September 26, 2016

Donation Drop-off for Lyme Church Rummage Sale Starts Today

The First Congregational Church of Lyme, 1 Sterling City Rd., Lyme, will hold its Annual Fall Rummage Sale on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 9 1 p.m.

Donations will be gratefully accepted from Monday, Sept. 26, to Thursday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For more information, call 860-434-0220.


Recycling in Old Lyme: Dealing With Left-Over Paint

paint_cansOld Lyme’s Solid Waste & Recycling Committee is publishing several articles that lay out best recycling practices. The committee has covered the town’s current curbside program, and the safe disposal of prescription and over-the counter medications in previous articles. This article covers paint recycling.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 10 percent of all paint purchased in the United States is left-over – around 64 million gallons annually. This left-over and unused paint can cause pollution when disposed of improperly and, in the past, was costly for municipalities to manage. 

So, Connecticut enacted a paint stewardship law in 2011, which required that paint manufacturers assume the costs of managing unwanted latex and oil-based paints, including collection, recycling, and/or disposal of unwanted paint products. Connecticut was the third state in the country to pass paint legislation, following Oregon and California.

As a result of the paint stewardship law, a non-profit program was rolled out in 2012 by the American Coatings Association, which is a trade group of paint manufacturers. The program is funded by a fee paid by the consumer at the time of purchase.

“PaintCare” has resulted in a network of drop-off locations for that left-over paint (now 142 sites in the state.) Locations near Old Lyme include Sherwin Williams in Old Saybrook, True Value Hardware in East Lyme, and Rings End Lumber in Niantic. PaintCare now operates in the nine states that have enacted paint stewardship laws. There is no charge at the drop-off site. As noted, the program is wholly funded by fees assessed at the point of sale.

PaintCare drop-off sites accept latex and oil-based house paints, primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings like shellac and varnish. All of these must be in the original container (no larger than five gallons) with the original printed label and a secured lid (i.e., no open or leaking containers.)  They do not accept aerosols, paint thinners, mineral spirits, and solvents.

You should review the PaintCare website ( before loading your trunk with your left-over paint.  The site has a complete list of accepted and non-accepted paint products and any drop-off limits.

What happens to the excess paint after drop-off?  PaintCare’s haulers move the paint from the drop-off sites to their facility for sorting. Their goal is to then recycle as much as possible according to a policy of “highest, best use”.

Most of the oil-based paint is taken to a plant where it is processed into a fuel and then burned to recover the energy value.

Clean latex paint (i.e., not rusty, dirty, molding or spoiled) is sent to recycling facilities and reprocessed into “new” paint; most latex paint that doesn’t contain mercury or foreign contaminants can be processed into recycled-content paint.

There are two types of recycled paint: re-blended and re-processed. Re-blended paint contains a much higher percentage of recycled paint than re-processed paint (which mixes old paint with new paint and other new materials).

Paint that is nearly new and in good condition is given to charitable organizations for re-sale. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores also accept clean surplus paints.

According to the PaintCare 2014 Annual Report, 240,798 gallons of used paint were collected in the first year of the program; 81 percent of the latex paint was recycled into recycled-content paint, 4 percent ended as a landfill cover product, 6 percent was fuel-blended, and 9 percent was unrecyclable and sent to landfill as solids. All of the oil-based paint was used for fuel.

Our next article covers the recycling of mattresses.

If you have questions or comments related to this article or recycling in general, contact Leslie O’Connor at or Tom Gotowka at


Lyme Fire Company Hosts 60th Annual Steak Dinner, Oct. 15: All Welcome

Lyme Fire Company (LFC) will hold its 60th Annual Steak Dinner on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hamburg Station, 213 Hamburg Rd. (Rte. 156), in Lyme, CT.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $8 for children and can be purchased at the door.

This is LFC’s major fundraising event of the year.  A new permanent outdoor grill was built in time for this year’s dinner.


Old Lyme Historical Society Hosts Fall Dinner at Fox Hopyard, Oct. 23; All Welcome

The Old Lyme Historical Society will be sponsoring their annual Fall Dinner at ‘On The Rocks’ at Fox Hopyard in East Haddam, on Sunday, Oct. 23, with dinner starting at 5 p.m.

A limited number of tickets are available at Webster Bank, or from the Society’s website at

Fox Hopyard is off the Hopyard Road, off Rte. 82.


