May 26, 2018

Old Lyme Generosity Builds a School for Didier in Haiti, Donations Still Welcome

Oliancy Charles and Francky Louis (pictured left), who live in the Artibonite Valley in Haiti, are two men on a mission. 

After the earthquake that devastated parts of Haiti in 2010, they started an organization to provide community support in the very poorest regions of their economically challenged local area.

Their aim was to help the community work together to ensure that basic human necessities such as food, water and education are provided to those most in need in the area.

Currently, Charles and Louis are helping the people of Didier, an isolated town where schools are not accessible to the estimated 600 children in the area. The people who live in the area see education as a path to a better life and are determined to make education available to their children.

Working with the parents, Charles and Louis first built a small school with banana leaf walls, but sadly it collapsed in the rainy season. It was rebuilt in a more protected area, but the school is slowly deteriorating. Those involved therefore decided to build a school of solid construction — land was bought and plans were made.

School in Haiti.

The Crosby Fund for Haitian Education, which is run by Becky and Ted Crosby of Old Lyme, has been  providing scholarships for students in Haiti for 15 years and now supports hundreds of students.

When the Crosby Fund took its first group of local high school students to Haiti in 2014, Hannah Behringer and her mother, Julie Martel, were among the travelers. On that trip they first met Charles and Louis.

On return visits to Haiti, Charles and Louis continued to demonstrate their hard-working and generous nature along with a desire to help their community in the face of very limited resources. Martel comments, “They raised some funds for the school, but securing funds in a country with no public school system is extremely challenging.”

After hearing the story of the school, mother and daughter Martel and Behringer decided to helpCharles and Louis, so they set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the school construction. It has been progressing successfully, thanks in large part to generous donations from residents of Lyme and Old Lyme, who value education for children locally and around the world.

Construction is progressing on the new school, but donations are still needed.

Over $13,000 of the $20,000 target has been raised and donations are still being received. Behringer notes, “Education strengthens not only individuals but also countries. It is rewarding to contribute to an investment that will make a lasting difference in people’s lives.”

Initial installments of money raised have been sent to Haiti and construction has started. A group of local high school students traveled to Haiti with the Crosby Fund recently and hiked up to the school site both to see for themselves the status of  construction and to spend time with students that attend the school.

Brynn McGlinchey, a junior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School who has helped with the fundraising, was on the trip. She summarized her impressions after visiting the construction site, saying, “I had been eagerly waiting to see the progress of the school in Didier since my visit to Haiti last spring. I was so impressed to see how much has been accomplished in a year.”

She continued, “As we arrived at the work site, we noticed a man trekking up and down the steep hill to deliver large rocks to Haitian masons. I was amazed to see this dedicated group of people working together in 90 degree heat to use the funds we have raised to build this school.”

Students from Old Lyme hike up to the School for Didier in Haiti’s Artibonite Valley.

McGlinchey concluded, “As our group watched the building progress, students joined us, giggling and pointing at what will soon be their permanent school. Their enthusiasm showed their appreciation of this project and their excitement to learn in this new building.”

Editor’s Note: If you would like to contribute to this project to build a school for Didier in Haiti, please visit the GoFund Me website that Mertel and Behringer created at  https://www.gofundme.com/help-haitians-build-a-school and follow the simple instructions for how to donate. 

Alternatively, if you would prefer to send a check, then make it payable to the Crosby Fund for Haitian Education with a note “School for Didier” and mail it to P.O. Box 953, Old Lyme, CT 06371, USA.

Thank you!

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Join the Parade! LYSB Invites “Anyone on Wheels” to March With Them

bike-parade-for-the-little-onesLymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) invites any youth in Lyme and Old Lyme, who are not already participating in the Memorial Day parade down Lyme Street on Monday, to join the parade and march with them.

Participants on bikes, scooters, wagons, strollers … basically anything with wheels (but nothing that’s motorized!) to participate.

Meet at the corner of the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School tennis courts (behind the large blue/white sign “Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools”) at 10:30 a.m. The parade steps off at 11 a.m.

Come and join the fun!

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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 www.usrowing.org and/or www.oldlymerowing.org or email mmrowing2004@gmail.com

Register online for Learn to Row Day at this link.

