May 28, 2017

Child & Family Agency of SE Connecticut Honors Volunteers at 44th Annual Meeting

Mary Dangremond (left) and Amanda Rutledge (at podium)were honored by the Child and Family Agency for their tireless volunteerism in support of the organization.

Named two of four ‘Volunteers of the Year’, Mary Dangremond (left) of Old Lyme and Amanda Rutledge , formerly of Old Lyme and now of Old Saybrook, were honored by the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut for their tireless dedication in support of the organization.

Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut honored its volunteers at its 44th Annual Meeting. The award ceremony, held Nov. 15 at the B.P. Learned Mission, recognized individuals who have donated their time and talents to support the work of the Agency- promoting the well-being and development of all children and their families.

Dr. Manuel Rivera, Superintendent of New London Public Schools, delivered the keynote address before a packed room of Child and Family Agency staff, Board of Directors and volunteers.

Dr. Manuel Rivera, Superintendent of New London Schools, was the keynote speaker at the Annual Meeting.

Dr. Manuel Rivera, Superintendent of New London Schools, was the keynote speaker at the Annual Meeting.

Child and Family Agency honored volunteers in three award categories: the Child and Family Agency Volunteer of the Year Award, the Lillian Erb Award for outstanding service at the Annual Sale, and the 2016 Auxiliary Volunteers of the Year Awards.  Staff members were also recognized for their years of service to the Agency.

“The backbone of Child and Family Agency is the partnership between our 650-plus auxiliary volunteers, our Board, and our 190-plus dedicated staff, all of whom believe that children’s health and well-being are of paramount importance to our communities,” said Rick Calvert, Chief Executive Officer, Child and Family Agency. “It is an honor to work with such a generous, talented group of people,” Calvert said.

Mary Dangremond, Lois Geary, Ellie Krusewski and Amanda Rutledge received the Child and Family Agency Volunteer of the Year for their many years of service, especially as co-chairs of the Child and Family Agency Annual Sale.  All have served on the Board of Directors, have chaired or co-chaired the auxiliary and other major initiatives on behalf of the Agency.

SFC Trevor Evans, of the Army National Guard, was awarded the Lillian Erb Award.  SFC Evans has demonstrated outstanding service for Child and Family Agency, especially during the Annual Sale.

2016 Auxiliary Volunteers of the Year Awards were presented to Judi and Tom Mitchell, Beebe Miller, Carole Mackin, Laurie Walker, Carol Connor, and Earline Goebel for their service with the East Lyme, Essex River Valley, Groton, Lyme-Old Lyme, Mystic/Noank/Stonington, and New London-Waterford Auxiliaries.

The Agency wishes to thank outgoing board members Sally Crawford, Mary Dangremond, Carole Mackin and Jen Daly McFadden as well as welcome Donetta Hodge, Jerome Fischer and Julie Stone to the board.

Child & Family’s mission is to promote the well-being and development of all children and their families, focusing in particular on the unmet needs of children lacking physical, emotional and intellectual care and nurturing. Programs deal with children’s mental health, child abuse prevention, the treatment of family violence, teen pregnancy, children’s health care, childcare, and parent education. Last year families were served in 79 towns in New Haven, Middlesex, Windham and New London Counties, the Child & Family Agency service region.

Visit the Agency’s website to learn more, volunteer, or donate:


Women Playwright’s Initiative Taking Shape at Ivoryton Playhouse, Director Submissions Now Sought

In February 2016, Laura Copland, Director of Play Development, and Jacqui Hubbard, Executive/Artistic Director of The Ivoryton Playhouse, began talks about creating a safe environment for women playwrights to workshop their plays with professional actors and directors. The Ivoryton Playhouse is excited to announce the 2017 inaugural festival of the Women Playwright’s Initiative. The workshopping festival runs from Feb. 26 to March 4, 2017. Staged readings of the winning scripts will take place on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4, 2017 at The Ivoryton Playhouse, 103 Main Street, Ivoryton, CT, followed by discussions with playwrights, actors and directors.

A call for one act plays went out on the League of Professional Theatre Women’s website and was picked up across the country. By the submission deadline of Sept. 15, the Initiative received 183 scripts. The scripts hailed from all over the United States and Canada, even Israel.

For Ms. Copland, who read all of the plays, this experience has been humbling and inspiring. “All these women!  All these women expressing in dialogue and conflict, their passion, intelligence, yearning, anger, hurt, love, and humor. Women are a force! It has been my honor to read their work.”

