May 22, 2017

‘Black and White’ Opens at Cooley Gallery, Saturday

‘Passion fruit’ by Christian Peltenburg Brechneff is featured in the new ‘Black and White’ exhibition opening May 27 at The Cooley Gallery.

There are those days when you think “wouldn’t it be nice if things were just a little simpler?”  Black and White, an exhibition and sale of drawings, paintings and photographs in, you guessed it, black and white opens at The Cooley Gallery May 27 to July 2, with an opening reception on May 27 from 5 to 7 p.m.  The Cooley Gallery has had over 30 years of representing the works of artists who were all about color, intensity, form and interplay but just thought it would look this exhibition a little differently and go back to basics. Real basics.

Black and White is a group show of historic and contemporary paintings, drawings and photographs
all in black and white.

When thinking about black and white it’s easy to go to contrasts: positive and negative, yin and yang, darkness and light. You could argue that the quality of each color’s existence is greatly benefited by the existence of its opposite. You could talk about those opposites attracting or repelling. Whatever your interpretation of the relationship between black and white in an artwork you can’t argue the clarity and simplicity of the pair.  Yes, there are shades of gray which are often integral to a “black and white” composition, but, for this exhibition The Cooley Gallery is making it as plain as “black and white.”

Black and White will include both historic and contemporary works of art. The intimacy and delicacy of drawings are often overlooked by today’s collectors. They are a great way to really get familiar with an artist’s style and sensibility. Drawings and etchings by listed artists from the past can be a great addition to any collection. They are affordable and imminently engaging,” says Jeff Cooley, owner of The Cooley Gallery.  “We have quite a selection in this show of works on paper that reveal artist’s sensibilities in a way oils just can’t.”

Among the historic works there will be drawings by Charles Harold Davis (1856-1933). In his day, Davis was considered among America’s greatest painters. He was the founder of the Mystic Art Association and lived in nearby Noank.  Platt Hubbard (1889-1946) was an artist from Old Lyme who among other things did a series of etchings of trees. Far from “wooden” Platt’s etchings call out the individuality of each of his subjects. Works by the “Father of American Impressionism”, J. Alden Weir (1852-1919) include interiors and portraits in this exhibition. Thomas Nason (1885-1971) was known as the “Poet Engraver of New England”. The etcher and print maker gained wide recognition with his illustrations in “The Wood-Pile: By Robert Frost” a book of poetry by the famous American poet. Nason’s prints embody the moody changes in atmosphere and somber introspection inspired by the New England hills and fields that surrounded him.

Works by contemporary artists will also be included in this exhibition. Well-known photographer Peter Harron who lives and works in Essex has traveled around the world photographing poetic landscapes in black and white.  Miniature landscapes in charcoal by Donna Levinstone will hang alongside paintings by Hartford artist Zbigniew Grzyb. In the award-winning movie, “Like Notes of Music,” Christian Brechneff’s life and art comes to the screen. There are scenes in the film when Christian is free-hand drawing voluptuous flowers in India ink from a glass tube or pipette.  Employing a glass tube to deliver the line on the paper seems an unnecessarily difficult added challenge but Christian’s facility with the medium and the expressiveness he gains illustrate the delicacy and boldness of black defining form. The seemingly random sweeps of black over white by Michael St. Germain belie the discipline they require.

“Black and White” opens May 27th at The Cooley Gallery, 25 Lyme Street in Old Lyme and runs through July 2nd.  Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 12 – 5 and Sunday 12 – 4.  For more information, www.cooleygallery.com or 860-434-8807.  There will be a gallery reception on Saturday, May 27th from 5-7 p.m. The public is welcome.

Founded in 1981 and located in the heart of historic Old Lyme, the Cooley Gallery specializes in fine American paintings from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and select contemporary artists. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 12 to 5pm. Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m. Please call (860) 434-8807 or visit www.cooleygallery.com for additional information. The Cooley Gallery is located at 25 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT 06371.

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Danenhower Read Announces Bid for Old Lyme First Selectwoman in November Election, Kerr to be Running Mate


Judith Danenhower Read

Judith Danenhower Read has announced that she is running for the position of Old Lyme First Selectwoman in the upcoming November 2017 election and Chris Kerr will be joining her in a bid for the post of Old Lyme Selectman.  The Old Lyme Republican Town Committee has not yet made any formal endorsements for the November elections, but Read notes that she and Kerr will be campaigning as Republicans.