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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.
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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 info@estuarytransit.org 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 www.9towntransit.com/fundtransit.

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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 connecticutbarns.org 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 https://youtu.be/V8MdLSNc9JI

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.

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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.

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Old Lyme Joins 37 Other Towns in 2018 Sustainable CT Challenge

In February 2018, the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen voted to join Sustainable CT, an exciting new initiative to support Connecticut’s cities and towns. The statewide initiative, created by towns for towns, includes a detailed menu of sustainability best practices, tools and resources, peer learning, and recognition.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our community; a chance for representatives from our many organizations to work together toward common goals. The idea has been met with much enthusiasm and we can’t wait to get started,” comments Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder.

The Sustainable CT platform supports a broad range of actions, such as improving watershed management, supporting arts and creative culture, reducing energy use and increasing renewable energy, implementing “complete streets” (streets that meet the needs of walkers and bikers as well as cars), improving recycling programs, assessing climate vulnerability, supporting local businesses, and providing efficient and diverse housing options. 

Old Lyme has already embraced so many of the key concepts – the Town is already known as an arts community and Sustainable CT will enable Old Lyme to take that support to a new level. There is no cost to participate and communities will voluntarily select actions that meet their unique, local character and long-term vision. After successful implementation of a variety of actions, municipalities will be eligible for Sustainable CT certification.

The initiative was developed under the leadership of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University in partnership with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.  Three Connecticut philanthropies – The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Hampshire Foundation, and the Common Sense Fund – have supported the program’s development and launch.

“We are thrilled that Old Lyme has passed a resolution to join Sustainable CT. The program builds on many current success stories in our communities to create and support more great places to live, work, and play,” said Lynn Stoddard, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy.  “We are looking forward to working with the Town as they pursue Sustainable CT certification.”

If you are interested in working with the Sustainable CT Team in Old Lyme, contact the Selectman’s Office at selectmansoffice@oldlyme-ct.gov.

For more information on Sustainable CT, visit the program’s website at www.sustainablect.org.

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HOPE Partnership Hosts FRIENDraiser Tomorrow at Old Lyme Country Club, All Welcome

On Wednesday, April 11, HOPE Partnership will be hosting their annual “FRIEND raiser” at the Old Lyme Country Club in Old Lyme, CT.  This event will be held from 5 until 7 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and wine, and is free to all who wish to attend.

HOPE is inviting all interested members of the community to join them and learn about HOPE’s mission to develop affordable housing options along the shoreline.

Executive Director, Lauren Ashe noted, ”We are very excited to host this event at the Old Lyme Country Club and share HOPE’s progress in making affordable housing options a reality for members of our community.   The need for affordable homes has impacted many of neighbors who may be working full time but unable to make ends meet or they may be young adults who wish to stay or return to the area where they grew up.  This evening is about friendship, partnership and community, while enjoying a glass of wine and refreshments.”

Anyone interested in attending can RSVP to Loretta@HOPE-CT.org or by calling 860-388-9513.

Founded in April 2004, HOPE Partnership is a non-profit organization committed to advocating and developing affordable housing opportunities to support families living and working in southern Middlesex County and surrounding towns.  HOPE’s purpose is to advocate for and create high-quality rental housing targeted to people earning between 50 and 80 percent of the local median income.

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Tickets on Sale Now for Community Music School’s 35th Anniversary Gala, April 27

Making plans for this year’s 35th anniversary CMS gala are, from left to right, CMS Music Director Tom Briggs, CMS Trustee and Gala Sponsor Bruce Lawrence of Bogaert Construction, CMS Trustee and Gala Sponsor Jennifer Bauman of The Bauman Family Foundation, and CMS Executive Director Abigail Nickell.

Community Music School’s (CMS) largest annual fundraiser is the CMS Gala and this year the organization is  celebrating its 35th anniversary with For the Love of Music! The event takes place on Friday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. in Deep River at The Lace Factory and includes fabulous musical entertainment provided by CMS faculty and students. Enjoy cocktail jazz and an exquisite dinner show, as well as gourmet food, dancing, silent auction, fine wines and more.

