May 20, 2018

Florence Griswold Museum Hosts Plant Sale Today

Today, Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., join the Florence Griswold Museum’s Garden Gang at the Museum for a sale of beautiful plants and garden specimens, featuring heirloom perennials, roses, herbs, and succulents.

Purchase lovely plants and support the Museum’s garden projects.


Old Lyme to Hold Annual Budget Meeting, Monday

The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen will host the Annual Budget Meeting on Monday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium at 18, Lyme Street in Old Lyme.  Agenda items, which may be voted on at the meeting, include:

  • The adoption of the budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, as recommended by the Old Lyme Board of Finance.
  • A proposal that taxes in the Town of Old Lyme on Real Property and Personal Property will be paid in two equal semi-annual installments with the first payment due on July 1, of this year and the second payment due on Jan. 1, 2019.  Any taxes of less than $100 for the year will be due in one payment on July 1, of this year and any taxes in any amount owed for vehicles will be due in one payment on Jan. 1, 2019.
  • A proposal that the Old Lyme First Selectwoman is authorized to execute the “Old Lyme Fire Department, Inc. And Old Lyme South End Volunteer Ambulance Association, Inc. Retirement Plan,” amended and restated effective Jan. 1, 2018 (“Plan”), and the “Amended And Restated Trust Agreement For The Old Lyme Fire Department Inc. And Old Lyme South End Volunteer Ambulance Association, Inc. Retirement Plan” (“Trust”). This proposal also authorizes the First Selectwoman, the Board of Selectmen and the Town of Old Lyme and/or their respective designees, without need for additional approval by the Town Meeting, to exercise all rights and perform all duties given them by the Plan and the Trust, including:
    • appointment of a Pension Committee and of a Trustee(s),
    • making of agreements with the trustee(s),
    • making of amendments to the Plan and/or to the Trust and any agreements made in relation thereto.
  • A proposal that the sum of $80,000 should be appropriated for use by the board of selectmen to pay expenses incurred by the Town as a result of the need to amend and restate the Plan and create the Trust (as defined above.)

OLRA/Blood Street Sculls Hosts National ‘Learn to Row Day’ in Old Lyme, June 2

Looking for an excuse to escape the gym and spend time outdoors? Head to Rogers Lake in Old Lyme on Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., when the Old Lyme Rowing Association/Blood Street Sculls will be hosting National Learn to Row Day at their new boathouse at Hains Park.

On this day, more than 75 rowing clubs around the country will open their doors to the public and offer an introduction to the sport of rowing. Learn to Row Day events are not only an ideal opportunity for someone who’s curious about the sport to give it a try, but this regional event is also a chance to build friendships and social networks. Activities vary from club to club, but the day generally includes introductory coaching of the fundamentals of the stroke and basic drills used to coordinate movement.

Organized by USRowing, the national governing body for the sport, National Learn to Row Day is a chance to meet people that will serve as mentors in a fun, pressure-free environment.

Getting in shape, trying something new, enjoying the outdoors or meeting new people in the community – whatever the reason, learning about the sport of rowing can be an unforgettable experience and have the potential to be a life-long endeavor. The organizers note, “Learn to Row Day is a wonderful opportunity to see first-hand what rowing is all about. It’s a great low-impact sport for people of all ages, and all abilities, from those rowing for the first time, to highly skilled rowers.”

For more information, visit and/or or email

Register online for Learn to Row Day at this link.


Lyme Land Trust Hosts CT Trails Day Walk, June 2

This photo shows an example of young successional forest in Lyme. Photo by Wendy Hill.

The Lyme Land Trust will host a walk to celebrate CT Trails Day on Saturday, June 2, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The location will be Lyme Land Trust’s Slawson Preserve, Nehantic State Forest and adjacent properties in Lyme, Conn.  The focus of the walk will be the Bunny Habitat Restoration Project Phase 2.

Lisa Wahle, the “Bunny Lady” and young forest habitat restoration specialist; Mark LaCasse, Master Wildlife Conservationist; and Emery Gluck, CT DEEP Division of Forestry, will lead a walk to explore Phase 2 of the ongoing process to improve the land for the benefit of the threatened New England cottontail rabbit and other species that depend upon young forests.