The time constraints of one week rehearsal and two nights of staged readings permitted no more than two hour-long plays, and two shorter plays. After wrenching deliberation, thirteen plays were under consideration. Many fascinating plays with potential had to be eliminated. The small committee included Ms. Copland, Ms. Hubbard, Susan McCann, Box Office Manager at The Ivoryton Playhouse, Margaret McGlone Jennings, director, teacher and actor and Brooks Appelbaum, director and theatre critic.

Four terrific plays were selected. The committee is proud of the choices and looks forward to working with the playwrights, cast, and directors in what we hope will be a successful inaugural season of the Ivoryton Playhouse’s Women Playwright’s Initiative.

The Playhouse is now seeking submissions from local directors. The deadline for resume submissions is Nov. 30, 2016. Submit to Laura Copland at (Calls for local actors will be in January, 2017.)

For more information about the Women’s Playwright Initiative, contact Jacqueline Hubbard, Executive Director, The Ivoryton Playhouse, at 860-767-9502 or


It’s Thanksgiving … so Let’s Talk Turkey

As you busy yourself making plans for today’s feast, we would like to wish all our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving and to republish a pertinent article about the evolution of this quintessential American meal that our good friend — and wonderful writer — Linda Ahnert of Old Lyme wrote for us back in 2007.

Who Doesn’t Love Thanksgiving?

Giving thanks_bookA few years ago, a book entitled “Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie” was published.  The co-authors are Kathleen Curtin, food historian at the Plimoth Plantation, Mass., and Sandra L. Oliver, food historian and publisher of the newsletter “Food History News.”

The book is a fascinating look at how an autumnal feast evolved into a “quintessential American holiday.”

Most Americans, introduced to the story of the Pilgrims and Indians during childhood, assume there is a direct link between the traditional holiday menu and the first Thanksgiving.  But we learn from the book that many of those food items—such as mashed potatoes and apple pie—were simply impossible in Plymouth, Mass., in 1621.  Potatoes were not introduced to New England until much later and those first settlers did not yet have ovens to bake pies.

What we do know about the bill of fare at the first celebration in 1621 comes from a letter written by colonist Edward Winslow to a friend in England:  “Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors.”

Later 90 Indians joined the party with “their great king Massasoit whom for three days we entertained and feasted.”  Then the Indians “went out and killed five deer which they brought to the plantation.”

So venison was a principal food on the menu.  It also seems safe to assume that mussels, clams, and lobsters (all in plentiful supply) were served as well.   According to other journals of the colonists, the “fowl” that Winslow described were probably ducks and geese.  But wild turkeys were also bountiful in 1621, and so it is very likely that they were on the Pilgrims’ table.  Thank goodness for that.

Throughout the New England colonies, it became common to proclaim a day of thanksgiving sometime in the autumn.  In period diaries, there are many descriptions of food preparation—such as butchering and pie baking—followed by the notation that “today was the general thanksgiving.”

By the 19th century, Americans were taking the idea of a “thanksgiving” to a whole new level.  The religious connotations were dropping away in favor of a holiday celebrating family and food.  Roast turkey had become the centerpiece of these fall celebrations.

Turkeys, of course, were native to North America.  (Benjamin Franklin, in a letter, had even proposed the turkey as the official U.S. bird!)  And turkey was considered to be a fashionable food back in the mother country.  Just think of the significance of turkey in Charles’ Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”  When Scrooge wakes up in a joyful mood on Christmas morning, he calls to a boy in the street to deliver the prize turkey in the poulterer’s shop to the Cratchit family.  (Earlier in the story, the poor Cratchits were dining on goose.)

It is thanks to a New England woman that Thanksgiving became an American holiday.  Sarah Hale was a native of New Hampshire and the editor of “Godey’s Lady’s  Book,”  a popular women’s magazine.  She lobbied for years for a national observance of Thanksgiving.  She wrote editorials and sent letters to the president, all state governors, and members of Congress.

Finally, in 1863, she convinced Abraham Lincoln that a national Thanksgiving Day might help to unite the Civil War-stricken country.   The fourth Thursday in November was now officially on the American calendar.