Featured faculty and student performers include Music Director Tom Briggs, Noelle Avena, John Birt, Amy Buckley, Luana Calisman-Yuri, Audrey Estelle, Joni Gage, Silvia Gopalakrishnan, Martha Herrle, Ling-Fei Kang, Barbara Malinsky, Matt McCauley, Kevin O’Neil, Andy Sherwood, and Marty Wirt.

Support of the Community Music School gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with financial need, as well as weekly music education and music therapy services for students with special needs.

For The Love of Music sponsors include The Bauman Family Foundation, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Bogaert Construction, Clark Group, Essex Savings Bank, Essex Financial Services, Grossman Chevrolet Nissan, Guilford Savings Bank, Jackson Lewis, Kitchings & Potter, Maple Lane Farms, Reynold’s Subaru, Ring’s End, Shore Publishing, Thomas Alexa Wealth Management, Tidal Counseling LLC, and Tower Labs LTD.

Early bird tickets for the evening are $125 per person ($65 is tax deductible) by April 13 and $135 thereafter. Event tickets include hors d’oeuvres, gourmet food stations, wine and beer, live music, and dancing. Tickets may be purchased online at community-music-school.org/gala, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 35 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. The CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  To learn more, visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)-767-0026.

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Local AAUW Hosts Luncheon with Nationally-Acclaimed Authors at Saybrook Point Inn, April 14

The Lower Connecticut Valley branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will sponsor a luncheon at the Saybrook Point Inn on Saturday, April 14, from 11:30 am to 3 pm. Randy Susan Meyers, author of the bestseller, The Widow of Wall Street, and Brunonia Barry, author of the novels The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal, will discuss their books and their writing process.

Tickets are $50 and help to provide scholarships for local women pursuing higher education. There will also be silent and chance auctions. Reservation forms may be downloaded at http://lowerctvalley-ct.aauw.net. The deadline is April 5.

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Informational Meeting for New NCL Mom-Daughter Local Chapter Held in Old Lyme


The National Charity League (NCL) is a an organization of mothers and daughters in 7th through 12th grade.  The mission of NCL is to foster mother-daughter relationships in a philanthropic organization committed to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.
The NCL is more than a service club or a social club — it is a well-rounded, three-pillared organization that provides opportunities to be intentional in your relationship with your daughter and to role-model actively things you would like her to learn.  There is no religious or political affiliation, and the members will decide which non-profit organizations are served.
The NCL currently has 250 chapters, totaling 65,000 members across 26 states.  A Shoreline Chapter of NCL is being started and is recruiting girls currently in 6th to 11th grade AND their Mothers.

If you like the idea of volunteering with your mom or daughter and building a bond while servicing others, join the Chapter’s founders for an informational meeting on Saturday, March 24, at 5 p.m. in the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau community room at 59 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

For more information, visit this link.
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Enjoy a ‘Tavern Night’ Tonight at CT River Museum

On Friday, March 23, the Connecticut River Museum brings back its popular 1814 Tavern Night.  This lively 19th century evening will take place at the museum’s historic Samuel Lay House overlooking scenic Essex harbor.  The house will be transformed into a candlelit riverside tavern from the War of 1812. 

The evening includes Heritage Wines and Port Tastings with folklorist Stephen Gencarella and historian Chris Dobbs with music by Joseph Mornealt  Additional wine and beer will be available at the cash bar.

The final candle lit evening planned will be held April 27  with Olde Burnside Brewing Company beer tastings; music by Rick Spencer, Dawn Indermuehle & Chris Dobbs. 

Tastings take place at 6 and 8 p.m.  Space is limited and reservations are required.  Call to reserve tickets at 860-767-8269 or visit ctrivermuseum.org.  Tickets are $24 for museum members or $29 for the general public (must be 21 or older and show valid ID).  Includes bourbon whiskey tasting, light bites, and entertainment.  The evening is sponsored in part by Catering by Selene, Connecticut Rental Center and Bob’s Centerbrook Package Store.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 AM – 5 PM and closed on Mondays until Memorial Day. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $7 for students, $6 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.  For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to www.ctrivermuseum.org

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POSTPONED to 4/10: Chamber Welcomes MCCD as Speaker at Next Dinner Meeting

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

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

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

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

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

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

Questions? Contact Chamber President Olwen Logan at editor@lymeline.com

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Lyme Ambulance Association Donates AED to Lyme Library

Andy Smith (left) President of the Lyme Ambulance Assoc. Board of Directors, presents an AED machine to Jack Sulger of Lyme Library. Photo by Frank Yaskin, 2017.