On last year’s walk, the results of Phase 1 were seen:- the vegetation regrowth on 25 acres of private property adjacent to the preserve that had been cleared of mature trees several years ago.

In the fall of 2017, the Land Trust began Phase 2: the harvest of trees from the Slawson Preserve.

The Land Trust, private landowners, and the State have agreed to harvest mature trees over a 6- to 10-year period to create an environment that is suitable for species that live in a young forest environment. As the cleared areas grow back, it will create the desirable brushy environment where the bunnies find food and protection from predators.

Staggering the treatments will ensure that this successional habitat is available for a longer time. This process is beneficial to more than 50 species of greatest conservation need including prairie warbler, ruffed grouse, indigo bunting, American woodcock, wood turtle, and blue spotted salamander.

Reservations are recommended though not required.  For further information or to reserve your place, email

Rain cancels.

Parking is available at 435 Hamburg Rd (Rte 156), Lyme, CT. Follow the dirt driveway to the parking area. Permission has been given to park at the end of this long, private driveway for this special event only. No dogs please.


Lyme Holds Annual Budget Meeting Tonight

9:28am Update: Meeting Date Corrected — The Town of Lyme will hold its Annual Budget Meeting tomorrow evening, Thursday, May 17, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Lyme Town Hall at 480 Hamburg Rd.  The agenda includes the following items:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of the Town of Lyme Annual report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2017.
  2. Acceptance of the Emerson Cemetery property from the Jewett family to the Town of Lyme.
  3. Consider and approve the Town joining an approved Connecticut Health Department or approved Connecticut Health District.
  4. Consider and repeal of the 1968 ordinance relating to Public Health in the Town of Lyme.
  5. Consider and act on estimates and recommendations of the Board of Finance for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2019.

There are expected to be several votes during the meeting.  All residents and citizens qualified to vote in a Town Meeting must be present if they wish to vote.


University of New Haven Announces $1.1 Million Bequest from Diana Atwood Johnson to Lyme Academy

The late Diana Atwood Johnson.

The University of New Haven announced yesterday that Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, one of the University’s six colleges, has received a $1.1 million bequest from the estate of Diana Atwood Johnson, a longtime benefactor.

The gift will support three initiatives:

  • The Sill House, a historic building encompassing studio space, the Lyme archives, and the Sill House Gallery, will receive $500,000.
  • An additional $500,000 will go toward scholarships that benefit minority students.
  • The remaining $100,000 will support the Diana Atwood Johnson Leadership Award, presented annually to a senior at Lyme who shows great promise and exemplifies the values of the institution.

Atwood Johnson, who died in January, served on Lyme’s Board of Trustees. As chair, she was the driving force in helping Lyme earn its initial accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and she played a key role in initiating the affiliation that made Lyme the University of New Haven’s fifth college.

“Diana Atwood Johnson was a pillar in our community and involved in every element of Lyme over the past three decades,” said Todd Jokl, dean of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. “Her generosity over those decades in both her leadership and her generous financial contributions will enable us to provide support for our diverse student body, attract the strongest art students to Lyme, and continue to support our campus buildings. Most of all, Diana leaves a legacy that will remain a strong part of this institution in perpetuity.”

In addition to this donation, Lyme has received nearly $3 million in gifts in the past five months as part of its capital campaign.

Founded in 1976 in scenic Old Lyme, Conn., Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is a community of emerging and established artists.

Its Bachelor of Fine Arts program offers drawing, illustration, painting, and sculpture, attracting some of the brightest and most talented artists from around the world. Offering one of the most immersive fine arts educations available, Lyme students grow individually through intensive engagement with their craft and lively, profound exchanges of ideas and work.

For more information, visit

The University of New Haven, founded on the Yale campus in 1920, is a private, coeducational university situated on the coast of southern New England. It’s a diverse and vibrant community of more than 7,000 students, with campuses around the country and around the world.