Connecticut’s own Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote this description of a New England Thanksgiving in one of her novels—“But who shall . . .describe the turkey, and chickens, and chicken pies, with all that endless variety of vegetables which the American soil and climate have contributed to the table . . . After the meat came the plum-puddings, and then the endless array of pies. . .”

The autumnal feast became a national holiday, but each region of the country put its own spin on the menu.   Not to mention that immigrants have also added diversity.  The result is a true “melting pot” of America.  The second half of “Giving Thanks” contains recipes that reflect what Americans eat for Thanksgiving in the 21st century.

In the South, for instance, the turkey might be stuffed with cornbread and there would be pecan and sweet potato pies on the table.  In New Mexico, chiles and Southwestern flavors may be added to the stuffing.

There’s the “time-honored traditional bread stuffing” recipe.  There’s also one for a Chinese American rice dressing and directions for a Cuban turkey stuffed with black beans and rice.  Desserts run the gamut from an (authentic) Indian pudding to an (exotic) coconut rice pudding.  Old-fashioned pumpkin pie is included as well as the newfangled pumpkin cheesecake.

But no matter what food items grace our Thanksgiving tables, it seems that we all end up stuffing ourselves silly.  Perhaps overeating started at that very first harvest celebration in 1621.  In Edward Winslow’s letter describing the feast with the Indians, he noted that food was not always this plentiful. But he wrote his friend in England “ … yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”


Honoring Veterans Throughout Our Community

Poppy-Royal_British_Legion's_Paper_Poppy_-_white_backgroundLyme-Old Lyme Schools are open today with each school hosting a program to honor our veterans as follows:

Lyme Consolidated School
1:00 -2:00 pm: Tea
2:00- 3:10 p.m: Town Meeting Assembly

Mile Creek School
2:00 p.m: Assembly and Tea

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School
8:00-9:00 am: Breakfast
9:00-10:00 am: Assembly

Lyme-Old Lyme High School
10:30-11:15 am: Reception/refreshments followed by assembly

Both the Lyme and Old Lyme Town Hall offices along with the Lymes’ Senior Center and Old Lyme Transfer Station are closed today in honor of Veterans’ Day.

There is no change to the trash and recycling pick-up schedule in Old Lyme.




Old Lyme Historical Society’s ‘Now & Then’ Calendar Now on Sale

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-8-51-21-amThe Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS) will be hosting a Community Event this afternoon at their building at 55 Lyme Street from 4 to 6 p.m. to mark the release of the 2017 ‘Now & Then’ Community Calendar.
The 2017 calendar will be available for sale, refreshments will be served, music will be provided by Skip Beebe and weaving demonstrations will also be given by the Connecticut Handweavers Guild Area 4. A door prize will also be offered.
All are welcome and admission is free

For more information, visit


Literacy Volunteers Honor Volunteers with November Book Sale

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) honors volunteers everywhere with its November book sale. Volunteers are eligible for free books.

You make it possible by purchasing one book at full price and receiving another one free. As a bonus, LVVS will donate a free book to any volunteer who visits during the month of November.

Stop in and see what LVVS is all about — come browse, or just say “Hi”.

The organization is located in the lower level of Westbrook Library,  61 Goodspeed Dr. off Rte. 1. The sale is open from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and 1st and 3rd  Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Visit  or call 860-399-0280 for more information.

Finished with your book?  Consider donating it to LVVS — all books in good shape 2006 or newer are gratefully accepted.


Recycling in Old Lyme: Getting Rid of Mattresses

mattresses is pleased to be publishing a series of articles written by Old Lyme’s Solid Waste & Recycling Committee that lay out best recycling practices.  To date, the committee’s articles have covered Old Lyme’s curbside trash and recycling programs; the safe disposal of medications; and paint recycling.  This article covers the recycling of mattresses and box springs.

The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), which is the trade association for the mattress industry, estimates that 35 to 40 million new mattresses and box springs are sold in the United States every year, and at least 15 to 20 million are discarded.

Unfortunately, mattresses are really hard to throw out; there is just no easy way to dispose of them.  They are difficult to land-fill because they can’t be easily compressed and crushed; they pose challenges for incinerators.

So, disposal of mattresses and box springs at the end of their useful life was difficult for towns to manage. Hartford estimated that mattress disposal cost that city about $400,000 in 2010.  Consequently, they are often illegally dumped and found on vacant lots and roadsides.  As a matter of fact, there was a mattress lawn ornament right here in Old Lyme on Rte. 156. It was only recently removed after gracing our roadside for several months. (Thanks, neighbor!)