Lyme Ambulance Association Board of Directors President Andy Smith (left) recently presented an Automated External Defibrillating (AED) machine to Jack Sulger, President of the Lyme Library Association, for use in the Lyme Public Library.

Automated External Defibrillating machines are now found in most public buildings as they are simple to use and can prevent sudden cardiac death.

This donation program is part of Lyme Ambulance Association’s commitment to the Lyme community.

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Old Lyme Church Rings Bell 17 Times in Memory of Those Killed in Parkland, Fla.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme where the bell will be rung 17 times this afternoon in memory of the 17 individuals shot and killed in Parkland, Fla., last Wednesday.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) held a bell-ringing vigil on the front lawn of its church Sunday afternoon, Feb. 18, ringing the bell in its steeple 17 times, once for each of the victims of the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Fla.

In announcing the community vigil, FCCOL Senior Minister Steve Jungkeit said: “In times past, bells were used in small New England villages as a way of drawing people out of their homes to announce times of worship, celebration and mourning – but also as a way of sounding an alarm, of calling a community to action.”

He continued, “We invite the entire Old Lyme community to come out of their homes and join us, as we remember the 17 individuals who lost their lives to the recent gun violence in Parkland, Florida. The somber tolls will not only remind us of each precious life lost, they will also serve as an alarm, calling us to attention as a community – providing loud, resonant, insistent reminders of the insanity of firearms in this country.”

He concluded, “As a country, we need the clarion call of a bell to rouse us from our national slumber. We need to improve our society and change the way we live.”

The church held vigils after the mass shootings in Las Vegas, Nev., and Sutherland Springs, Texas.

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CT Farmland Trust Announces Protection of New Mercies Farm in Lyme

Turning the soil with horses at New Mercies Farm.

Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT) has recently announced the protection of New Mercies Farm in Lyme, Conn. The development rights were donated by a couple to CFT as part of their master plan for the farm and the community around them: to preserve the land for agricultural use, to provide wholesome food for the community, and to create an opportunity for young farmers to pursue their chosen profession.

New Mercies Farm is a small farm at 4.6 acres, but the compact size does not stop the farm managers from sustaining a 100-member Community Supported Agriculture venture. The farm, close to Beaver Brook and Cedar Lake, contains 100 percent important farmland soils.

In 2012, the Hornbakes purchased the property that was slated to be developed for several homesites. They bought the land to conserve it and created a farm where none was before, New Mercies Farm, named after a hymn.

Deborah is a distinguished sculptor and Rod is a physician. They are lifelong organic gardeners who have owned a cattle farm in the past. That has not stopped them from sharing their love and respect for farming. Rod Hornbake will tell you that, “Supporting young farmers is critical. Young people need and deserve our respect and support.”

After the Hornbakes purchased the property with the idea of protecting it and then selling it to a farmer, they found a beginner farmer with whom to enter into a lease-to-buy arrangement, and then leased the land to Baylee Drown and Ryan Quinn. Drown, with her husband Ryan Quinn, already owns Upper Pond Farm one town over. Drown has brought her high energy and passion for excellent, nutritional food to the community just as the Hornbakes had hoped.

“The Hornbake’s goal to preserve a healthy farm then turn the ownership over to young farmers at an affordable cost is an inspiration,” said Elisabeth Moore, CFT’s Executive Director. The organization hopes that more land owners will think about conserving their land in 2018.

Deborah and her husband approached Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT) in early 2017 to protect New Mercies Farm.  Although the farm is located in a suburban region ripe for housing developments, the family chose to donate for the development rights. CFT staff facilitated the preservation of the farmland. This is also the smallest farm CFT has protected and one of several vegetable farms. Deborah Hornbake is clear, “By accepting our gift of the development rights, the Connecticut Farmland Trust makes the farm affordable to the farmers.”