Within its five colleges, students immerse themselves in a transformative, career-focused education across the liberal arts and sciences, fine arts, business, engineering, and public safety and public service. More than 100 academic programs are offered, all grounded in a long-standing commitment to collaborative, interdisciplinary, project-based learning.

For more information, visit


District 18 Budget Passes Easily in Both Towns

Voters approved the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools proposed $33.3 million budget by a substantial margin in both Lyme and Old Lyme.  In Lyme, there were 141 Yes votes and 21 No votes while in Old Lyme, 267 residents voted Yes and 90 voted NO.

The total number of votes across both towns supporting the budget was 408 while a total of 111 rejected it, which represents a 78.6 percent majority in favor of the budget and 21.4 percent voting against it.

Ian Neviaser, Superintendent of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, stated via e-mail, “We appreciate the continued support of both towns and will continue to work to provide a top notch educational experience for all the students in our district.”

Turnout was exceptionally low in both towns.  In Old Lyme, where there are 5,639 registered voters according to the Democrat Deputy Registrar of Voters Sylvia Peterson, a total of 6.33 percent of registered voters turned out to vote.

The now approved budget for the 2018-19 school year is $34,298,528 representing a 1.97 percent increase over the current year.

Neviaser and LOL Schools Board of Education Chair Mimi Roche stated in the March Focus on Education newsletter to the community that this budget allows for a significant increase in the cost of employee health insurance, “… yet continues to maintain all of our award-winning academic and extracurricular offerings, which are commensurate, and oftentimes superior, to both public and private schools throughout Connecticut.”

Neviaser and Roche said, “This budget supports our commitment to:

  • Continued adherence to class size guidelines. •
  • Reduction of staff to account for an enrollment decline at the elementary and middle school levels. •
  • Continuance of existing academic and extracurricular activities. •
  • Adjustments for anticipated changes in the special education population. •
  • Adequate funding for maintenance and repair of buildings and grounds. •
  • Scheduled replacement of technology and equipment. •
  • Program improvements that are consistent with high academic and operational standards.

Three facilities projects are included in the budget:

  • gaining commission approvals for an artificial turf field
  • replacing the Center School gymnasium floor
  • replacing the Mile Creek fuel oil tank.

Similarly, two program improvements are included:

  • Next Generation Science Standards curricular support/training
  • technology infrastructure advancements.

For further information on the proposed budget, visit this link for a copy of the 2018-19 budget.


Courtney Comments on Trump’s Decision to Pull Out of Iran Nuclear Deal

Rep. Joe Courtney (D)

Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) made the following statement after President Donald Trump announced he would be unilaterally imposing sanctions on Iran in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:

“Despite repeated confirmation that Iran is following the nuclear deal from UN weapons inspectors on the ground, to the President’s own Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, and our closest allies, President Trump has recklessly decided to pull the U.S. out of the agreement,” said Courtney.

He continued, “This isolates our nation at the very moment we should be rallying international support to denuclearize North Korea. I will support every option possible in Congress to reconstruct and strengthen the progress we have already made toward keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands. Unfortunately, the President has seriously undermined that effort today.”


Completion of Sound View Streetscape Celebrated with Cake, Pizza, Ribbon-Cutting … and Smiles!

First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and Sound View Commission Chairman Frank Pappalardo stand with their ribbon-cutting scissors and symbolic beach construction toys during the celebrations.  Photo by MJ Nosal.

Around 30 people were present yesterday on Hartford Ave. in the Sound View section of Old Lyme to celebrate the completion of the streetscape improvements on Hartford Avenue at Sound View.  The project, for which expenses were refunded up to 80 percent by a federal transportation grant, included new sidewalks, ADA accessible ramps, drainage, a bike lane, bump-outs, decorative posts and paving.

All the members of the Sound View Improvement Committee (SVIC), except Arthur ‘Skip’ Sibley who had a prior engagement, were present.  Chairman Mary Jo Nosal presented each of them — Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, Sound View Commission Chairman and SVIC member FFrank Pappalardo, Angelo Faenza, Jim Lampos, John McDonald and Rob Haramut of RiverCOG — with symbolic beach construction toys.

