May 24, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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State Rep. Carney Votes in Support of Pay Equity Legislation

State Rep. Devin Carney testifies in the House.

Bill Passes CT House with Bipartisan Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Saybrook Point Commemorates Earth Day With Clothing Drive This Weekend, Continues Through Monday

Old Saybrook Inn aims to reduce textile waste and give new life to gently used clothing

Saybrook Point is honoring Earth Day 2018 with a clothing drive at the property Friday, April 20 through Monday, April 23.  This effort aims to reduce textile waste and give new life to gently used clothing, as well as keep goods out of landfills and reduce waste from manufacturing, trucking, and packaging new goods.

Saybrook Point will have donation boxes set up in the hotel lobby throughout the weekend for Old Saybrook residents, neighbors and guests to participate. Accepted items include clothing, shoes, belts, purses, tablecloths and similar items in good condition, and all items will be donated to the local Goodwill, a non-profit organization that serves people with disabilities, economic disadvantages and other challenges to employment.

According to Planet Aid, a non-profit organization working to bring about worldwide environmental and social progress, Americans throw away 85 percent of the clothes in their closet that they don’t want, but almost everything can be repurposed in some way. Perhaps the most important impact has to do with stopping the acceleration of climate change. 

The greenhouse effect, as it is sometimes called, is associated with increasing amounts of CO2 released into the atmosphere. When solid waste such as textiles are buried in landfills they release greenhouse gases as they decompose, including methane, a particularly destructive substance. Similarly, at the other end of the clothing life-cycle spectrum, the production of textile fibers and the manufacture of cloth burns considerable quantities of fuel that releases CO2 into the atmosphere. Approximately 3-4 pounds of CO2 are saved for every pound of clothing that is spared from disposal. 

Saybrook Point operates under eco-friendly practices, all year-round. The property uses solar energy to help reduce energy consumption, as well as a natural gas co-generation plant which provides 45 percent of electricity and 80 percent of the Point’s heat. The Marina at Saybrook Point, was named Connecticut’s first ever Clean Marina in 2003, and has maintained this status ever since.  Fresh Salt, the restaurant at Saybrook Point, participates in a Farm-to-Chef program, using local farms and vendors for food sources, as well as their very own on-site vegetable and herb gardens.

About Saybrook Point Inn: The Inn is located along the scenic shores of historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut where the Connecticut River meets Long Island Sound. The Main Inn includes a collection of 82 classically-appointed guestrooms, many featuring water views and private balconies.

The Main Inn also hosts SANNO, a relaxing and restorative full-service spa, Fresh Salt, a casual fine-dining experience, and elegant ballroom and a variety of intimate gathering spaces, which can be used for private parties, meetings and receptions, and The Health Club, which is a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Saybrook Point Inn also features two luxury guesthouses, the historic Three Stories and Tall Tales both offering guestrooms that convey the story of famous Old Saybrook residents. The pristine Saybrook Point Marina, is a landmark boating destination conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River, serving as a focal point for the Inn and home to the outdoor Marina Bar.

More information is available at www.saybrook.com.

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So Close … Lyme Art Association Nears $364K Goal, Donations Doubled Until April 30


Lyme Art Association, striving to reach a goal of raising $364,000 by April 30 for donations to be doubled, is 95 percent of the way there.

Pictured in the photo at left, Carrie Walters, Campaign Chair and Board member, adjusts the thermometer to reflect the latest donations and hopes to raise the thermometer $18,200 by month’s end.

Visit this link to see our article about the renovation project currently underway at the Lyme Art Association and the associated fundraising efforts.

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Old Lyme Land Trust Hosts 52nd Annual Meeting, Honors Lea Harty as Volunteer of the Year

The Old Lyme Land Trust held its 52nd Annual Meeting at the Lymes’ Senior Center on Sunday, March 18.  Attendance was the largest in the Trust’s history.

The meeting was highlighted by an informative and entertaining presentation on bobcats in CT. The program, “The Bobcat: Connecticut’s Secretive Wild Cat” was presented by Master Wildlife Conservationist, Paul Colburn. He discussed the natural history of bobcats in Connecticut and provided an overview of bobcat habitat, diet, behavior, reproduction, and current research efforts.

Colburn encouraged the audience to report bobcat sightings to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) at deep.wildlife@ct.gov. The image at left was captured on a trail cam by an Old Lyme resident.