Potapaug Audubon Hosts Program on Horseshoe Crabs, Oct. 6

Potapaug Audubon presents “Horseshoe Crabs, Long Island Sound’s Living Fossils” on Thursday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St. The guest speaker will be Penny Howell, Senior Biologist with the DEEP.

The event is free. All are welcome.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.


9/11: We Will Remember Them

Twenty none hundred and sevent seven flags stand in front of Old Saybrook Town Hall in memory of the 2,977 lives lost on this day 15 years ago at the World Trade Center in New York Center.

Twenty nine hundred and seventy seven flags funded by an anonymous donor stand in front of Old Saybrook Town Hall in memory of the 2,977 lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center in New York City. We remember and honor those who perished on that tragic day …



Recycling in Old Lyme: How to Dispose of Medications

disposaldrugsOld Lyme’s Solid Waste & Recycling Committee is exploring ways to improve recycling in Old Lyme. We are publishing several articles that lay out best practices.

Our first article reviewed Old Lyme’s current curbside program. This article covers the safe disposal of prescription and over-the counter medications. Note that we sometimes refer to “DEEP” (The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection)as a source of information.

First, never flush your unwanted medications down the sink or toilet; they pass through septic systems and sewage treatment plants essentially unprocessed. Flushed medications can get into our lakes, rivers and streams. Of real concern, a nationwide study done in 1999 and 2000 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) found low levels of antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives and steroids in 80 percent of the rivers and streams tested; further, research has shown that such continuous exposure to low levels of medications has altered the behavior and physiology of fish and other aquatic organisms.

Old Lyme residents have several options for safely disposing of medications but in all of these, keep the medications in their original container, but take care to protect your private information by either removing the label from the container or concealing it with a permanent marker.  The options are:

  • Occasional drug collection events sponsored by the Town or community organization.
  • Locally, watch for the Annual Drug Take Back Day sponsored by Lyme’s Youth Services Bureau.
  • Some police stations have a drop box drug disposal program where residents can anonymously discard unwanted or unused medications. Both the Clinton and Waterford Police Departments participate in the drop box program. A complete list of locations can be found at this link.
  • Some chain pharmacies (e.g., CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid) have disposal envelopes for prescription and over the counter drugs available for purchase; check with your pharmacy for details.
  • If the above doesn’t work for you, Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection suggests that you dispose of drugs in your household trash (where it will ultimately be incinerated) as follows: add hot water to dissolve the contents, or cover the contents with some noxious or undesirable substance; re-cover and place it all inside another larger container to ensure that the contents cannot be seen, and tape it shut.
  • unwanted pet medications should also be disposed as described above.
  • disposal of sharps: residents who are required to use injectable medications (e.g., insulin) can safely dispose of used needles and lancets by placing them in a puncture-proof, hard plastic container with a screw-on cap (like a bleach or detergent bottle). Tightly seal the container with the original lid and wrap with duct tape. Discard in a bag in your trash. Do not mix sharps with prescription drugs.
  • Some medications (e.g., chemotherapy drugs) require special handling; DEEP’s website provides more detail on disposing of such drugs and other medical supplies at this link.

This article covers methods for safe disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medications.  Our next article will cover the recycling of paint.

 Old Lyme’s Solid Waste & Recycling Committee meets monthly. If you have questions or comments, contact: Leslie O’Connor or


Old Lyme Library Thanks Summer Reading Program Sponsors

Barbara Crowley, owner of The Chocolate Shell (left) stands with OL-PGN Children's Librarian Julie Bartley after Bartley has presented Crowley with a certificate in appreciation of her support of the Summer Reading Program.

Barbara Crowley, owner of The Chocolate Shell (left) stands with OL-PGN Children’s Librarian Julie Bartley after Bartley has presented Crowley with a certificate in appreciation of her support of the Summer Reading Program.

Celebrate the end of Summer Reading at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes’s Masquerade-Themed Finale Party on Thursday, Sept. 1.  This event is for for teens in grades 6-12.

Create a masquerade mask at the library, or wear your own from home. Or…dress up as a character from one of your favorite books you read this summer!

The Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe receives its Certificate of Appreciation from the Children's Library for supporting the Summer Reading program.

The Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe receives its Certificate of Appreciation from the Children’s Library for supporting the Summer Reading Program.

This is the last chance to submit your reading logs for raffle entries into the grand prize drawing. All entries must be submitted by 3:30 p.m. and the drawing will take place at 4 p.m.