In a brief press release, Read says, “Old Lyme needs an effective management / leadership team to run our community. We [Read and Kerr] bring 40 plus years of small business experience and a common sense approach.”

She adds, “We deliver results.  We have good relationships with many groups in our community and are looking forward to building more.”

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Old Lyme Residents Vote on Town Budget Tonight

The Town of Old Lyme holds its Annual Budget Meeting this evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium.  A vote will be taken on the town budget, which includes Old Lyme’s share of the Region 18 school’s budget, which was approved in a referendum on May 2.  The agenda for the meeting is at this link.

There are also board of selectmen meetings in Lyme and Old Lyme at 3:30 and 4 p.m.respectively this afternoon. The agenda for the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen meeting is at this link.

 

 

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Lyme Public Hall Association’s Annual Meeting Features Presentation on Antique Gravestones, Community Potluck Dinner

Join the Lyme Public Hall Association for its Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, for a talk on Cherub Stones of Lyme: 1720 – 1805. Jim Beers, Lyme Public Hall board member, will discuss his research into the itinerant stone carvers who decorated the headstones in the town’s graveyards.

The program is free and open to the public.  Everyone is invited to bring a potluck dish to share.

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

The Lyme Public Hall Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation of Lyme’s history, culture, and community through the preservation and use of the historic hall, its archives and historical programs.

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‘USA and Russia: Is Trust Ever Possible?’ Local Author, Dick Shriver, To Speak at Saint Ann’s Church, June 11

Former US Department of Defense official and Old Lyme resident Dick Shriver will speak at Saint Ann’s, June 11.

Saint Ann’s Church in Old Lyme, Conn., has announced that Dick Shriver, local resident, author, and former U.S. Department of Defense Official, will share remarks and recollections under the title, USA and Russia: Is Trust Ever Possible? based on his global work experience captured in his recently published book, Glimpses of an Uncharted Life (iUniverse Editor’s Choice), at Saint Ann’s Church on Sunday, June 11, at 5 p.m.

A book of reminiscences and reflections, Glimpses of an Uncharted Life, shares what Shriver and his wife, Barbara, gleaned from living overseas for 15 years and what they learned about the life and the people under communism and among countries recovering from the collapse of tyranny.

Shriver will discuss the current relationship between the United States and Russia by drawing reference to his own compelling experiences during the end of The Cold War.  Shriver’s many accomplishments during his time abroad included the creation of a new legal system for Estonia and creating thousands of private sector jobs in an independent Ukraine.  There will be a question-and-answer session after the lecture.

A reception for the author and a book-signing event will follow the presentation in the Griswold Room at saint Ann’s.  Shriver’s new book, Glimpses of an Uncharted Life (hardcover: $33.95 and softcover: $23.95) will be offered for sale at Saint Ann’s Church during the reception.  The Shrivers will generously donate $5 per book sold to Saint Ann’s Church.  Signed copies of Shriver’s book are now for available for pre-sale, by check or cash, at Saint Ann’s Parish Office during office hours.

To reserve a seat for this timely and relevant discussion of the past, present and future relationship of the United States and Russia, contact Kathy Rowe at 860-434-1621 or register online with Eventbrite @ Dick Shriver Event.

Shriver lives in Old Lyme, Conn., with his wife Barbara. They are active in the community as members of Saint Ann’s Parish. Dick is a founder and board member of the Mentoring Corps for Community Development and coach of Ticks Girls Lacrosse. He is former Warden of Saint Ann’s Vestry and Executive-in-Residence at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Barbara is engaged in pastoral care at St. Ann’s and sings with the Valley Shore Sweet Adelines a Cappella group.

Editor’s Note: Saint Ann’s is an Episcopal parish in Old Lyme, Conn., where the Rector, The Reverend Canon Mark K. J. Robinson welcomes all visitors. Saint Ann’s is located at 82 Shore Road (Rte. 156), two miles off I-95, Exit 70. Parking is adjacent to the church. For information, contact Kathy Rowe at 860-434-1621, via email at office@saintannsoldlyme.org, or visit Saint Ann’s online at www.saintannsoldlyme.org.

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Kuslan Presents ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ Program Today, Followed by Performance at ‘the Kate’ in HD by The Met

James Kuslan.