Bobcats, lynx rufus, are the state’s only wild cat and have been sighted in almost every town in the state. The bobcat was once hunted for both its fur and bounty payments, but is now protected. and the current population is estimated at 1500 to 2000. Even though bobcats can catch and kill a deer, they are shy of humans.

In the business portion of the meeting, the Trust honored Lea Harty as the Volunteer of the Year. She is the former Trust secretary and still edits and produces the Trust’s Annual Letter, Tributaries.  She has organized work crews to eliminate invasive burning bush on the Jericho Preserve and will soon lead another crew to plant native shrubs at Watch Rock.

Trust President Michael Kiernan announced that the newly acquired 11-acre “Denison Farm” parcel is now fully accessible through the trail system on the Upper Three Mile River Preserve.  He also announced receipt of a $36,000 grant toward the purchase of Denison from the state DEEP’s OSWA grant program. The Trust conducts regular work parties to maintain its 14 preserves; volunteers are always welcome to participate.

In other business, Mary Devins and Sabine O’Donnell were elected to the board of directors.

The Old Lyme Trust reminds LymeLine readers to visit the Trust’s display at the Midsummer Festival on Saturday, July 28. Meet some of the local wildlife (the non-human kind!) that make their homes in the Trust’s preserves. Raptors, reptiles and a variety of insects will be looking forward to meeting you.

The Old Lyme Land Trust is a private nonprofit corporation not affiliated with the town government. Membership is open to all.  “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” – Mark Twain

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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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Old Lyme Town Budget Hearing Tonight in Town Hall

The Old Lyme Board of Finance will conduct a public hearing on the proposed town budget for the 2018-19 financial year this evening, Monday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Meeting Hall of the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall at 52 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.

The proposed budget totals $9,957,916, which represents a 1.4 percent increase over the current year’s budget.  Major factors impacting the budget are reduced income from the state and increased healthcare insurance premiums for Town employees.

The two largest expenditure items are $300,000 for the Mile Creek bridge replacement and $230,000 for road overlay projects throughout the town.  Expenditure on the upcoming renovation project for the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is not included in the budget.

The anticipated increase in the mill rate that would be required under the proposed budget is 0.16 mills from 21.75 to 21.91.  The mill rate is not finalized, however, until after residents have voted on the budget.  That vote is scheduled to take place at a Town Annual Meeting on May 21.  The vote on the Region 18 budget is planned for Tuesday, May 8.

A copy of the proposed town budget can be viewed at this link.

 

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AAUW Hosts Fundraising Luncheon Today Featuring Best-Selling Authors Brunonia Barry, Randy Susan Meyers

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 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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.

For more information, visit http://lowerctvalley-ct.aauw.net.

If interested in attending, call Sara Keaney at 860-395-4298.

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2018 Senior Studio Exhibition on View at Lyme Academy College Through May 11

The signature work of the 2018 Senior Studio Exhibition is ‘The Watcher’ by Rani Rusnock, who will graduate with a BFA in Illustration in May.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven hosts an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. this evening in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery for its 2018 Senior Studio Exhibition.  All are welcome.

The seniors whose work is featured in the exhibition are studying for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and will graduate in May 2018.

The Senior Studio experience at the College allows students to refine their vision and develop a skill set in order to create a body of work that exemplifies their individual interests, talents, and artistic sensibilities.

The 2018 Senior Studio Exhibition reflects the culmination of this project.  Students will be present at the opening reception and available to discuss their work.

The exhibition will be on view in the gallery through May 11.  Admission is free Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The sponsors of the exhibition are Overabove and Saybrook Point Inn/Fresh Salt.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven is located at 84 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

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Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Hosts Spring Lecture Series; Next Lecture is May 3

The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is hosting a three-part Spring Lecture Series from April 19 through May 17.

The second lecture in the series will be held Thursday, May 3, at 5 p.m. at Essex Meadows and is titled The Remarkable Edward Lear.

Edward Lear (1812-1888) is best known and much loved for “The Owl and the Pussycat.” But he was also a fine painter of birds, mammals, reptiles, and landscapes, and an adventurous, world-wide traveler.