The Children’s Librarian Julie Bartley is delighted to announce that at the half-way point of this program more than 50,000 minutes had been read. She also wishes to acknowledge the support of The Chocolate Shell and The Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe, who donated prizes for the participants.

DaVinci Pizza receives its Certificate of Appreciation from the Old Lyme PGN Library Children's Librarian.

DaVinci Pizza receives its Certificate of Appreciation from the Old Lyme PGN Library Children’s Librarian.

Celebrate the end of summer reading at our Finish Line Fun Pizza Party on Friday, Sept. 2. Dress as your favorite sports star or as a character from a book that you read this summer.  This event is for youngsters in grades K-5

This is the last chance to submit your reading log for entries into the grand prize raffle. The prize drawing will be held at 4:45 p.m.  Registration is required.

Craousel Shop owners Dee and Jerry stand in front of their business proudly displaying their Certificate of Appreciation from the OL Library.

Craousel Shop owners Dee and Jerry stand in front of their business proudly displaying their Certificate of Appreciation from the OL Library.

The Children’s Librarian Julie Bartley is delighted to announce that at the half-way point of this program more than 30,000 minutes had been read. She also wishes to acknowledge the support of Da Vinci Pizza and the Old Lyme Carousel & Shop, who donated prizes for the participants.

All the businesses that received certificates have said they will hang them up in their place of business for all to see.


Both I-95 Southbound Ramps at Exit 71 Closed for Two Weeks Starting 8/8, Detours in Place

Old Lyme Police patrol the currently closed entrance to the I-95 south bound on-ramp at Exit 71 on Four Mile River Rd.

Old Lyme Police patrol the currently closed entrance to the I-95 south bound on-ramp at Exit 71 on Four Mile River Rd. in Old Lyme.

Updated information from State Rep. Devin Carney:

The closure of Exit 71 on and off ramps for Four Mile River Road (Exit 71) will begin 12 a.m., Aug. 8, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 22.

The reconstruction of the southbound Exit 71 on and off ramps will involve full depth pavement replacement.

Lane Closure/Detour Information

Motorists on I-95 can expect temporary lane shifts and/or closures during the evening between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Motorists utilizing the Exit 71 southbound off ramp to access Four Mile River Rd. should use the off ramp for Exit 72 (Rocky Neck Connector) to Rte. 156 and Four Mile River Rd.

Motorists intending to access I-95 southbound should use Four Mile River Rd. to Rte. 156 to the Rocky Neck Connector and access I-95 Southbound via the Exit 72 on-ramp or use Rte. 1 or Rte. 156 to the Exit 70 on-ramp onto the Baldwin Bridge.

Motorists are encouraged to follow detour signs or use alternate routes.

Motorists are urged to obey the posted speed limit and proceed with caution when driving in this area.


Midsummer Memories of a Magnificent Day … and Night

Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival 2016 began Friday evening when the sun came out after torrential rain earlier in the day …


Concert-goers gathered on the grounds on the Florence Griswold Museum to picnic, visit and await the performance by ‘The Voice’ finalist Braiden Sunshine …


Some decided the Lieutenant River was the perfect spot to listen the music …


The aptly-named Braiden Sunshine and his band gave a terrific performance …


And then it was on to Saturday, which kicked off with the Hawaii-5.0 road race. Almost 300 runners competed in the 5K event, despite the intense heat and humidity …


All along Lyme Street, there were things to see —  including these weavers at the Old Lyme Historical Society, Inc.


… things to do … Scout Cushman posed delightfully in front of the community sculpture at Studio 80, on which people were adding their own designs …


… and things to eat and drink — the lemonade stand at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds was a happy family affair.


A new feature at the Festival this 30th anniversary year was the more than 30 vendors and a stage on which numerous youth musicians played in the field across from Lyme Academy College.  The vendors and performances were hosted by the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce.


The en plein air market at the Florence Griswold Museum was full of everything you can imagine, from flowers and fruit …


… to jewels and jewelry.


Reggae music was the order of the day outside the John Sill House at Lyme Academy College …


And down on the lawn in front of Center School, the fence artists displayed their work and drew customers galore.


Back at Studio 80, another new two-part event happened, first a fashion show by designers Susan Hickman and Anna Lucas followed by an incredible dance/acrobatic display by The Magnaterrestrials.