Opera devotee and popular lecturer on operatic topics, James Kuslan, will present an informative program on Richard Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier” at the Acton Public Library, 60 Old Boston Post Rd. in Old Saybrook on Saturday, May 13, at 10:30 a.m. This event is sponsored by the Guild of Salt Marsh Opera and the Acton Public Library.

Kuslan is a graduate of Yale University’s School of Drama and has been a voice scout in the United States for the German classical recording giant, Deutsche Grammophon.

“Der Rosenkavalier” is set in Vienna of the past, and regarded as Strauss’s most popular and grandest opera concerns a wise woman of the world who is involved with a much younger lover. It combines comedy, fantasy, and drama. This program is free, open to the public, and handicapped accessible.

The Met in HD at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center features a simulcast of “Der Rosenkavalier” starring Renee Fleming, on May 13, starting at 12:30 p.m.

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Potapaug Presents ‘Bears in CT’ at Old Lyme Town Hall, June 1

Potapaug Audubon presents “Bears in Connecticut” on Thursday, June 1, at 7 p.m. at the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St, with guest speaker Paul Colburn, DEEP, Master Wildlife Conservationist.

This talk will focus on the natural history, habitat, diet, behavior, population and reproduction of bears, plus the current research efforts and practical recommendations for coexistence between the black bear and humans.

Black bear artifacts will be on display.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.

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CT Audubon RTPEC Offers Estuary Explorations Saturday Mornings

Osprey in flight. Photo by Brock Graham.

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is offering a new program of Saturday morning field trips to natural areas along the lower Connecticut River starting May 6.

Estuary Explorations will be led by PhD ecologist Paul Spitzer, a protégé of internationally recognized naturalist and painter, Roger Tory Peterson. Each exploration will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the possibility of extending the field tripinto the afternoon, depending on the participants’ interest.

The fee for each field trip is $30 per person ($25 per student) and registration is required. To register, visit this link.

Estuary Explorations will give participants a chance to learn about the Lower Connecticut River Estuary’s ecosystems and wildlife as the year progresses from the peak bird migratory season of May, through high summer, and into the late fall.

Paul Spitzer. Photo courtesy of Paul Spitzer.

Spitzer has designed the programs to follow in the footsteps of one of the 20th century’s most famous naturalists, field guide author and illustrator Roger Tory Peterson, who spent his adult life painting in his studio in Old Lyme and examining the flora and fauna of the Connecticut River Estuary and the world.

Spitzer will showcase some of Peterson’s favorite natural sites and share his extensive knowledge of the ecology of the region. Spitzer plans to lead these explorations at a “Thoreauvian saunter,” moving slowly to appreciate many of the birds, plants, and insects that Peterson once enjoyed.

While Old Lyme tends to be recognized for its scenic views and historic artist colony and arts culture, it is also situated at an important ecological hub in New England — the meeting of the waters. In this species-rich estuary, the fresh water of the vast Connecticut River and Long Island Sound mix, resulting in a wealth of natural life.

Spitzer learned his natural history while growing up in the Connecticut River Valley. He is a graduate of Old Lyme High School and continued up the river to attend Wesleyan University. He later earned his PhD in ecological sciences from Cornell University.

More recently, he has studied the now substantial Connecticut River Estuary Osprey colony as a “biomonitor” of migratory menhaden abundance, the Osprey’s preferred food source. Spitzer advocates for sustainable management practices of this keystone fish for its ecosystem, economic, and societal functions.

Working alongside Spitzer will be Old Saybrook native, Jim Arrigoni. Arrigoni has worked as a fisheries biologist in Washington State and developed protocols to evaluate stream water quality in Hong Kong. Most recently, he has taught cultural and aquatic ecology classes at Goodwin College, and he is currently completing a PhD on the conservation value of restored wetlands.

Spitzer has studied Ospreys for 50 years, his research beginning here in the Connecticut River Estuary. By the 1970’s, the impact of DDT in the ecosystem whittled the local Osprey colony down to one active nest. Spitzer was instrumental in the recovery of this important keystone species to these waters.

“The Connecticut River Ospreys are our iconic story of revival from the brink,” said Spitzer. “These guided and educational field trips will open a world of discovery about nature’s profusion in this extraordinary bioregion.”

“Migrant and resident species of the estuary watershed are particularly exciting to observe in May. I will provide up-close and expansive views of the natural world from salt marshes to Yellow Warblers in particularly beautiful places.”