Connecticut passed comprehensive mattress stewardship legislation in 2013 (the first state to do so.)  Similar to paint, the law requires mattress manufacturers to establish programs to manage unwanted mattresses and box springs; and, like paint, a fee is assessed at the point of sale to fund the program.  California and Rhode Island have since passed similar mattress stewardship laws.

The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) was formed by ISPA to operate recycling programs in the states that have such laws. Connecticut’s program launched in May, 2015.  “Bye Bye Mattress” (really!) is the recycling program established by MRC. They provide haulers that pick up and transport mattresses and box springs from drop-off sites to recycling centers. Our local drop-off site is Old Lyme’s transfer station.  There are currently mattress recycling facilities in East Hartford and Bridgeport; ours extends to East Hartford.  Mattresses get recycled through the state’s recycling program regardless of when they were purchased.  Note that most mattress retailers will remove your old mattress on delivery of new.

The industry estimates that nearly 90 percent of used mattress and box springs’ components can be recycled — the metal springs, foam, wood and fibers — and made into new useful products.

Before putting this topic to rest, it’s worthwhile to mention the issue of bed bugs. Infested mattresses require special handling.  If you have concerns regarding bed bugs you can find information and guidance from Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection at or the Connecticut Coalition Against Bed Bugs at

Our next few articles will cover the proper recycling of electronics, tires, and bulky items like appliances and furniture.

If you have questions or comments, contact Leslie O’Connor at or Tom Gotowka at


Nancy Larson Foundation Opens Applications for 2016 Education Scholarships

The Nancy Larson Foundation is currently accepting applications from college upperclassmen and graduate students preparing to be elementary school teachers.

The Nancy Larson Foundation, which is headquartered in Old Lyme, is dedicated to helping promising students majoring in elementary education.

Since its inception in 2006, the Foundation has awarded more than 50 scholarships to students across the country.

Eachyear the Foundation awards at least five $1,000 scholarships to deserving college students who excel in the classroom and their communities.

Nancy Larson is the author of two nationally successful curriculum programs: Nancy Larson® Science K–4 and Saxon Math K-4.

She feels that it is critical to support the development of young teachers who shape children’s minds and better position our country to become a leader in science and math.

“We want to provide a helping hand to aspiring teachers who have worked hard to position
themselves for anoutstanding career,’’ said Larson. “The Foundation works to positively affect the quality of education forthousands of students taught over the lifetime of our Nancy Larson Foundation Scholars.” Juniors, seniors, and graduate students who have declared an elementary education major are invited to apply.

They should submit a personal narrative about why they want to teach and what will make them excellent teachers.

Applicants are also asked to include community service activities as well as experiences they have had working with children. Applications are accepted from Oct.1 through Nov. 15, 2016. Applications must be completed in full and postmarked by Nov. 15 to be considered.

Scholarship recipients will be notified by Dec. 31, 2016.

Larson, a former teacher and curriculum director, has dedicated her life to advancing elementary education. Her original Saxon Math K–4 program  was developed because teachers needed a classroom-­tested math program that would prepare children for advanced math classes. In recent years, Nancy has used the same approach to develop Nancy Larson Science for kindergarten through fourth grade students.

The program was written to provide in ­depth science content in an easy-to-­teach format.

To learn more about the Nancy Larson Foundation and this scholarship opportunity, visit

The Nancy Larson Foundation, founded in Old Lyme, CT, has a history of 10 years awarding prospectiveelementary educators scholarships to encourage and support their education. The Nancy Larson Foundation awards scholarships to the top entries.

For entry deadlines and requirements, or more information on the Foundation, visit


Buy a Pie! Lyme-Old Lyme Class of 2017 Parents Host Safe Grad Pie Sale

pie-clip-art-pie_cherry_desserts_2929pxParents of theLyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Class of 2017 are now taking orders for fresh pies, tea breads and cookie dough from Bishop’s Orchards in Guilford, Connecticut.

Deadline for orders is Nov. 8 for Nov. 18 delivery — just in time for the holidays!  Check out the Safe Grad website which has a link to the order form

There is a great tradition in Lyme-Old Lyme that for many years, parents of the LOLHS senior class have hosted an all-night “Safe Graduation Party” for the senior class. The goal is to provide a safe, substance free party in a “secret location” where students have the opportunity to share food, music, entertainment and memories with their classmates. For as long as these parties have been provided for our seniors, the community has enjoyed trouble-free graduation nights.