Old Lyme Selectwoman and Sound View Improvement Committee Chairman Mary Jo Nosal cuts the cake celebrating the completion of the Sound View streetscape.

Other distinguished guests were representatives from the state Department of Transport and the Inspector Engineer from the construction company WMC.

Dee and Jerry Vowles, who are the owners of The Carousel Shop, and Lenny Corto who manages Lenny’s on the Beach, joined a number of other Hartford Ave. residents at the celebrations.

Due to the ongoing threat of rain, after the ceremonial ribbon cutting outside on Hartford Ave., the celebratory speeches and consumption of pizza from Teddy’s and cake had to be relocated to the Shoreline Community Center.  In her speech, Reemsnyder commended Nosal and her committee for their enormous efforts to see the long-awaited project through to completion.




New Interior Design, Home Décor & Antique Store Opens in Old Lyme

Beautiful fabrics, cushions and interior furnishings fill the Artemisia store in Old Lyme.

Artemisia is a new destination shop on Lyme St. behind The Cooley Gallery in Old Lyme specializing in fine textiles, pillows, antiques and decor items for the home from the team of Rosemarie Padovano and Marcello Marvelli. 

Padovano is an artist and interior designer, and Marvelli is an art dealer and art historian from Florence, Italy. Together, they share a mutual love of art and design. They started the Artemisia Inc. in New York City in 2012 and recently moved it to Old Lyme.

The shop will feature a selection of unique objects and furniture that reflect their design sensibilities as well as the sophisticated collection of pillows, placemats, and ottomans that are designed and produced by Artemisia. Featured in all of the most important décor magazines, they are a trusted resource for some of the finest interior designers worldwide.

The Artemisia shop will also feature a collection of antique fabrics (Ikat and Suzani, and European silk velvets) as well as unique antique furniture, lamps, and objects selected with a discerning and fresh eye.

The shop is also the location of Studio Artemisia, a full service interior design firm led by Padovano and Marvelli.  Together they create soulful interiors with a refined and artistic mix of modern and antique furnishings.  Vibrant colors and luxurious fabrics are paired with a cultivated selection of antiques, adding visual excitement and warmth to every project. 

Padovano and Marvelli seek a cultured atmosphere in all they design, honoring both past and present.  They have designed residential interiors for clients in New York City, Westchester County, Miami and Connecticut.

Padovano and Marvelli are restoring a 1755 colonial house and Olmsted Brothers historic garden in Old Lyme.


Annual Elected Artists’s Show on View at Lyme Art Association Through June 8

Cape Cod Bay by Kim Muller-Thym is one of the signature paintings of the LAA Elected Artist’s Show.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, May 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association (LAA) for the ’97th Annual Elected Artists’s Show’ and ‘Contemporary Look.’  This annual showcase features the best new works of art by LAA Elected Artists Members. These artists are professionals of note and significance whose works are known, collected, and exhibited throughout the country, as well as along the Shoreline. 

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment.

Admission is free but a $5 donation is suggested. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme

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


Variety of Drum Circles Offered at Niantic Community Church

An Intergenerational Drum Circle for all ages and abilities takes place at Niantic Community Church, Friday, June 1, 7 to 8 p.m., hand drums and instruments provided or bring your own. The Circle will be facilitated by Kate Lamoureux and is sponsored by Music and Worship Arts and Christian Education.

All are welcome.

A Contemplative Adult Drum Circle takes place the fourth Friday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. at Niantic Community Church, 170 Pennsylvania Ave, Niantic. The next session is May 25th with hand drums and instruments provided or bring your own. No experience necessary and all are welcome.
The Niantic Community Church is located at 170 Pennsylvania Ave., Niantic.
For further information, call 860-739-6208.

9 Town Transit Faces Bus Cuts, Fare Increases; Encourages Users to Express Concerns

9 Town Transit (9TT) is preparing for a 15 percent reduction of state funding beginning July 1, 2018 with a proposal of service cuts and fare increases.  The agency says the reductions are due to the failure of revenue into the state’s Special Transportation Fund to keep up with expenses.