After meeting at the Old Lyme I-95 Park and Ride (Exit 70), participants will enjoy three hours of ecological exploration followed by a brown bag lunch and guided discussion in the field.  Spitzer is also willing to offer optional afternoon sessions gauged by the stamina and interest of the participants.

Beyond the four Saturdays in May, the field trips will occur monthly through November.

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Dedication Ceremony for New Boathouse Celebrates Old Lyme’s Decades-Long, Continuing Passion for Rowing

Surrounded by VIPs at the Dedication Ceremony for the Fred Emerson Boathouse, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder cuts the ribbon to declare the boathouse officially open.  Photo by Tanya Patten.

More than 100 people gathered Saturday morning at Hains Park on the shores of Rogers Lake  to join a ceremony to dedicate the recently completed Fred Emerson Boathouse.  All joined by a love of rowing, they were there to celebrate the official opening of the boathouse, which is the new home for boats owned by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools and the Old Lyme Rowing Club/Blood Street Sculls.

Old Lyme Rowing Association/Blood Street Sculls President Greg Hack spoke to the assembled crowd expressing thanks to many individuals and organizations saying, “On behalf  of  the over 150 athletes who will row on Rogers Lake this year, I would like to express how thrilled we are that the new Boathouse is now complete.  We all feel a deep sense of gratitude to the people of the Town of Old Lyme, and to the State of Connecticut, for their support throughout this project.”

Construction of the boathouse was initially funded by a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant for $478,000, which was awarded in July 2013, and then subsequently Old Lyme residents approved a request from their board of selectmen in October 2014 for an additional $405,000 to be taken from town funds.  The proposed renovations were intended to make the boathouse ADA accessible, and provide sufficient space to store all the boats owned by Lyme-Old Lyme High School, the Old Lyme Rowing Club/Blood Street Sculls and Old Saybrook High School.  There will also be space available to carry out equipment maintenance and repair.  Renovation of the basketball court and new bathrooms, which would be accessible to the public, were also included in the project.

Hack continued his words of gratitude thanking Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, “for her leadership and unwavering support during all phases of the project … [Old Lyme Selectman] Skip Sibley, a former collegiate rower who shared our dream of a new boathouse when it was first just a sketch on a cocktail napkin … and [Old Lyme Selectwoman] MJ Nosal for her enthusiasm and support.”

He also thanked Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser and Athletic Director Hildie Heck, “for their support, and for recognizing how important the sport of rowing has been for Lyme-Old Lyme High School.”

Turning to the members of the Boathouse Hains Park Improvement Committee (BHPIC), Hack commended, “their tireless work, and in particular [the efforts of] our co-chairs Paul Fuchs and Paul Gianquinto.  Paul F brought tremendous expertise on rowing matters to the project, and Paul G brought intimate knowledge of construction procedures that were oh so valuable, not to mention his incredible dedication and tenacity throughout the project.”

Hack also thanked Nina Peck, “our architect, for creating a wonderful plan for the new building that is both attractive and highly functional.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “We are grateful to the Town of Old Lyme for pursuing the STEAP grant that helped support the construction of the new boathouse. This structure will allow our rowing programs to continue to grow and allow us to build upon our past successes. The new boathouse will provide much needed support for our student rowers for many years to come.”

Old Lyme Selectman Skip Sibley addresses the crowd at the Fred Emerson Boathouse Dedication.  Photo by Tanya Patten.

Sibley gave a brief history of the man after whom the boathouse is named, Fred L. Emerson Jr. of Lyme. Sibley noted Emerson was an avid rower who founded and financed crew programs at more than 60 high schools, colleges and private clubs throughout the nation. In Connecticut alone, Sibley mentioned, Emerson is solely responsible for the creation of programs at the East Lyme High School, the Coast Guard Academy, Old Lyme High School, Connecticut College, Simsbury High School, and the Middletown High School.  Emerson also gave strong support to university crew programs at Wesleyan, Trinity and Yale , and school crew programs at Choate, the Thames River Sculls, South Kent, and Gunnery.

Emerson was born and raised in Upstate New York where his father founded a prosperous shoe company. He started his rowing career at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana, and later captained the rowing squad at the University of Wisconsin Class of ‘32.  Sibley noted that, while competing for the Badgers, Emerson became aware of the challenges of financing a rowing program when his own varsity career was impacted by budget restrictions. This lesson inspired Emerson later on in his life to support fledgling rowing programs generously.