And this very special day in the Old Lyme calendar ended with a bang when — despite the threat of rain —  the Town hosted another spectacular fireworks display for all to enjoy!


Old Lyme Woman Takes a Personal Adventure to Row Irish in Ireland in Preparation for Currach Regatta in New London, Saturday

Curach rower Maureen Plumleigh stands in front of Old Lyme's Congregational Church wearing one of her delightful, signature hats.

Curach rower Maureen Plumleigh stands in front of Old Lyme’s Congregational Church wearing one of her delightful, signature hats.

During the month of June, I had a personal adventure.

In past summers, I typically have been a member of a team in New London, which rows a currach.  This is a traditional Irish fishing boat, and teams in the Northeast region compete during the summer months.  New London Currach Rowers will host its annual regatta for currach rowing teams throughout the Northeast Region on Saturday, July 30 at the Custom House pier in New London.

For the past six years, I have rowed regularly in the summer in order to make an acceptable showing against teams in the North American Currach Association (NACA) from Albany, Annapolis, Philadelphia, Boston, and Pittsburgh.

A currach is a traditional Irish boat, used both for transporting goods and animals to islands as well as for fishing on rough and stormy seas, now used in competitive Irish events.

A currach is a traditional Irish boat, used both for transporting goods and animals to islands as well as for fishing on rough and stormy seas, now used in competitive Irish events.

I row reasonably well, but anecdotes from the Albany team about participating in an event in Ireland consistently captured my attention   Each year, it was one of those things I longed to try, but always had a good reason to let the event go past.

This year, however, I talked back to the tsk-ing voices, which tossed very good reasons at me of why I should not go.  Why spend the money?  Why go alone?  What if I can’t make the distance?  I couldn’t possibly prepare my body when our New London team had not yet even begun to row for the summer!

But, ultimately, I admitted, I simply wanted it. So, I had to face, and then overcome the resisting voices in my head.  “I’m too old!” was one voice in my head that I couldn’t silence, so I chose to fight back.  Joining a gym and working a tailored plan daily for the month preceding the race taught me that my attitude was more of a problem than my body!

In “three-hand” currach as member of Kildysart Team of Ireland, Plumleigh rows center seat in Ocean to City Festival in early June in Cork, Ireland.

In “three-hand” currach as member of Kildysart Team of Ireland, Plumleigh rows center seat in the ‘Ocean to City’ Festival in early June in Cork, Ireland.

So I went alone, and rowed with a team from Ireland, in the ‘Ocean to City’ Regatta of Cork, Ireland’s river festival on the southern coast of the country.  Our event was a seven nautical mile distance, up the river to its conclusion in Cork’s downtown area.  Many friends and family of the rowers lined the beautiful paths along the river.  Many tourists joined the cheers and shouts of support.

Taking this trip gave me opportunities to learn more about my Irish heritage, to test my energy and my endurance, but, most of all, to simply admit to, and then fulfill, a dream.  This challenge had been on my “Bucket List” for about four years, so I felt a great deal of satisfaction in my successful trip.

Now I’m focused on rowing my best in Saturday’s Regatta of the New London Currach Rowers!  

For more information about rowing, contact Plumleigh at, or visit

Editor’s Note: Boats will launch in Saturday’s Currach Regatta from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in various combinations of rowers from the Custom House Pier on New London’s Waterfront Park. We plan to do a follow-up story with Maureen after this Saturday’s event to find out how she fared in the regatta.  Good luck, Maureen!


The Blue Oar: Enjoy a Tropical Feel at River Eatery in Haddam

Looking across the vibrant patio of 'The Blue Oar' towards the Connecticut River.

Looking across the vibrant patio of ‘The Blue Oar’ towards the Connecticut River.

The soft sunlight of a warm summer evening glistens off the gently flowing river as you sip wine at a pastel-colored picnic table while awaiting your Cajun catfish dinner. No, you’re not in Louisiana; you’re alongside the Connecticut River at the Blue Oar Restaurant in Haddam.

Now enjoying its 20th summer, the Blue Oar resembles more of a summer camp than a restaurant. Built on stilts to protect the kitchen from river floods, the yellow and white wooden structure resembles a children’s treetop playhouse. A trademark of the expansive dining grounds is the colored chairs and tables – pastels of lime green, melon, sky blue, tangerine and creamy yellow.  “It reminds people of the Caribbean or Florida,” says co-owner Jody Reilly. “There’s a relaxed vibe.” 