After closing, Deborah and Rod Hornbake will sell the protected farm to the young farm couple, Baylee Drown and Ryan Quinn, who already manage the land. Drown says, “We are excited to continue the farming tradition in our community. We hope to work within our community to increase the quality and healthfulness of food on people’s plates in their home.” Drowns’ farming style is highly invested in Lyme-Old Lyme’s community and the community responds positively.

Since its founding in 2002, CFT has protected 43 farms, saving 3,364 acres. CFT is a private 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that relies on Connecticut residents to support its operations. CFT is Connecticut’s only statewide land trust, and the only land trust in the state dedicated solely to the protection of agricultural land.

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CT River Museum Offers Range of Winter Wildlife Programs, Activities

Eagles on Ice: White-headed adult eagles can be seen in numbers along the lower Connecticut River. Photo by Mark Yuknat.

Winter along the Connecticut River brings many things – including cold winds and grey skies.  But the change in seasons also signals a shift in the ecology of New England’s Great River.  The osprey, the swallows and the egrets may be gone, but in their place now are mergansers, goldeneyes, and the highlight – bald eagles.  These once rare, majestic birds can be seen fishing along the unfrozen lower Connecticut River, a testament to one of the greatest environmental recoveries of the last half century.  To highlight these winter wonders, Connecticut River Museum (CRM) has planned a range of programs and activities.

Connecticut River Museum is happy to again partner with Connecticut River Expeditions to offer Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruises in February and March.  These popular trips offer visitors a chance to get out on the River in winter to see eagles, as well as other winter species that visit the estuary such as harbor seals.

This seal is relaxing on the Connecticut River ice. Photo by Bill Yule.

Cruises aboard the environmentally friendly R/V RiverQuest provide passengers with a comfortable, heated cabin supplied with hot coffee and tea, as well as binoculars to aid in spotting and narration from a staff naturalist.  These cruises depart Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at various times in the morning and early afternoon, and are $42 per passenger.  Museum members get 10 percent off and group rates are available.

In addition, the Museum will offer its annual Eagles of Essex exhibit, which offers a wealth of information about bald eagles and their return to the lower Connecticut River.  Patrons can try their hand at building an eagle nest, and marvel at life size silhouettes of Eagles and other large raptors, a map showing good shore viewing locations, and other displays.  On the opening day of the season, Saturday, Feb. 3, the exhibit will host Family Activities related to the return of the Eagles from 1 to 4 p.m., free with Museum admission.

On Saturday, Feb. 17 and March 17, award-winning photographer Stanley Kolber returns to CRM to offer his annual Bird Photography Workshop.  Kolber has been photographing birds for years, and takes great pleasure in sharing his experience with aspiring photographers of all levels, through anecdotes, slides, and question and answer.  In addition to helping skills development, his greatest pleasure in giving workshops is the opportunity to kindle and encourage his audience’s interest in the natural world.  He hopes that young people as well as adults will attend the workshops, so that he can impart some of his own enthusiasm to the next generation.  These popular programs are also free with Museum admission.

Species other than Eagles visit our River during the winter months. Photo by Joan Meek.

A Live Birds of Prey Show will be offered on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 4:30 p.m.  CRM will partner with Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation Organization for this annual show, which features a bald eagle and several other species of raptors.  Visitors will be able to get an up close look at the birds while learning more about the lifecycle and ecology of these magnificent animals.  This event will be held at the Centerbrook Meeting House and is free to the public.

For a full listing of event details, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.  The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open Tuesday – Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Connecticut River Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River.

For more information, call CRM at 860.767.8269 or RiverQuest at 860.662.0577.

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Op-Ed: In Light of Current Events, Head of The Country School Confirms, Defends School’s Mission

By John D. Fixx, Head of School at The Country School

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a moment in which people in the United States and throughout the world celebrate a gentleman who gave his life striving for equality and the principle that all people are created equal.