Sibley submitted that Emerson was widely regarded a champion of the underdog, who sponsored women’s crew long before Title IX established the legal requirement for equity across the genders.

Sibley went on to share the origins of Rogers Lake rowing, drawing his information from a number of sources.  He commented that the catalyst for US Women’s Rowing was when the U.S. announced their plan for a women’s rowing team to compete in the 1976 Olympic Games scheduled to be held in Montreal.  At that time, women’s rowing was still in its infancy — the US announcement precipitated a quantum leap in the sport onto the national stage.

Sibley explained that in February 1971 Emerson connected with Connecticut College rowing coach C. Bart Gullong.  They organized the first meeting of women’s rowing coaches from across the country and this marked the inception of the New England Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges.

The following spring, in May 1972, the New England Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges (NEAWRC) held its first regatta on Rogers Lake in Old Lyme, thanks in great part to the generosity of Emerson, who designed the 1,000-meter course, donated boats to many of the participating schools, and provided almost all of the financial backing for the event. One eight from each institution was allowed to participate, with the Princeton crew emerging victorious.

In 1974, the name of the organization was changed to the Eastern Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) and 19 teams took part in the first race known as the EAWRC Sprints on Lake Besek in Middlefield, Conn.  (The schools participating were Barnard, Boston University, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Drexel, MIT, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Middletown High School, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Radcliffe, Rhode Island, Syracuse, Washington, Wellesley, Williams, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Yale.)

Because this was the first year in which five or more women’s teams from the Ivy League participated in a championship event, this 1974 regatta is generally seen as marking the beginning of championship competition for women in any sport, in any Division I conference. Radcliffe won that event and is thus considered the first Ivy League and EAWRC champion.

Sibley concluded, “Fred’s ‘can do’ philosophy of building programs and his passion to share the benefits of rowing amongst all skills will endure for ever. And this new boathouse bearing his name is certainly a testament to that.”

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) addresses rowing enthusiasts of all ages who attended Saturday’s Dedication Ceremony. Photo by Sheree Sibley.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and BHPIC Co-chair Paul Fuchs also spoke enthusiastically about the boathouse and its future impact on the local rowing programs.  Fuchs noted that Saturday, June 3, is National Learn To Row Day and for the fourth year, this event will be celebrated at Fred Emerson Boathouse by opening its doors to everyone to try rowing at no cost.

Before the speeches ended and the celebrations began, Hack summed up the joy and excitement of the occasion saying, “Over 50 years ago, Fred Emerson first coached young people out of the original boathouse on Blood Street.  Since then we have grown and achieved new levels of enthusiasm and success in what are truly community-based programs.  I am hopeful that Fred would be pleased with what we have built here together.”

He concluded, “I thank the people of Old Lyme and all who were involved in the project for their vision and for their understanding about how rowing helps to make the Town of Old Lyme such a unique and special place.  We pledge to be good stewards of this new facility for decades to come.”

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CT Camera Club Hosts Exhibit in Old Lyme Town Hall

‘The Beauty of Burano’ by N.B. Logan is one of the featured photos in the CT Camera Club’s exhibition currently on view at Old Lyme Town Hall.

There will be a photography exhibit by the Connecticut Valley Camera Club from May 1 to June 29, at the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.  A total of 30 photos are on display with an opening reception on Saturday, May 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. which is free and open to the public.

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club, founded in 2001, has a prime directive of encouraging, accommodating, and implementing multiple photographic experiences for our members. Photographers of all levels are welcome. With the overall intent of improving our skills, members share information about techniques and equipment, as well as provide mutual support in evaluation of each other’s images.

The club meets on the first Monday of each month at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme. Visitors are welcome. To learn more about the club visit their website and Facebook page

 

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New Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Principal Announced

The new Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Principal, Mark Ambruso.

This morning Lyme-Old Lyme Schools announced the appointment of Mark Ambruso as the next principal of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School. Ambruso, who is currently serving as the Principal of Windham Technical High School, will begin his new position on July 1, 2017. He will succeed Michelle Dean, who will begin a new position as Director of Curriculum also on July 1, 2017.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “We are pleased to welcome such an accomplished and seasoned administrator to our district. Throughout the entire interview process, Mr. Ambruso impressed us with his innate leadership skills and his strong commitment to his students. This appointment will allow us to continue on the successful path that has been established at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.”