Lear’s paintings of parrots, macaws, toucans, owls, and other birds are among the finest ever published. Often compared to his friend and contemporary, John James Audubon, the two men are considered among the greatest natural history painters of the age. Using slides of Lear’s extraordinary work, Robert Peck will describe his career in natural history. He will show how he compares to and differs from Audubon, and discuss his lasting influence today. RSVP here

The third and final lecture in the series will be held Thursday, May 17, at 5 p.m. at Lyme Art Association and is titled Creation of a Genius: Roger Tory Peterson.

Roger Tory Peterson made his home and, as an adult, found inspiration for his monumental work on the banks of the Connecticut River Estuary. But the seeds of his passion for art and conservation were sown in his youth. Twan Leenders, President of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, N.Y., will focus on Peterson’s early years, his youthful explorations, and how the hidden treasures of his hometown, were to become a passion and eventually lead to inspiring amateur and professional naturalists through generations and throughout the world.  RSVP here.

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Bill to Study State Employee Compensation Moves to Senate

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares announced that the legislature’s Appropriations Committee has approved a bill he requested to study the long-term financial impact of state employees’ and elected officials’ pay and benefit compensation on the state. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“Connecticut has been in a state of fiscal crisis for the last several years with budget deficit after budget deficit. This is despite the two largest tax increases in the state’s history,” Sen. Linares said. “We have to look at the state’s fixed costs and why they have gotten so far out of control.”

Sen. Linares said a review of state employee and elected officials compensation could examine ways to save money when the current state employee contract ends in 2027.

“I believe one area that should be considered is capping pension payout at $100,000 a year. The number of retirees receiving pension payments in excess of $100,000 has been growing at an unsustainable rate,” he said. “What do we tell the rank-and-file employees receiving smaller pensions when the pension fund is drained by retirees receiving six-figure payments? We have to make sure the pension plan stays solvent for all retirees.”

Currently, more than 1,400 retirees collect annual pensions in excess of $100,000, Sen. Linares said. The highest paid retiree received more than $300,000 a year.

“Retirement payouts like this were unheard of in the private sector even before most businesses moved away from pensions. Now employees and employers contribute to 401K-type plans,” he said. “We also have to remember that pensions are not the only form of retirement income state retirees receive. They contributed to and can collect Social Security.”

Sen. Linares said he also believes the lowering the expected return on investment in the fund from 8percent to 6 percent should be considered. The 10-year return for the 41 largest state pension funds was 6.59 percent.

“State employees, like their private sector counterparts, work hard to earn the paychecks they receive. We need to ensure that each of them receives the retirement funding they earn, by making sure the pension fund does not run dry due to the excessive pensions of a few,” he said. “I believe a comprehensive review of benefits that includes a $100,000 cap on pensions after 2027 will do that.”

Sen. Linares represents the community of Lyme as well as those of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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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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Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber Hosts Dinner Meeting at Stella’s Tonight, MCCD Members are Guest Speakers

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce holds its next Monthly Business Meeting on Tuesday, April 10, with cocktails and appetizers starting at 6 p.m. at Stella’s on Boston Post Rd. in Old Lyme. A three-course meal will begin at 7 p.m

It is expected to be a great evening allowing members and friends of the Chamber to network with business friends and colleagues, as well as hear the latest Chamber news.

Guest speakers will be members of the Mentoring Corps of Community Development (MCCD), who will give an overview of their work to date and plans for the future.  This is an important and influential group in The Lymes — come and find out what they do!

All are welcome. The cost for dinner per person is $25.00 and reservations are required by noon on Tuesday.

For more information, visit the Chamber’s website at VisitOldLyme.com

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State Rep. Carney, Sen. Formica Hold Legislative Update This Morning; All Welcome

State Rep. Devin Carney (R- 23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

State Representative Devin Carney and State Senator Paul Formica will hold a Legislative Update at the Vicki Duffy Pavilion, 150 College Street, Old Saybrook on Thursday, April 5, from 8 to 9 a.m.  This event is being hosted by the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and all Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce members are welcome to attend, as well as the general public.

Admission is free but registration at this link would be appreciated.

The event will be an informal discussion highlighting legislative issues and bills, and State Rep. Carney and State Sen. Formica’s hopes for what might be achieved

in Hartford. Time will be allotted for Q&A.

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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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Evan Visgilio of Old Lyme Places at Special Olympics Vermont Winter Games

Evan Visgilio stands proudly for a photo after winning a fistful of awards at the Vermont Special Olympics and being named Vermont Special Olympics Rookie of the Year.