Under the proposal, bus fares would rise from $1.75 to $2 on bus routes and to $4 on Dial-A-Ride.  This would be the second fare increase in 18 months.

The agency is also proposing multiple service reductions.  They include:

  • Elimination of the senior fare subsidy, which would result in seniors paying a fare on all services for the first time in 37 years.
  • Reducing service on Rte. 2 Riverside, which provides service between Chester and Old Saybrook, by eight hours per weekday.
  • Elimination of all Saturday service.
  • Reducing service on Rte. 1 Shoreline Shuttle by three hours per day (7:30 a.m. trip leaving Old Saybrook, 9 a.m. leaving Madison).

9TT is holding the following hearings:

May 1, at 2 p.m. at Deep River Town Hall, 174 Main St, Deep River, CT;
May 2, at 9 a.m. at Clinton Town Hall Green Room, 54 E Main St, Clinton, CT;
May 3, at 5 p.m. at Mulvey Municipal Center (Multi-Media Room), 866 Boston Post Rd, Westbrook, CT regarding the proposed service changes.

Written statements concerning the proposal may be submitted either at the hearing, by email to or mail.

9 Town Transit is encouraging transit users and supporters to let their state representative and senator know how important 9 Town Transit, Shoreline East or other public transit services are to them.

More information about the possible service reductions and ways to help prevent the funding cuts can be found at


Last Day to Order Bulbs for Lyme-Old Lyme HS Class of 2021 Fundraiser

Order this beautiful freesia mix and support thr LOLHS Class of 2021.

The Freshman Class of Lyme-Old Lyme High School is fundraising with Dutch Mill Bulbs this spring. All items are guaranteed to grow and bloom, and the Class earns 50 percent profit on every sale.

Readers can order from one of the members of the freshmen class or make their selections online.

To order online, visit 

Include your payment billing and shipping information, and enter Class of 2021 at Lyme-Old Lyme High School in the Group Name.

Items you select will be sent directly to the shipping address you provide. All orders are shipped after April 1, and can only be shipped to the contiguous United States.

Share this link with friends and family, and on social media.

Place your order by April 13 for check or in person orders, and April 30 for online orders.


Reynolds’ Subaru of Lyme Donates $30,000 to Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center

Pictured above at the check donation ceremony are (from left to right) Joe Altavilla, District Sales Manager, Subaru of New England; Devin Carney, Connecticut State Representative (R-23rd); Kathryn Wayland, Reynolds’ Subaru; Hayden Reynolds, Reynolds’ Subaru; Laura Martino, Middlesex Hospital; Melissa Ziobron, Connecticut State Representative (R-34th); and Justin Drew, Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center.

Reynolds’ Subaru in Lyme has donated $30,000 to Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center’s new Westbrook location. The generous donation will ensure that cancer patients have access to the best possible treatments and care team.

Reynolds’ donation was made following the conclusion of Subaru of America Inc.’s Share the Love campaign. Reynolds’ Subaru and the Reynolds’ family, however, have been supportive of Middlesex Hospital for many years.

“As a local business, we feel it is important to give back to our community,” says Hayden Reynolds. “We believe that having medical care on the shoreline makes it easier for our customers, neighbors and family members to get the care they need. The Cancer Center is a great addition to what Middlesex already offers on the shoreline, and we are so pleased to help the Hospital’s efforts.”

Justin Drew, director of the Cancer Center, is very grateful for the support. “We are humbled by the generosity of Reynolds’ Subaru,” he says. “Their support means that Middlesex Hospital Cancer Center patients can access life-saving cancer treatment closer to home, and we thank them for sharing their love with us.”


Florence Griswold Museum Launches Online Learning Portal for Educators

To engage students about the painting process, a video featuring McKenzie West, an art student at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts was filmed on location at the Museum by the staff of website designer Julia Balfour, LLC.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., has launched SEE/change, an immersive website that will help equip Connecticut elementary educators with new ways to teach a variety of subjects by tapping into the Museum’s content-rich collection of American art. SEE/change offers multiple tools designed to help teachers draw upon a single work of art for meaning on various relevant topics—from state and national history to geography to ecology. SEE/change challenges students to change the way they SEE paintings.

