. CRC hosted an information session at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex on Tuesday, June 13, and will do so again at LL Bean at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor on Friday, June 19. Both events are at 6:30 p.m. There will be a brief presentation, live plants on display, and plenty of time for questions.

Charamut is also available to give talks to groups within the Connecticut River watershed, who want to bring this information to their organization or club.

Paddlers and boaters can also help CRC manage known infestations. Five hand-pulling events are already scheduled for the floating meadows of the Mattabesset River in Middletown and Keeney Cove in Glastonbury in June and July with more to be scheduled as new infestations are reported. The work is fairly easy, a little dirty and very rewarding. Supplies are provided. Those who wish to attend need only bring their boat and PFD.

In addition, CRC is coordinating a River Sweep of the Connecticut River, its coves and ponds to scout for this invasive plant. “Because the seeds from these plants can last for up to twelve years, knowing where these plants have been found is crucial. In order to effectively control the spread of these plants we must monitor locations where they have been found each year and have as many eyes on the water as possible.” Paddling and boating groups can adopt a section of the river to scout for plants on or around Saturday, June 24.

“It will take a community of those who care coming together to help control this plant,” says Charamut. The Connecticut River Conservancy joins many partners in the effort to control water chestnut in the Connecticut River watershed. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments, Jonah Center for Earth and Art, Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station are all active participants working to help control this aquatic invasive plant.

More groups are encouraged to join the effort. Much of the work in the lower Connecticut River Valley here in Connecticut is possible thanks to a generous grant from the Rockfall Foundation.

For more information about education and volunteer opportunities to help control European water chestnut, visit www.ctriver.org/get-involved or contact Alicea Charamut at acharamut@ctriver.org.

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Reemsnyder, Nosal Seeking Re-election to Old Lyme’s Board of Selectmen in November

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, a Democrat, plans to run again in November for the position she has held for the past five and a half years.

In an exclusive interview with LymeLine.com, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (D) has announced her intention to run for a fourth term in November of this year along with fellow incumbent Democratic Selectwoman MaryJo Nosal, with whom she has campaigned successfully for the past three elections.

Reemsnyder told LymeLine.com that she felt she and Nosal together had accomplished a great deal during their tenure by focusing on four broad areas of action.  These were, firstly, projects, which she described as, “Getting things done;” secondly, setting up systems “that will continue on after our tenure,”in a wide variety of areas; thirdly, “support initiatives that add to the quality of life for everyone in Old Lyme;” and finally, “improving customer advocacy and support.”

Democrat MaryJo Nosal will run again in November for the position of Old Lyme Selectwoman.

Reemsnyder went on to give detailed examples of activities she and Nosal had successfully completed under each heading.  In the ‘Projects’ category, she mentioned the Rogers Lake Dam and associated fish ladder, closure of the Town’s landfill, improvements at Sound View including new sidewalks, ADA crosswalks, paving, and parking payment kiosks, and the rebuilding of the Fred Emerson Boathouse at Hains Park.  She noted that the Sound View Improvements Project was 80 percent funded by a federal grant and the boathouse project 50 percent funded by a STEAP grant.

Under the systems heading, Reemsnyder highlighted how the introduction of centralized purchasing in town hall and enhanced cleaning schedule of town buildings had improved service without raising costs.  She also noted that maintenance improvements have resulting in the hiring of a Facilities Manager, who oversees a regular maintenance schedule on all town buildings and improvements in the grounds around town hall. The introduction of new technology under Reemsnyder’s watch has allowed online permit processing for land use permits, including building, zoning, fire marshal and possibly, in the future, health.

In terms of quality of life projects, Reemsnyder cited Lymes’ Senior Center improvements that have resulted in the hiring of a full time Senior Center Director and increased usage of the facility each year by seniors in Lyme and Old Lyme.  She also mentioned the installation of art displays in town hall, the introduction of a ‘No Smoking’ policy in town buildings and beaches, the increased use of town hall space for community meetings, and the establishment of the Rogers Lake Weeds Committee.