While the party is hosted entirely by parents of seniors, it takes a community effort to help our children remain safe and supervised while celebrating this wonderful milestone. Funding for the party comes entirely from fundraisers, donations from local businesses, organizations, parent and individual contributions.

Although LOLHS and the Regional School District 18 Board of Education support this event, they do not contribute any financial support. The parent organizers rely on fundraisers and donations from parents of seniors and the community to make this event a success.


Groundbreaking Ceremony Celebrates Start of Long-Anticipated Sound View Improvement Project

From left to right, Sound View Improvement Committee members Bonnie Reemsnyder, Frank Pappalardo, Jim Lampos, and MaryJo Nosal dig a ceremonial shovel in the sand at the groundbreaking on Hartford Ave. held Oct. 3.

From left to right, Sound View Improvement Committee members Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, Sound View Commission Chairman and SVIC member Frank Pappalardo, SVIC members Angelo Faenza, Jim Lampos and Rob Haramut (from RiverCOG), and Old Lyme Selectmen Mary Jo Nosal and Skip Sibley dig a ceremonial shovel in the sand at the groundbreaking on Hartford Ave. held Oct. 3.

The sun shone brightly as town officials, Sound View Improvements Committee (SVIC) members, design and construction personnel and a handful of Sound View residents cheerfully gathered at the flagpole at the foot of Hartford Ave. for a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on the long-awaited project to upgrade the street.

Old Lyme residents originally approved $877,000 for the project back in July of this year but this past Tuesday (Sept. 27) increased the amount approved to $911,100 to allow for the bids having come in higher than expected. The improvements comprise the reinstatement of horizontal parking on Hartford Avenue, sidewalks expanded from 3 ft. to 6 ft., lighting, plantings, bike racks and the addition of curbs and bump-outs.

A view up Hartford Ave. looking north prior to the start of the project.

A view up Hartford Ave. looking north prior to the start of the project.

The town expects to receive 80 percent reimbursement on the current project and is still exploring ways to fund the reinstatement of a park (named Sound View Green) and upgraded restrooms, which were originally included in the plan but have both now been removed due to budget overruns.

Construction is scheduled to start Monday, Oct. 10.

Construction is scheduled to start Monday, Oct. 10.

Asked how she felt now that the start of construction is finally imminent, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who also served on the SVIC, responded enthusiastically, “I’m delighted and can’t wait to see everything accomplished.  It’s going to be wonderful and also a great place to walk.”  She commented, “People have been talking about this since I became a Selectwoman in 2003,” adding, “For decades, we’ve talked about this [Sound View] being a ‘diamond in the rough.’ People are tired of talking about it – they want to see some action.”

The theme that the groundbreaking represented the culmination of years of work by many people was echoed repeatedly with Sound View Commission Chairman and SVIC member Frank Pappalardo saying, “It’s been a long time coming … it’s tremendous that we’re actually starting the project.”  He noted that the project represented, “A lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated people.”

From left to right,Ken Golden from B&W Paving and Landscaping, Sound View Commission Chairman and SVIC member Frank Pappalardo, Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, Kurt Prochorena Principal and Civil Engineer from the engineering design firm The BSC Group, Stuart Greacen and Ed Steward from WMC-the project inspection firm.

The design and construction project personnel gathered for a photo, from left to right,Ken Golden from B&W Paving and Landscaping, Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, Kurt Prochorena, Principal and Civil Engineer from the engineering design BSC Group, and Stuart Greacen and Ed Steward from WMC, the project inspection firm.

The project’s designer was the BSC Group of Glastonbury, Conn., and its principal Kurt Prochorena, a civil engineer, also noted the evolution of the project had taken a long time but pointed out, “It’s going to really improve the character of the area.”

Recalling that the eight-member SVIC had started meeting every two weeks back in 2014, SVIC Chairman and Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal said, “I am extremely gratified by all the efforts of the [SVIC] committee, the Sound View Commission, residents, town officials and the BSC Group, who have brought this project to fruition. It’s hopefully the start of other great things in this area.”

Sound View residents (from left to right) Frank and Patty Pappalardo, Shirley Annunziata and Joann Lishing are all smiles at the conclusion of the groundbreaking ceremony.