Evan Visgilio of Old Lyme returned from the Vermont Special Olympic Winter Games in Mendon, Vt., with a Participation  Ribbon, a Seventh Place Finish and a Sixth Place Finish.  He was also named Vermont Special Olympics Rookie of the Year.

Pico Mountain located in Mendon, Vt., hosted the Vermont Special Olympics Winter Games the weekend of March 19-20.  Evan, who skies for The Hermitage at Haystack Team, participated in Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G events, winning a Participation Ribbon in Slalom, a Seventh Place Ribbon in Giant Slalom and a Sixth Place Ribbon in the Super G.  Evan advanced to Intermediate Division 3 this year. He was born with Down Syndrome and has been skiing for eight years.

Evan, who is 14-years-old, lives in Old Lyme with his parents John and Wendy Visgilio, as well as his siblings Brenna, Will and John.  Evan attends Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School where he is in 8th Grade.

He trains at The Hermitage Club at Haystack Mountain in Wilmington, Vt., with his coaches Scott Serota, Corey Robinson and Kate Riley.

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Madison Senior Men’s Tennis Club Welcomes New Members of Any Skill Level From All Along Shoreline

Dan Janiak and Will Tuthill confirm it was a pleasure to play.   All photos by Peter Pearce.

“Sometimes you’re looking to play perfect tennis but it’s not going to happen all the time and you have to accept it.”   Andy Murray, professional tennis champion

For the men of the Madison Senior Men’s Tennis Organization, the tennis is far from perfect – but that’s not the point. Oh, they may step onto the court feeling sure that today, for just once, it’s all going to come together. But the reality of slower reflexes and an aging body’s aches and pains quickly snaps them back to reality.  The players all accept their shortcomings and can even joke about them; it’s the camaraderie that matters.

For men 60 years or older, the Madison Senior Men’s Tennis group is a great retirement activity and a perfect way to spend two to three mornings a week.  You’ll get exercise, competition, laughter, friendship, caring, and more.

Dave Cassano puts away a volley.

But you don’t have to be retired …

Some players adjust their work schedules to fit in tennis. Along the way, you just may be stimulated by seeing guys in their 80s who can still get around the court and hit winners. As player Greg Fahey said, “I happen to be one of the younger members of the group … all of the members are an inspiration in both physical and mental condition … in the spirit they demonstrate and the example they provide.”

The league is now recruiting new players for both the upcoming summer season as well as next winter’s. There’s no need to worry about your skill level. As octogenarian Tom Dolan told one player who was feeling dejected by his poor play, “Don’t worry about it. Think about the alternative; you could be horizontal.”

Art Paquette hits a forehand while his partner John Kraska watches the play closely.

Players range from beginners to seasoned veterans and span in age from 60 to 88. The league’s steering committee divides them into three groups based on ability, the goal being to slot players into the level in which they are likely to find comfortable, enjoyable play. A wide geographic area is represented, stretching from Hamden and New Haven up to Cromwell and down to Old Lyme.

Matches are all doubles, with partners being agreed upon by the foursome at the start of the match. You will be in a different foursome every match. With the emphasis on recreation and friendship, no standings are kept.

Matches are scheduled year-round, with the summer season running from May through early October and the winter season from October through April. Summer season is outdoors at public and private courts in the Madison/Guilford area; winter season is played indoors at the Madison Racquet and Swim Club. You may choose to play one, two or three days a week.

Article author Tom Soboleski runs down a forehand.

Madison Seniors Tennis is now in its 21st year. It began when a small group of friends, led by John Sadek and Joe Pegnataro of Madison, began playing at Pegnataro’s home court. It now includes more than 70 men and all scheduling is administered through a web-based program.

Whether you’re a high-skilled player or just a beginner, Madison Senior Mens Tennis will happily and comfortably welcome you. “Best thing I’ve ever done,” said Peter Lemley. “I find more often than not, when a player scores a great point, not only his partner, but his opponents will cheer.”  Besides the aforementioned benefits, your ego may get a boost as well. As tennis great John McEnroe has said, “The older I get, the better I used to be.”

If interested in joining, or if you have any questions, the organization can be contacted:

  • By text message or call to: Chris Hill at 203.641.7100, or John Sadek at 203.245.1261

More information is also available on the league’s website at https://sites.google.com/site/mseniortennis/home

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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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