You can bring your own wine or beer, have a cheeseburger or hot dog with kraut, but your options go far beyond that.  The most popular sandwich is “the chicken, roasted pepper and cheddar,” says Reilly. “They seem to fly out of here. And also the ribs, chowder, and lobster rolls.”

A staple of fixed offerings is supplemented by a number of daily specials. Dinner entrees range from grilled salmon to Jamaican jerk BBQ pork loin. A recent Saturday night featured grilled Cajun catfish with black bean salsa and strips of grilled summer squash. The large fillet was just spicy enough and sat on a generous bed of cool black bean salsa that blended perfectly on the palate. A chilled Italian pinot grigio was the perfect accompaniment.

Appetizers are plentiful and varied. Sautéed mussels, seared scallops and fresh guacamole with house-made tortilla chips are just a few examples. If you’re looking for fried seafood, this isn’t your spot.

A view of 'The Blue Oar' from the Connecticut River.

A view of ‘The Blue Oar’ from the Connecticut River.

With docks along the river, arriving by boat is an option. “We’re a destination,” says Reilly. “A lot of people on boat trips for the day pull in from Sag Harbor or Greenport.”

On a bright, sunny evening, the Blue Oar has a distinct tropical feel. A good weather weekend can bring in up to 600 diners a day, says Reilly. There may be a line, but it moves along and provides conversation and entertainment. As waiters exit the tight kitchen, it resembles a bumper car arcade as they bob and weave through the order line that meanders out the door.

The Blue Oar is open seven days a week from Mother’s Day weekend through September, serving lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Water and soda is available but all alcohol is BYOB.

Note: it is cash only. Credit and debit cards are not accepted. The Blue Oar is located off Rte. 154 about a mile-and-a-half north of exit 7 off Rte. 9. Look for the turn sign.


Lyme’s July 4th Parade — with a High-Tech Twist — Marks Anniversaries of Lyme Ambulance, Camp Claire

Grand Marshal Braiden Sunshine smiles at his admiring followers.

Grand Marshal Braiden Sunshine smiles at his admiring followers. All photos by Lauren Dickey.

The small, personal, home-spun parade that marches proudly over Hamburg Cove each Independence Day has a strong following of adults, kids, and dogs. There are regulars who wouldn’t miss it, making it a part of their annual celebration before moving on to other plans … or not.


Campers from Camp Claire on top of the hill — many wearing T-shirts announcing the camp’s Centennial, which was celebrated June 11 — make up a good portion of the parade, and some of their families discover it for the first time through them. New residents hear about it, come for the first time and become hooked. Boyfriends and girlfriends come along for the ride and are then regulars.

DroneBut this year there was a bit of a twist. The first three cannon blasts were heard at 10:10 a.m., and movement was sighted at the top of the hill. But … what’s that?

A drone?!

Yes, it rose above the trees – which may have been about all it photographed – followed the road, preceding the marchers, and approached the bridge. Then it seemed to disappear as suddenly as it appeared. But it did make some in the crowd wonder—is there anywhere now that we can’t be watched?


As tradition dictates, the parade was led by two soldiers this year, one in Union Army blues, the other in a buckskin-style shirt, tri-corner hat … and shorts? They fired their black-powder rifles at regular intervals to lend excitement to the next car bearing the parade’s Grand Marshal. Who would it be this year? Why, none other than the local high-school student, popular and charming Braiden Sunshine, semi-finalist in NBC’s “The Voice.”  Sunshine waved eagerly to the crowds and seemed to show as much wide-eyed excitement as he did for larger, much more visible venues.


Lyme Park & Recreation came next, followed by a well-crafted sailing ship seemingly afloat on a float; one sailor carried a sign, “In Memory of Doc Irving.” The late, much loved, local resident and pediatrician died last Sept. 15 at age 91; he was a speaker for many years at this parade, dressed in a vintage Naval uniform and throwing teabags into the cove, because, after all, the more famous tea party did not happen in Boston. People in the crowd still miss that speech; perhaps some year soon a new generation will pick up the torch. 


Other marchers included members of the Lyme Garden Club, the Lyme Veteran Memorial Committee, Lyme Fire Department, Lyme Cub Scouts Pack #32, vintage cars, unidentified floats full of kids, and the ever-popular oompah band.


An effective entry was a Model T-style car driven by Uncle Sam and carrying a woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty, holding her torch high. The military half track always driven by Bruce Noyes was there with wife Tammy, but sadly, his father, Jack Senior, was not waving at the crowd this year—we all wish him well.