Sound View residents (from left to right) Frank and Patty Pappalardo, Shirley Annunziata and Joann Lishing are all smiles at the conclusion of the groundbreaking ceremony.

Sound View residents Shirley Annunziata and Joann Lishing, who have both lived in Sound View for many years, were on hand to enjoy the celebrations.  Annunziata mentioned that her family has owned in property in Sound View for some 95 years and was the first of Italian descent to buy in the area. Lishing repeated the much used phrase of the day, “This has been a long time coming,” before noting with a broad smile, “I’m so excited. It’s going to be beautiful!”



Old Lyme’s Shelley Gregory Walks for 10th Year in Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation’s ‘Walk Across SE CT’

Shelley Gregory takes a well-deserved break from her training for today's 26.2 mile TBBCF walk.

Shelley Gregory takes a well-deserved break from her training for today’s 26.2 mile TBBCF walk.

On Oct. 1, Shelley Gregory of Old Lyme is walking in the 11th annual Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation’s (TBBCF) ‘Walk Across Southeastern Connecticut.’  Not only is this the 10th year that Shelley will have completed the full 26.2 mile TBBCF walk, but — on a personal basis — it is also her 8th year cancer-free!

If you would like to contribute to Shelley’s fund-raising goal for this year, then click here.  Shelley was honored this past spring by the TBBCF for her incredible fund-raising efforts over the past 10 years.

Congratulations … and Go, Shelley, Go!

The Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation has funded over $3M in breast cancer research (30 grants of $100,000 each), while raising funds, hopes and dreams for a breast cancer-free future.

The TBBCF is a local non-profit dedicated to providing critical funding to breast cancer research. Their pledge is that 100 percent of gross fundraising dollars goes directly to breast cancer research in the scientific pursuit of medicines and techniques that mitigate cancer treatment and promote disease eradication. Administrative costs are sponsor-supported or volunteer-provided.

Shelley Gregory (right) is often joined by friends on her fundraising walk -- and will be again this year. Julie Edmundsen stand to Shelley's left after completing the walk last year.

Shelley Gregory (right) is often joined by friends on her fundraising walk — and will be again this year. Julie Edmundson stand to Shelley’s left after completing the walk last year.

The organization’s name was chosen to honor the beautiful life and fighting spirit of Terri Brodeur, a local Old Saybrook mother of three young children and victim of breast cancer. The Foundation was established by two friends, Norma Logan and Sandy Maniscalco, who realized the need for a new kind of fundraising organization. After a two-year battle with breast cancer, Brodeur succumbed to the disease in 2005, as did Logan six months later.

Participants take to the streets in the 2014 Walk Across SE CT.

Participants take to the streets in the 2014 Walk Across SE CT.

It is estimated that there will be more than 3,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed in Connecticut in 2015 and that almost 500 will die from the disease. By walking in the 11th Anniversary Walk Across Southeastern Connecticut, funding of breast cancer research will increase bringing with it with hopes for earlier detection, better treatments and ultimately prevention of this disease.

Friends often form a team in the walk Across SE CT.

Friends often form a team in the walk Across SE CT.

The 11th Anniversary Walk provides a marathon option to suit everyone’s level of ability.

Walks include a seven-mile super quarter marathon, a 13.1 mile half marathon and our signature 26.2 mile full marathon. The full marathon walk begins with 6:30 a.m. opening ceremonies at Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook, with feet on the pavement at 7 a.m.

TBBCF_walk_logo_203This walk follows a scenic route along the shoreline through Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, East Lyme and Waterford. The half marathon walk starts at Capitol Drive, East Lyme at 10 a.m. and the super quarter marathon walk starts at the Niantic Baptist Church, Niantic at 1 p.m. All walks end at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Waterford with closing ceremonies.

The Walk goal is to raise funds for research through walker fundraising commitments. Youth walkers must raise $100 to walk any marathon option. Adult walkers must raise $200 for a super quarter marathon, $250 for a half marathon and $500 for a full marathon.

To register to walk or volunteer, or to contribute to a registered walker, visit, call 860-437-1400 or email

Funding has assisted researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Yale Cancer Center, the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and NYU School of Medicine.


Recycling in Old Lyme: Dealing With Left-Over Paint is pleased to be publishing a series of articles written by Old Lyme’s Solid Waste & Recycling Committee that lay out best recycling practices.  To date, the committee’s articles have 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.


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.