Our country has stood for generations as an example of hope for people throughout the world. Many relatives of our families and teachers arrived here recently or generations ago. Some arrived as slaves. Some arrived voluntarily to seek a better life of freedom, opportunity, and the pursuit of happiness.

I am concerned that students have recently been hearing from the White House, the entertainment world, and the sports world that not all people are created equal. I send this letter, therefore, to make it clear how language and actions in the news today are counter to our mission at The Country School — to make it clear that as educators we will honor forthright questions from inquisitive students while striving to respect parental prerogative and disparate political viewpoints. It should not be controversial to deplore language and actions that undermine the bedrock on which the United States has been built and has prospered.

Our students might be reading on their phones and hearing stories about the mistreatment of women in Hollywood, on Olympic teams, and by influential men in broadcasting and elsewhere, while also hearing reports of hateful, racist, dangerous words from Washington that are inappropriate to use anywhere on our campus or use, many would argue, anywhere in a polite, civil society.

The Country School’s mission reads, “We nurture every student’s unique role in the community,” and that means that we value their differences. We live our mission daily by “encouraging students to embrace differences, explore new perspectives, and find common ground in a multicultural world.” We honor this ethos especially through our IDEA (Interpreting Diversity Education through Action) Day and Theme Day workshops, but also every day when we teach empathy and kindness.

I am tremendously proud of The Country School’s increasing diversity, as measured in terms of race, culture, family structures, religion, nationality, socio-economic status, and so forth. Our students’ families come from at least 27 different countries and their parents and grandparents speak some 17 languages at home. Our community spans the world, from Poland to Portugal and from China to Cambodia, from India to Israel to Italy to Ireland to Iceland, from Taiwan to Texas, from Lima to London, from Hungary to Sudan, and from California to Colombia. As educators, we cannot defend the idea that some families’ countries are worse or better than other countries.

Our core values state that our students “practice empathy by considering different perspectives and making all members of the community feel welcomed, included, and respected.” The Country School’s Mission Statement speaks to character and leadership development. As we teach our students in the Elmore Leadership Program, there are many ways to lead, and the best leaders bring disparate groups together to accomplish more than any individual could achieve on her or his own. And as part of the Elmore Leadership Program, we also teach students that leaders should use elegant, elevated language, and they should avoid profanity, misogyny, and similar “locker room” language.

We routinely answer questions as candidly and cleanly as we can, keeping our politics as adults as neutral as possible. I write this not to address specific tax policies or the Russian investigation, or a Mexican border wall, or trade agreements, or North Korean missiles, and so forth.

Rather, I want to make clear that it is part of our leadership mission at The Country School to ensure that our students understand that people can disagree agreeably, can use civil and respectful language, and — whether in Connecticut, Washington D.C., New York, or Hollywood — can always follow our primary school rule:

        1. Be kind.

Editor’s Note: Founded in 1955, The Country School serves 215 students in PreSchool to Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus in Madison. See our community in action during our Open House on January 28 from 1-3:30 p.m. Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce Names Looney December’s ‘Business Student of the Month’

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Assistant Principal Jeanne Manfredi presents Lyme-Old Lyme High School junior Patrick Looney with his award as the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce December 2017 Business Student of the Month. Leslie Traver, Lyme-Old Lyme High School Business Department Chair, joined the celebrations.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School junior Patrick Looney has been named the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce ‘Business Student of the Month’ for December 2017.

The Chamber’s ‘Business Student of the Month’ program continues the Chamber tradition of recognizing members of the junior class for demonstrating outstanding initiative in and out of the classroom.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce established the N. Rutherford Sheffield Memorial Award for Entrepreneurial Promise & Achievement for Lyme-Old Lyme High School juniors in 1999 as a way to honor Mr. Sheffield, a member of the Chamber for over 50 years who was highly regarded in our Lyme-Old Lyme community.

Since its inception, nearly 35 juniors at Lyme-Old Lyme High School have been recognized through this program.

(photo, l-r: Jeanne Manfredi, Lyme-Old Lyme High School Assistant Principal;
Leslie Traver, Lyme-Old Lyme High School Business Department Chair;
Patrick Looney, Lyme-Old Lyme High School junior and Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce December 2017 Business Student of the Month)

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