Marching proudly near the end of the parade were Lyme Ambulance members, marking their 40th anniversary! The members were followed by one of their ribbon-bedecked ambulances.


After free popsicles at the Hamburg Cove Yacht Club (another great part of this tradition), which we finished by 10:30 a.m., many went to the Lyme Public Hall at the top of the street to enjoy a free, interesting display about the ambulance’s history; many letters gave testimony to the warm nature of this service—the hand-holding and follow-up visits provided. A nice testimony to a cadre of people who participate in training and are on call to volunteer their time 24/7 outside of their “regular” jobs to help their community members.


Hometown Parade Draws Large Crowd at Sound View to Celebrate the Fourth

Joann Leishing leads the parade waving her flag while also wearing a flag ... and her omnipresent smile.

Joann Leishing proudly leads the parade waving her flag while also wearing a flag … and her omnipresent smile. All photos by N.B. Logan.

It was a fine day for a parade Saturday … and Sound View Beach Association once again pulled off a great one!


Participants gathered at the north end of Hartford Ave. and then marched south towards Long Island Sound, back up Portland Ave. and across to Swan Ave. The final segment of the parade was the return trip up Hartford Ave. to the Shoreline Community Center.

The Silver Cornet Band played the national anthem at the Hartford Ave. flagpole.

At the foot of Hartford Ave., the Silver Coronet Band struck up a lively rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.


Red, white and blue were everywhere … on the flag bearer …


…on the wonderfully decorated bikes …


… on the patriotic trucks …


… on the fire trucks and other emergency vehicles …


… even on stilts …


… and finally on State Representative Devin Carney (R- 23rd) (left of drummer)  and Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (right of drummer).

What a great time was had by all!






Friends of Old Lyme Library Honor Outgoing Senior Staff, Friends

Stephanie Romano is leaving the Old Lyme Library to take up the position of Chester Library Director.

Stephanie Romano is leaving the Old Lyme Library to take up the position of Chester Library Director.

The Friends of the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes (OL-PGN) Library gathered for their Annual Meeting Wednesday morning. The OL-PGN Library Board President Alan Poirier opened the meeting by thanking the Friends for running The BookCellar, the Bookworm Ball and the Holiday Book Sales.  Leslie Massa, who serves as President of the Friends, then took the floor to pay tribute to some special “Friends.’ firstly, Jenn Hillhouse who has been the treasurer since 1985, and was retiring from that officer position.

Katy Klarnet (right) and Jenn Hillhouse (center) were both honored at the meeting and Steve Ross (left) was welcomed to the Council of the Friends.

Katy Klarnet (right) and Jenn Hillhouse (center) were both honored at the meeting and Steve Ross (left) was welcomed to the Council of the Friends.

Second in terms of being honored by Massa was Katy Klarnet, who was finishing her term as Secretary. Janet Olsen is stepping into that position for the Friends.

The third person on Massa’s list represented a particularly bittersweet moment for the Friends since Access Services Manager Stephanie Romano is leaving to become the Director of the Chester Library.  Her last day is this Friday, June 24, after serving at the OL-PGN Library for nine years.  The community is invited to drop in on the 24th to wish Romano well and enjoy some refreshments courtesy of the Friends. It is planned to be an open house style, low key event.

BookCellar Co-Director Ann de Selding paid tribute to Library Director Mary Fiorelli, who is retiring in September.

BookCellar Co-Director Ann de Selding paid tribute to Library Director Mary Fiorelli, who is retiring in September.

Massa announced that Mary Fiorelli, who has been with the Library since 1997 and Director since 2000, is retiring this September.  The Friends will announce more on her retirement send-off later. On behalf of the Friends, Ann de Selding gave an inspired tribute to Fiorelli’s stellar service to the library.

Ann Roy read a self-composed poem honoring the two outgoing Library directors.

Ann Roy read a self-composed poem honoring the two outgoing Library directors.

Anne Roy then read a delightful poem she had composed for the two outgoing staff members …

The following new Friends were welcomed to the Council: Suzi Bolduc, Jennifer Harvill, Julie O’Brien, Janet Olsen, Steve Ross and Karen Smith.

Best selling author David Handler reviewed the changes over the years in the life of a reference librarian.

Best selling author David Handler reviewed the changes over the years in the life of a reference librarian.