SEE/change was led by the Museum’s Director of Education and Outreach David D.J. Rau who was inspired by the change that is underway in America’s schools. “Connecticut teachers are being called upon to reboot their entire educational approach—moving away from teaching facts and figures towards inquiry-based instruction that encourages students to think critically and with deepening complexity, states Rau.  “It’s our hope that SEE/change helps educators and students see a change in the way they investigate subjects using primary sources and various points of view.”

The project was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It focuses on the Museum’s 1853 painting,Seven Miles to Farmington by Connecticut artist George H. Durrie. The popular genre scene of travelers arriving by sleigh to a rustic country inn on a winter’s day is steeped in historical content.

For over a year, the Museum worked closely with students, educators, and content and curriculum specialists. Staff visited elementary school classrooms to talk about the painting. Students were asked them to describe what they thought was going on in the painting and what kinds of learning activities they would enjoy doing on the computer.

Museum staff sought the council of content and curriculum specialists to develop content that is age-appropriate, applicable to teachers’ needs and concur with specific connections to the state Social Studies Framework. The end result is a dynamic set of web pages designed by Julia Balfour, LLC, that feature visually rich essays about the artist, the painting, the inn in the painting, and the landscape.

Users learn more about the artist, his life in New Haven, and his artistic career. The site features a portfolio of Durrie’s work, a timeline, a visual glossary, and lesson plans. Three engaging videos include a guided tour of the painting, a demonstration featuring Leslie Evans, Director of the Avery-Copp House Museum in Groton, making a pounded cheese from a recipe from the period, and a short painting lesson based on Durrie’s dogs. There is also a fun section of games and learning-to-look activities.

Students can make the scene come alive by pressing buttons that link to things you might hear such as a rooster crowing, crunching snow, or a snoring traveler. Educators praise the learning tool, “SEE/changehas created a stellar one stop workplace for educators to bring their classes to a piece that seamlessly integrates the arts and history, notes Dana Nelson, curriculum team member and 5th Grade Teacher at Tuttle Elementary School in East Haven, Connecticut. “My students can time travel to the 19th century to become one with a painting.”

Although the portal is designed for teachers and students to connect art and history in their classrooms, any virtual visitor can enjoy exploring the mysteries behind this iconic work of American art by logging on to

The recipient of a Trip Advisor 2016 Certificate of Excellence, the Florence Griswold Museum has been called a “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal, and a “must-see” by the Boston Globe. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, the Museum features a gallery for changing art exhibitions, education and landscape centers, a restored artist’s studio, thirteen acres along the Lieutenant River, and extensive gardens. Its seasonal Café Flo was recognized as “best hidden gem” and “best outdoor dining” by Connecticut Magazine.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT.

Visit for more information.


‘Old Lyme Wellness’ Hosts Chamber’s ‘Business After Hours’ This Evening; All Welcome

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce holds its next ‘Business After Hours’ on Thursday, April 26, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Old Lyme Wellness (formerly Healthy Addiction) at 8 Davis Rd., Old Lyme.

Come and network with business colleagues and friends over cocktails and appetizers. Hear the latest news from both the Chamber and our host, Old Lyme Wellness.

At this event, Old Lyme Wellness will present their plans for an expanded Wellness Center and talk about their community-based wellness business.

In addition, Salt Marsh Tours will present their new business operations starting in June for shallow draft boat tours of the Connecticut River Estuary.
Copies of the Chamber’s recently published Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber’s Member Directory and Visitors Guide will be available at the meeting.  All businesses which advertised in the directory are invited to come and pick up their allocation of copies.
Also, if you’re thinking of joining the Chamber, now is the time!  If you’re a new member or a previous member that has let membership lapse for more than year, you are invited to join/re-join.  New memberships paid in April 2018 will run through to June 2019!

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

For more information, visit the Chamber’s website or call 860-237-3707.