Ambruso has previously served as the both the principal and, prior to that, the assistant principal at Bacon Academy in Colchester. He began his career in education at Norwich Free Academy as a science teacher and coach.

The district has also begun advertising for the position of Middle School Assistant Principal after Mr. Neil Sullivan announced his resignation effective June 30, 2017 to embark on new professional challenges. High quality applicants are encouraged to apply for this opening at www.region18.org.

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School Budget Passes Easily in Both Towns

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser sends details of the referendum results to Region 18 Board of Education members.

Voters in both Lyme and Old Lyme passed the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ 2017-18 proposed $33.6 million budget convincingly yesterday.

In Lyme, only four people voted against the $33,634, 371 budget while in Old Lyme, 88 voted No. In an extremely low turnout in both towns, the Yes votes in Lyme and Old Lyme respectively were 111 and 271 giving final totals across the Regional School District of 382 Yes’s to 92 No’s.

A delighted Lyme-Old Lyme School’s Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented after the results had been announced, “I’d like to thank the voters for supporting the education budget.  We were proud to bring forward the lowest budget increase on record and are happy to continue the great work of educating the children of Lyme and Old Lyme.”

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Center For Hospice Care Receives $22,000 Contribution From Reynolds’ Subaru Through ‘Share The Love Campaign’

Displaying the giant ‘Share The Love’ check from Reynold Subaru to Center for Hospice Care are, from left to right, Ken Scanzio, Subaru of New England District Representative, Kathryn Reynolds Wayland, Owner of Reynolds’ Subaru, Sean Mitchell, Director of Development for Center for Hospice Care, Sally Markko, Development Specialist for Center for Hospice Care, G. Hayden Reynolds, Owner of Reynolds’ Subaru and Nora Morrissey, Reynolds’ Subaru Sales Manager.

Center for Hospice Care recently received a generous contribution in the amount of $22,000 from Reynolds’ Subaru of Lyme. Reynolds’ Subaru selected Center for Hospice Care as its Hometown Charity for the 2016 Subaru Share the Love Campaign. For every new Subaru that was sold from Nov.17-Dec. 31, 2016, customers could select one of four national charities or Center for Hospice Care as the recipient of a $250 donation.

“It was incredibly touching to see so many of our customers select Center for Hospice Care during this promotion,” said G. Hayden Reynolds, owner of Reynolds’ Subaru.  “It’s the largest charitable contribution ever given by our company in our 150+ years in business!”

“Whatever else we can do to help promote Center for Hospice Care and their mission in Southeast Connecticut is very important to us,” said Kathryn Reynolds Wayland, owner of Reynolds Subaru.  “Their services go far beyond the patient and assist family members with grief counseling services, pet therapy and Expressive Arts.”  “It is the hope at Reynolds’ Subaru that through the Share the Love program, we will bring Center for Hospice Care’s story and meaningful work to more residents in our community.”

“We are truly honored and grateful for this contribution by the Reynolds’ family and Reynolds’ Subaru,” said Carol Mahier, President and CEO of Center for Hospice Care. “The Reynolds’ are truly a kind, generous and community centered business that goes out of their way to help many needy causes. Their support of our organization through this amazing donation is greatly appreciated and humbly accepted.”

For the Reynolds family of Reynolds’ Subaru, the selection of Hospice is very personal. The family lost their father, Gary, very suddenly to a brain tumor three years ago, and Center for Hospice Care assisted their family with many aspects of his care. The Reynolds family made the decision to bring Gary home for his end-of-life care, but could not have done so without the support of Center for Hospice Care. Without the guidance of hospice, the level of care received would not have been possible.

 

Since 1985, Center for Hospice Care has served more than 12,000 patients. We are the largest hospice in Southeastern Connecticut and the only hospice provider that delivers all the care and services needed by patients and their families – including extended group and individual bereavement counseling to anyone who needs it, free of charge. Our staff is the most qualified and experienced in the field and is augmented by more than 150 specially trained volunteers who provide companionship to our patients and respite to their families.

Center for Hospice Care would like to express its sincere appreciation and gratitude to Reynolds’ Subaru and the Reynolds Family for their support of our organization and mission. For more information on this exciting partnership, contact Sean Mitchell at SMitchell@hospicesect.org or call 860.848.5699.

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Lyme Girl Scout Troop #63632 Celebrates Installation of ‘Little Free Library’ for the Community

The Girl Scouts involved in the creation of the Little Free Library, all of whom attend Lyme School, gather for a group photo. From left to right, Hoshena Gemme, Emma Rose Arelt, Ella Keim, Ava Gilbert, Jen Datum, Chloe Datum and Christy Cooper.  Photos by Barbara Arelt unless otherwise stated.)

A dedication ceremony was held Sunday, April 23, for a Little Free Library that has been installed in the side courtyard of the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) courtesy of local Girl Scout Troop #63632.  The new Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange.

The Girl Scout Troop, which is primarily comprised of girls currently in 4th grade at Lyme Consolidated Elementary School, earmarked annual cookie sale profits to design, build, install and maintain a Little Free Library at their host site, the LYSB on Lyme Street.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

If you take a book (or two) from a Little Free Library, you do not need to return that specific book. However, in order to keep the Little Free Library full of good choices for the whole neighborhood, the next time you swing by the Library, bring a few books to share.  Little Free Library book exchanges function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside.

Last fall the Girl Scouts and their troop leader, Jennifer Datum, voted to proceed with the Little Free Library project to demonstrate the Troop’s appreciation for their community and to build teamwork skills. The Library will be stocked initially with books from Troop members’ personal collections. The girls will also be responsible for its monthly maintenance.

Chris Arelt (right), owner of Nautilus Architects, who donated the design of the Library, stands with his wife Barbara and daughter Emma Rose in front of the newly-installed Library. Emma Rose is a member of Troop #63632.

Because LYSB is located in the village of Old Lyme, the Little Free Library design needed to be reviewed and approved by the town’s Historic District Commission.  Two Troop members, Chloe Datum and Ava Gilbert, presented the Commission with a classic design donated by Old Lyme architect Christopher Arelt of Nautilus Architects, father of Troop member Emma Rose Arelt.

Construction of the library included quality materials generously donated by Rings End in Niantic. The design was built and installed by Gary Lankerd, a master carpenter based in Waterford.  Additional details were implemented by Philip Schaller, owner of Signs & Digital Graphics in Deep River.

Many of the people involved in the project attended the dedication ceremony. From left to right, Gary Lankerd (Lankerd Custom Carpentry), Christopher Arelt (Nautilus Architects), Bonnie, LYSB Director Mary Seidner, Jen Datum (Girl Scout Troop leader) and John Forbis (Old Lyme Historic District Commission.) Photo by Mary Seidner.

The Troop’s dedication and reception ceremony was for everyone involved in this project, including leaders from the Old Lyme community and the Girl Scout Council. The Troop also expressed their thanks to Mary Seidner, Director of LYSB, who was instrumental in supporting both the Troop and this community service project.

Under the direction of Troop leaders, the Girl Scouts will be submitting the Little Free Library project for the Girl Scouts Bronze Award, which is the highest award a Junior can earn.  Working toward obtaining this award demonstrates their commitment to helping others, improving their community and the world, and becoming the best they can be.

For more information about Girl Scouts of Connecticut, visit www.gsofct.org

For more information about the Little Free Library program, visit LittleFreeLibrary.org

For more information about Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, visit lysb.org.

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Singles Social Connections Offers Variety of Early Summer Events

Singles Social Connections is a social club for singles in Connecticut with non-profit 501(c) status from the IRS.  Their goal is to give singles the opportunity to meet new people, have fun, and network.  The following upcoming events are all sponsored by Singles Social Connections.

MAY 13  (Saturday)  SINGLES MINIATURE GOLF at the Safari Golf, 2340 Wilbur Cross Highway, Berlin in the afternoon at 2 p.m.  Come join the group for a fun time.  Don’t worry if you’ve never done it before, everyone is only playing for fun.  Later, there will be refreshments.  Admission $8.  To reserve, call Gail at 860-582-8229.

MAY 27  (Saturday)  SINGLES MEMORIAL WEEKEND PICNIC at Gail’s beach cottage, 46 Swan Avenue, Sound View, Old Lyme at 2 p.m.  For picnic, bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert, if no food, pay extra $5.  Dues-paying Members $10, Guests $15.  To reserve, call Gail in Bristol at 860-582-8229 or Old Lyme 860-434-6426.

JUNE 2  (Friday)  SINGLES HAPPY HOUR at the Tuscany Grill, 120 College Street, Middletown starting at 5 p.m.  If the weather is nice, seating may be outside on patio.  Come after work and mingle with old and new friends.  There is no charge.  For more information, call Gail at 860-582-8229.

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Guilford Savings Bank Supports Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries with ‘Green for Greens’

From left to right, front row, Guilford Saving Bank Branch Manager, Dave Carswell, SSKP Board Member Rick Westbrook, SSKP Executive Director, Patty Dowling, and Guilford Saving Bank Community Development Officer, Lisa La Monte. (back row) Guilford Saving Bank Assistant Branch Manager, Sandra Miller, and Guilford Saving Bank tellers Ryan Donovan and Brandy Reilly.

AREAWIDE — Guilford Savings Bank has awarded a $4,000 grant to Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) to purchase fresh produce for needy residents of the shoreline. The grant, called “Green for Greens”, helps assure that local families who come to SSKP’s food pantries will be provided with fresh fruit and vegetables, in addition to non-perishable foods.

Lisa LeMonte, Marketing and Community Development Officer at Guilford Savings Bank, shared, “I know I speak for everyone at GSB when I say how proud we are to provide “Green for Greens” that allows The Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries to supplement their budget with funds to purchase additional fresh produce.”

“The support of Guilford Savings Bank and their generous “Green for Greens” is truly a gift to those we serve at our 5 food pantries.  We all know the feeling of eating a fresh crisp apple, or finding a banana in our lunch bag when we are hungry midday.  Because of GSB, those in need will share in that feeling, and on behalf of those we serve, I sincerely thank Guilford Savings Bank for their commitment to providing access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Patty Dowling, Executive Director.

Founded 28 years ago, The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving the Connecticut shoreline towns of Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook and Deep River.

Guilford Savings Bank has been serving the financial needs of the Connecticut shoreline for over 140 years.  Recently named the #1 Community Bank in Connecticut, it is the premier relationship bank, providing banking, lending, wealth management and life insurance solutions for personal, small business and commercial customers. For more information visit www.gsbyourbank.com

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A Little Humor in Celebration of The Bard’s Birth- and Death-Day

Today is not only St. George’s Day (the equivalent for England of St. Patrick’s Day for Ireland) but also both William Shakespeare’s birth- and death-day. Well, to be honest, the latter is a definite while the former is one which, to quote from Wikipedia, “has proved appealing to biographers.”  It is known for sure that Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon in England on April 26, 1564, and so the April 23 date has simply been deduced from that.

In honor of the great Bard, we are delighted to publish this delightful submission from our good friend and book reviewer Felix Kloman and his wife Ann of Lyme.  This is sure to put a smile on the faces of all our Shakespeare-ophiles!

Memories of Yorick

Late last fall, a scrawny young mouse named Yorick politely asked to spend the winter with us, providing entertainment and conversation in return for a modest meal each day. We greeted him with enthusiasm, and shared stories . But, of late he has seemed much fatter and far hungrier. We fed him more and, of course, warned him not to go into the pantry, where we had set a trap for some rapacious relatives. He didn’t follow our advice.

Alas, poor Yorick!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Potapaug Sponsors Hike in Nehantic State Forest, May 7

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

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

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

The rain date for the  walk is May 13.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.

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Shining a Light on a Humble Hero: Success of Stroud’s Grassroots Efforts Against High Speed Train Proposal Highlighted

Greg Stroud

The CT Mirror has published an article today by veteran journalist Ana Radelat, titled His grassroots rebellion stops a federal railroad plan in its tracks, which looks at Greg Stroud of Old Lyme as an individual and the impact of his campaign regarding the northeastern section of the proposed high-speed railroad route from Washington DC to Boston — an impact that is looking increasingly likely to result in the removal of the Old Saybrook-Kenyon bypass from the proposed route.

In response to Radelat’s question in the article, “It seems the Federal Railroad Administration is going to change its plan. Are you confident you have won this battle over the bypass?” Stroud responds, “I’m cautiously optimistic and increasingly confident about the Kenyon to Old Saybrook bypass.”

Keep everything crossed at this point, dear readers!

Read Radelat’s full article at this link.

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