New York Times best-selling author and Old Lyme resident David Handler wrapped up the meeting with his recollections of the Library before the 1995 expansion, mentioning all the wonderful reference librarian personalities that have graced the halls.  He also spoke to the changing technologies remarking how it is often not appreciated how the reference librarian’s job encompasses so much more than a Google search.


Chester Sunday Market Now Open for the Season

ChesterSundayMarketLogoCHESTER – The Chester Sunday Market opened for the season on Sunday, June 12.  It will now be open on all Sundays through the summer starting at 10 a.m.

The vendors are all listed on the Market’s website (, with links to their websites.  They are:

  • Seven farms bringing produce – Chatfield Hollow Farm, Deep Hollow Farms, Dondero Orchards, Hunts Brook Farm, Sage Hill Farm, Upper Pond Farm and Wellstone Farm.
  • Meat, fish and poultry from Four Mile River Farm, Gourmavian Farms, Maple Breeze Farm and The Local Catch.
  • Beltane Farm bringing cheese & dairy products.
  • Bread from Alforno Restaurant and Howard’s Breads.
  • Plus, flowers and honey and jams and pickles and biscotti from: Hay House, Stonewall Apiary, Little Bird Provision Co. and Biscotti and Beyond.

Live music is lined up for each week, beginning on June 12 with Deep Blue Remedy. The bands play from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In the words of the organizers: “The philosophy of the Chester Sunday Market is to bring the community together with local products and to have a good time doing it. It is a weekly town-wide farmers’ market that brings our community together. We invite local vendors to sell produce, meats, cheeses, breads and so much more.  Our goal is to stay local so we can help the smaller farmers in the area. Having all these amazing vendors join us in our lovely little town is a great way to promote our community and see each other. Main Street is closed off for the market giving the patrons the freedom to walk about town. Music is provided along with a bistro area so you can sit and have a cup of coffee or a slice of pizza.”

Market hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Because Main Street is closed to traffic between West Main St. (Rte. 148) and Maple St., shoppers are invited to park in the town public parking lots on Maple Street and at 20 Water St. (Rte. 148). Well-behaved dogs are welcome.

Shops and galleries are open during Market hours and often offer special happenings. You can find late breakfast or lunch at the restaurants in Chester Center, or buy some pizza on the street from one of the vendors, Frank Andrews Mobile Kitchen.

More information about the Chester Sunday Market at: and You can also find out more about Chester at and


Social Security Supports Fight Against Cancer in Several Ways

cancer_sirvivorsIn 2016, more than a million people will be diagnosed with cancer around the world. This alarming statistic affects people and families everywhere.

June 5 was National Cancer Survivors Day in the United States and in support of this day, Social Security encourages getting checkups to provide early detection, raise awareness through education, and recognize the survivors who have gone through this battle or are still living with the disease.

Social Security stands strong in support of the fight against cancer. The agency offers services to patients dealing with this disease through its disability and Compassionate Allowances programs. Compassionate Allowances are cases with medical conditions so severe they obviously meet Social Security’s disability standards, allowing cases to be processed quickly with minimal medical information. Many cancers are on our Compassionate Allowance list.

There’s no special application or form you need to submit for Compassionate Allowances. Simply apply for disability benefits using the standard Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application. Once you are identified as having a Compassionate Allowances condition, they’ll expedite your disability application.

Social Security establishes new Compassionate Allowances conditions using information received at public outreach hearings, from the Social Security and Disability Determination Services communities, from medical and scientific experts, and from data based on our research. For more information about Compassionate Allowances, including the list of eligible conditions, visit  

If you think you qualify for disability benefits based on a Compassionate Allowances condition, visit to apply for benefits.

Editor’s Note: The author Robert G. Rodriguez is a Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in New Britain , CT


Lyme Farmers Market Now Open for Season, Saturday Mornings

Fresh vegetables galore will be on sale again at Lyme Farmers Market on June 4.

Fresh vegetables galore will be on sale again at Lyme Farmers Market on June 4.

Contrary to an announcement made last year, the Lyme Farmers Market will re-open for the 2016 season on Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. at Ashlawn Farm in Lyme. It is the only market in New London County to be held on a working farm and its mission is to promote sustainable agriculture with locally-grown and -produced food, crafts, and specialty products.

New_logoOnce again, vendors from the past 14 years will be present, along with several new ones. Market-goers will enjoy high quality organic produce, along with baked goods, seafood, meats, wine, and handcrafts.