Community Barn-Raising Restores Historic Old Lyme Barn

All photos by Tony Lynch.

Back at the start of this month, many locals were sad to see the 300-year-old barn on the corner of Bill Hill Rd. and Burr Rd. on the Lyme-Old Lyme town border being demolished.  But come, Saturday, April 14, joy returned when it was reconstructed in situ by way of a traditional community barn-raising.

The barn, along with two adjacent homes, were built circa 1717 as part of the Pierson farm of roughly 600 acres that straddled what is now the Lyme-Old Lyme border.  Sometime after Old Lyme was incorporated as a separate town from Lyme in 1855, the letter “L” was carved into the north side of the northwest corner of the barn foundation and “OL” was carved into the west side of the corner.  Most of the barn is in the current town of Old Lyme.  The original barn is listed on with an address of 39 Bill Hill Rd, Old Lyme, CT.

The original barn was in danger of collapse when current owners, Enok and Leili Pedersen, recognizing that it was a treasure and local landmark, generously decided to rebuild it.  Brendan Matthews and his crew from The Barn Raisers of East Haddam, using native, rough cut lumber from Thompson Lumber of Hopkinton, Rhode Island, employed original methods to reconstruct the barn. 

The mortise and tenon frame, held together with wooden pegs, was assembled on site and then erected by the professionals and about 30 volunteers from the community and surrounding towns.  Several sections weighed nearly a ton each requiring everyone present to help raise and place them in position.

Matthew’s family was on hand for the event and his father, Gerry, took photos including a time-lapse photo video that can be found on YouTube at

The barn was rebuilt on the original dry stone foundation and several original chestnut beams were incorporated into the new structure.  The barn is very similar to the original in style, dimensions and construction, with the exception of the addition of a cupola and a few interior design modifications to suit the current owners.

Notably, the barn is also the 100th traditional barn to be constructed by Matthews in his 25-year-career.  Owners of previous barn projects joined in to raise this barn, including the owners of barns number 1, 6, 40, 80 and 87.

In the midst of an unusually cold, wet spring, the day of the barn-raising was auspiciously a cloudless, warm day, which made the event all the more enjoyable.  Lunch was provided, and the professionals and volunteers worked together from about 9 a.m. until close to 5 p.m., at which time the frame of the barn was complete and the roof and main floor boards were in place.  A pine bough was fastened to the peak of the roof as a traditional finishing touch. 

At the end of a long but rewarding day, Matthews was presented with a celebratory cake to commemorate his 100th barn-raising and everyone who had participated in the barn-raising happily helped in its consumption.


Social Club for Singles Offers Host of Meet-Up Opportunities

Singles Social Connections is a social club for singles in Connecticut and we have non-profit 501(c) status fromthe IRS.  Our goal is to give singles the opportunity to meet new people, have fun, and network.  We would appreciate thefollowing events being included in the community events calendar.  If you have any questions, please call me.

MAY 11 (Friday)  SINGLES HAPPY HOUR at TJ’s on Cedar Bar and Grill, 14 East Cedar Street, Newington starting at 5 pm.  They have half price appetizers and drink specials from 4-6 pm for us to enjoy.  Come join us after work for a great time and mingle with old and new friends!  There is no charge.  For info, call Gail 860-582-8229.  Sponsored by Singles Social Connections.

MAY 18  (Friday)  SINGLES SWEETHEART DANCE at Nuchie’s Restaurant, 164 Central Street, Bristol from 7 to 11 pm.  We’ll dance the night away to music of DJ Tasteful Productions.  There will be a delicious buffet 7 to 8 pm for you to enjoy.  Bring your friends for a fun night.  Dress to impress and door prizes.  Members $12, Guests $17.  For info, call Gail at 860-582-8229.  Sponsored by Singles Social Connections.

MAY 20  (Sunday)  SINGLES WALK & LUNCH at the lovely Walnut Hill Park, Park Place, New Britain at 11 am.  This is a nice place for a Sunday morning walk.  Afterward, we’ll go nearby for lunch.  Come join us!  No charge for walk.  For info, call Gail 860-582-8229.  Sponsored by Singles Social Connections.

MAY 26  (Saturday)  SINGLES MEMORIAL WEEKEND PICNIC at Gail’s beach cottage, 46 Swan Avenue at Sound View, Old Lyme at 2 pm.  For picnic, bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert, if no food, pay extra $5.  Members $5, Guests $15. To reserve, call Gail in Bristol 860-582-8229 or Old Lyme 860-434-6426.  Sponsored by Singles Social Connections.

JUNE 1  (Friday)  SINGLES HAPPY HOUR at Tuscany Grill, 120 College Street, Middletown starting at 5 pm.  If theweather is nice, we may sit outside on patio.  Come join us after work and mingle with old and new friends!  There is no charge.  For info, call Gail 860-582-8229.  Sponsored by Singles Social Connections.

JUNE 2  (Saturday)  SINGLES VERMONT DAY TRIP to Quechee Antique Mall, Quechee, Vermont.  The mall contains three floors of antiques, Cabot Cheese store with many samples, wine tasting, clothes store, soap store, and bakery.  Nearby there are several restaurants and Quechee Gorge is close by for those who want to walk the trail.  Come join us for a day in Vermont!  For info and to reserve, call Leo at 860-681-6165.  We’ll meet at 8 am across the street from theWest Farms Mall in the Jared Jewelry Store parking lot.  We will go up together in 2 or 3 cars depending on how many come.  Sponsored by Singles Social Connections.

JUNE 9  (Saturday)  SINGLES BLOCK ISLAND DAY TRIP.  Come join us for a fun day and lunch on the island.  We’ll meet in New London at 8 am at the gate for the high-speed ferry, 2 Ferry Street, New London.  It leaves at 8:30 am sharp and we’ll return on the 4:55 pm ferry.  The round trip ticket cost $47.50.  To reserve seat, call ferry at 860-444-4624.  For info, call Gail at 860-582-8229 or 860-434-6426.  Sponsored by Singles Social Connections.

JUNE 15  (Friday)  SINGLES 50’s, 60’s, 70’s DANCE at Nuchie’s Restaurant, 164 Central Street, Bristol from 7 to 11 pm.  Enjoy the sounds of the oldies!  There will be a delicious buffet from 7 to 8 pm to enjoy.  DJ – Tasteful Productions, dress casual, and door prizes.  Member $12, Guests $17.  For info, call Gail 860-582-8229.  Sponsored by Singles Social Connections.

JUNE 24  (Sunday)  SINGLES WALK AND LUNCH at the Farmington Canal Greenway, Mill Street, Southington at 11 am.  An old railroad track was paved to make a delightful walk area. Afterward, we’ll go nearby for lunch.  No charge for walk.  For info, call Gail at 860-582-8229.  Sponsored by Singles Social Connections.


State Rep. Carney Votes in Support of Pay Equity Legislation

State Rep. Devin Carney testifies in the House.

Bill Passes CT House with Bipartisan Support

On Wednesday, April 19, State Representative Devin Carney (R-23), voted in favor of H.B. 5386An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness.

The bill aims to strengthen labor protections for employees in an effort to discourage gender wage discrimination in Connecticut.  The bill would prohibit employees from asking about a prospective employee’s wage history, unless the prospective employee voluntarily discloses the information or the employer is authorized by law to ask.

In Connecticut, the average woman will make $529,000 less in earning over her lifetime than a male and it is estimated that women in Connecticut lose a combined $5.5 billion due to the wage gap.

“There is no justifiable reason why women receive less pay for the same work,” said Rep. Carney. “This proposal aims to eliminate discriminatory hiring practices that still exist and instead seeks to create an equal playing field within the 20thcentury workforce. I am hopeful that this proposal will pass out of the Senate chamber as well.”

Although the law makes changes to the hiring process, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association helped the lawmakers reach the compromise and supports the measure.

H.B. 5386, as amended by LCO 3879, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 142-4-4. After its passage in the House, H.B. 5386 now heads to the State Senate for consideration.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Representative Carney’s office at or 860-240-8700.