Finally, in the improving customer advocacy and support category, Reemsnyder listed some of her and Nosal’s achievements as the increase in the Town’s surplus from 16 to 23 percent, an improvement in work relations with both the Town of Lyme and Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, the establishment of two special funds — one for road improvements and the second for town buildings — to plan for the future maintenance and unexpected costs, and finally the vigorous opposition to the proposed high-speed rail bypass through Old Lyme.

Asked why she was running again, Reemsnyder said there are still a number of projects in the works that she and Nosal, “want to see through.” She said these include the Academy Lane Fire Dock, Sound View improvements, wastewater management in Sound View, the Mile Creek bridge and the LED street-lighting project.

Reemsnyder continued, “I think I have been very pro-active for people,” commenting, “I have been very communicative,” before adding, “When people call, I try to respond as soon as possible.”

And then she concluded cheerfully, “And most important, I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve really enjoyed serving the people of Old Lyme.”

Editor’s Note: It should be noted that Reemsnyder supplied us with a lengthy list of her administration’s achievements, but we were only able to include a selection of them in this article.

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Local Resident Caius Mergy Graduates from Middlebury College

Caius Mergy after his graduation from Middlebury College.

Caius Mergy, son of Michele and Lee Mergy of Old Lyme, Conn., received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics from Middlebury College on Sunday, May 28.  Caius graduated summa cum laude and also received Honors from the Department of Classics. 

In addition, Caius was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, America’s most prestigious academic honor society, to which about one college senior in 100 nationwide is invited to join annually.

Middlebury College President Laurie L Patton presided over the ceremony and conferred degrees on the 552 graduating seniors. Each graduate also received the traditional Middlebury cane, a replica of the one used by Gamaliel Painter, one of the college’s leading founders. 

Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, gave a 20-minute Commencement address.

In the Fall, Caius will be attending Oxford University in England, where he will be pursuing a Master of Philosophy degree in Classical Archaeology, where he plans to focus on Ancient Greece. 

Prior to moving to England, Caius will spend this summer working at a new archaeological excavation of a religious sanctuary on a small island off the coast from Athens, Greece.

Founded in 1800, Middlebury is a top-tier liberal arts college located in the Champlain Valley of central Vermont. Middlebury offers a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that is particularly strong in environmental studies, international studies, languages, sciences, and literature. The college’s undergraduate enrollment is about 2,500.

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Ventola Named New Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Assistant Principal

The new assistant principal of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, Noah Ventola

The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools have announced the appointment of Noah Ventola as the next Assistant Principal of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School. Ventola will begin his new position on July 1.

Ventola joins the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools after serving the East Haddam Schools as a social studies teacher, assistant principal, and department chair as well as chair of the Curriculum Council. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont and holds advanced degrees from both Eastern Connecticut State University and Southern Connecticut State University.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “Noah really impressed the interview committee with his passion for student engagement and learning. His extensive knowledge of curriculum and instruction combined with his even-keeled demeanor and practical approach to problem solving will serve him well in his new role.”  Neviaser continued, “Noah comes highly recommended by his colleagues, and we look forward to the partnership between Noah and our new principal, Mark Ambruso. We are excited to welcome this new team to our district.”

Ventola also has previous experience in the Region #8 Schools as a social studies teacher. He lives in Durham with his wife and children.

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SummerSing Mozart’s Requiem This Evening, All Welcome

Summer Sing Mozart’s “Requiem” this evening at 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Road, Old Saybrook. This session will be conducted by Rachael Allen of Westbrook High School. All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work. Professional soloists often participate.

The event is co-sponsored by Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio. A $10 fee covers the costs of the event. Scores will be available, and the church is air-conditioned.

The next Summer Sing on Monday, June 19, will be conducted by Barry Asch of Cappella Cantorum directing the Lord Nelson Mass, by Haydn.

For more information call (860) 767-9409 or (203) 530-0002   or visit www.cappellacantorum.org or www.conbrio.org

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