Charles Dahlke and Nick Lussier of The Brazen Youth will perform on opening day.

Mark and Alisa Mierzejewski of Burgis Brook Alpacas will serve as Market Masters, scheduling vendors and coordinating the market field with jewelry designer Melissa Punzalan. Alisa Mierzejewski is also producing the market’s website and weekly newsletter.

In March of last year, Ashlawn Farm owner Chip Dahlke announced that after 14 years of operation, 2015 would be the last season. However,

Dagmars Desserts will be tempting us all once more with their delicious pastries.

Dagmars Desserts will be tempting us all once more with their delicious pastries.

vendors and customers expressed so much interest in keeping the market alive that he reconsidered. Dahlke’s next idea was to reorganize the market as a non-profit entity, able to accept contributions and apply for grants to promote sustainable agriculture.

Mary Stone of Old Lyme offered to undertake the work to incorporate the market as a non-profit and other procedures necessary to re-open, including coordinating the market’s business operations.


Coast Guard to Offer Safe Boating Class in Essex, June 18

As part of its effort to educate the public about safe boating practices, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will offer a four-hour course on Navigation and Chart Reading at Essex Public Library in Essex on Saturday, June 18.
The course will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the registration fee will be $40 per person. This course is a practical hands-on course on chart reading and navigation, essential skills for any boater. Space is limited and all navigation and chart reading materials will be provided.
For more information or to register, contact Auxiliarist Frank Connolly at or (860) 342-1084. Preregistration is required.
The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary has served as the civilian, uniformed volunteer component of the United States Coast Guard for over 75 years. The 30,000 volunteer members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary donate millions of hours in support of Coast Guard missions, such as search & rescue, public education and maritime domain awareness. For more information, please visit

Theater Along the River Returns with “Edward III,” June 18

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King Edward III


On Saturday, June 18, the Connecticut River Museum’s Theater Along the River kicks off with the Flock Theatre production of William Shakespeare’s Edward III. This year’s summertime series is once again made possible through the generous support of the Essex Wellness Center.

The Raigne of King Edward the Third (typically abbreviated as Edward III) centers on the life of the eponymous English monarch as he faces the threat of a rebellious Scotland while simultaneously laying claim to the French throne, starting the Hundred Years War in the process. Originally printed anonymously in 1596, the author’s identity has been a subject of some debate, though scholars now generally agree that the play is the work of William Shakespeare collaborating with fellow playwright Thomas Kyd.

According to director Derron Wood, “We are pleased to return for a third year to the Connecticut River Museum. It offers a spellbinding backdrop for outdoor theater and allows us to reach a new audience.”

The Connecticut River Museum’s executive director, Christopher Dobbs, said, “Flock Theatre is a master of Shakespeare. We feel fortunate to offer this level of entertainment at the museum and hope that the audience enjoys the production and its backdrop – the river.” Dobbs was quick to note that the museum is only able to host this event and keep the ticket prices reasonable for all ages to enjoy through the “generosity of lead sponsor, the Essex Wellness Center.” Essex Wellness Center offers a range of holistic-minded health services, including Fitness on the Water, a beautiful, private workout studio.

The museum’s grounds will open at 6 p.m. for picnickers to lay out blankets and chairs. Museum staff encourage the audience to make the picnic part of the experience. In fact, there will be a special prize awarded to the “best” picnic arrangement.

Tickets are $18 for the general public and $10 for children (12 and under) and $12 for Connecticut River Museum members. A cash bar serving beer and wine will be available for theatergoers. No carry-in alcohol is permitted. Tickets may be bought at or at the door starting at 6 p.m. the night of the performance. Curtain opens at 7 p.m., with a raindate of June 19.

A second evening of Theater Along the River will be held on Friday, Aug. 5, when Flock Theatre will be performing Shakespeare’s popular comedy, Taming of the Shrew.

Flock Theatre is a professional, not-for-profit theater company founded in 1989. The company is dedicated to creating original, collaborative and educational theater. Perhaps best known for the long-standing summer Shakespeare in the Arboretum, Flock Theatre performs year-round in a variety of venues, including their winter “nest” at the First Congregational Church, on the New London Pier, at the historic Shaw Mansion Museum and throughout New England.

For more information on the programs, please contact the Connecticut River Museum at 860-767-8269 or visit the website, The museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex.