December 15, 2017

LYSB Hosts Free, Four-session Substance Abuse Education, Prevention Program in January for Parents

Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau presents a free, four-session substance abuse education and prevention program for parents on Wednesdays in January (Jan. 10, 17, 24 & 31) at 7 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Library.  This workshop series was developed by LYSB and CASFY to help parents understand substance abuse and its impact on children and youth.
Guest speakers and relevant resource materials will be offered at each session.
This program is free and for parents of children of all ages. Register at www.lysb.org

Topics covered during the workshop series:

  • Current drug trends among youth in CT and US.
  • How to have the drug discussion with your kids
  • Risk factors
  • Marijuana –  what’s the real story?
  • Teachable moments
  • Prescription drugs
  • Paraphernalia and vaping
  • What to do if you suspect your child is using
  • Current laws and school rules regarding substances
  • Resources
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Blood Drive Planned Next Wednesday in Old Lyme

Give-Blood-Give-LifeThe American Red Cross is hosting a Blood Drive Wednesday, Dec. 20, at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A critical shortage of blood donations may lead to delays in urgent medical care to vulnerable patients. You can help make sure that doesn’t happen.

Remember the “The need is constant.  The gratification instant.” Walk-in’s are welcome.

To make an appointment to donate your blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org

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Old Lyme Town Band Performs Holiday Pops Concert This Afternoon at Lymes’ Senior Center

The Old Lyme Town Band

Old Lyme Town Band will perform a Holiday Pops Concert this afternoon at 2 p.m. at Lymes’ Senior Center.

Come enjoy a wonderful selection of holiday music!

All are welcome. Admission is free.

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So Long, Skip! Sibley Steps Down After 16 Years as Old Lyme Selectman

Final Farewell. Old Lyme Selectman Arthur ‘Skip’ Sibley stands for one last time with fellow Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (left) and First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who together serve as the current board of selectmen through Nov. 30 when Sibley retired from the board.

Current, former and newly-appointed board of selectmen members, other Old Lyme board and committee members, friends, family and Old Lyme townspeople gathered in the Meeting Room at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall Nov. 20 to say farewell to Old Lyme Selectman Arthur “Skip” Sibley, who was stepping down from the board of selectmen after serving what Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder fondly described as, “16 long years.”

Reemsnyder read from a citation presented by the Town of Old Lyme to Sibley noting that, “During Skip’s tenure, he played an integral role in major projects, including a renovated and expanded Memorial Town Hall, and Regional District 18’s renovation of Mile Creek, Center, Lyme Consolidated, and Middle Schools, followed a decade later by a re-designed high school.” She added, “Other projects during his decade and a half of service were the development of Town Woods Park, the closure of our Landfill, Church Corner and  Lyme Street Reconstruction, relocation of the school district’s Bus Barn to a non-residential area, the dredging of the Black Hall & Four Mile Rivers, and the design and construction of a brand new Hains Park Boathouse.”

Continuing her overview of the innumerable changes that had happened in Old Lyme over the past 16 years, Reemsnyder explained, “With Skip as Selectman, Town voters approved the formation of both Open Space and Sound View Commissions and adopted a Code of Ethics as a new Town Ordinance,” adding, “The Town hired its first Finance Director, installed Stop signs at the intersection of Lyme Street and Library Lane, launched a GIS system and a new Town website, and witnessed the consolidation of our Probate Court. We “solarized” the Town and became part of a Health District.”

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder reads a citation from the Town of Old Lyme to Selectman Sibley.

Reemsnyder commented, “With Skip as Selectman, we have bid farewell to Irene Carnell, Town Clerk  for 32 years;  Walter Kent, Assessor for 38 years; and Bea McLean, Town Treasurer for 52 years,” concluding, “Skip Sibley joins that distinguished list of public servants as we thank him for the legacy he leaves after 16 years of service as our Selectman.”

After an extended standing ovation for Sibley, Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Andy Russell rose and spoke warmly of his long friendship with Sibley.  Russell recalled that he and Sibley were at high school together in Middletown, Conn., where their respective fathers served on different boards in the city. Russell described Sibley as “a fighter,” noting, “He’s fought for the Town of Old Lyme,” but saying that, all the while, “It’s been fun [working with Sibley.]

Former Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold, who served “a good many years,” alongside Sibley noted that “When Skip did something, he always did it well … and for the betterment of the town.  Griswold praised Sibley saying, “We can be proud of what has happened to this town.  You weren’t just a part-time guy … you were very involved and knew your stuff.”

Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, who six years ago joined the board on which Sibley and Reemsnyder already served, said, “I looked up to both of you so much … your experience was worth so much.”  She thanked Sibley for his service and then State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) stepped forward to present Sibley with a State Citation sponsored by himself and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th).

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) presents Selectman Sibley with a citation from the State of Connecticut.

Carney opened by offering Sibley, “Congratulations on your retirement,” which generated a chuckle around the room. Carney continued, “We could use more people like you in Hartford,” adding, “You’ve really focused on making the quality of life better for the townspeople of Old Lyme.”  He then read the citation from the Capitol, which was in recognition of Sibley’s 16 years of service on the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen, and stated, “For the past 16 years, you have worked tirelessly to maintain and improve Old Lyme’s strong quality of life and ensure the people’s voices are heard. Through your years of dedication and hard work as a community leader, you have truly made a difference to so many and helped to make Old Lyme one of the greatest towns in Connecticut.”

Sibley gives his final speech as Selectman of Old Lyme.

After another long standing ovation, Sibley himself addressed the audience thanking them for being there and saying, “It’s been a great run,” but stressing, “It’s been a team … it wasn’t me … I’ve just put together groups of people with different skill sets … it has to be a team effort.”  Sibley spoke warmly of the residents of Old Lyme expressing his view that, “This is a fantastic community,” commenting, “This whole Republican/Democrat thing should melt away in town politics, [because] we’re all looking to spend money wisely.”

 

After all the speeches, Sibley enjoys a moment with his family members and First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder. From left to right, (son) Dustin, (wife) Sheree, (father) Arthur, Skip, Bonnie Reemsnyder, and (daughter) Lexi. Missing from photo, (daughter) Amanda.

A smiling Sibley concluded, “I’m not going away, I’m not moving … I’m going to be available,” adding, “I must thank my family. They’ve put up with a lot of nights [with my absence.] I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

And after yet another standing ovation, the official ceremony ended and the attendees mingled while enjoying some celebratory cake.

Skip stands with his wife Sheree and two of their three children, Lexi and Dustin.

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Lyme Land Trust Announces Appointment of Kristina White as New Executive Director

Kristina White has been named the new executive Director of the Lyme Land Trust. Photo by George Moore

The Lyme Land Conservation Trust has announced that the board has appointed Kristina White as its new executive director to replace George Moore, who has retired.

The Land Trust is very pleased that Moore will be succeeded by long-time Lyme resident, Kristina White. She has been an actively contributing member of the Land Trust’s Board since 2014 and takes over the executive director position after serving for the last 10 years as the Musical Masterworks Administrative Director. White has also been active in community affairs and currently serves as the treasurer of the Lyme Fire Company.

The Land Trust is deeply grateful for George Moore’s service as executive director and his dedication over the last 14 years. He was elected to the Land Trust Board as a director in 2003. In 2007, he was elected board president, and in 2013 the board appointed him as its first executive director. Through his vision and effective management, Moore has helped transform the Land Trust into one of the most active and successful in the state.

Land Trust President, John Pritchard, stated that, “In recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Land Trust, the board has elected George as its first Director Emeritus, a position newly created to honor his service. We hope that George will remain a member of the Land Trust family.”

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Opinion: Thanksgiving Musings … Including the Charm of Old Lyme!

On Oct. 13, Johns Hopkins University political scientist Michael Haltzel, PhD delivered remarks at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School on the foreign policy of the Trump administration to the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC).

Dr. Haltzel has now written a column titled,  Thanksgiving Musings, which was published on huffingtonpost.com today, in which he mentions feedback from that meeting and also notes (astutely, in our opinion!), “There may a nicer place to live than the charming coastal towns of southeastern Connecticut – Old Lyme, Essex, Mystic, Stonington – but I haven’t yet seen one.

Dr. Saltzer’s column opens, “Thanksgiving, that most American of holidays, is upon us. Its historical and religious roots always stir in me a special impulse to reflect on our vast nation, which would be unrecognizable to seventeenth century Pilgrims and Native Americans alike.

I like to tell foreigners that the single most important fact to remember about the United States is the number 326 million – the size of our population …

Read the full text of his thoughtful column at this link.

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Musical Masterworks Debuts Internationally Acclaimed ‘Ehnes Quartet’ in Old Lyme, Dec. 2-3

This December, Musical Masterworks will debut internationally acclaimed violinist James Ehnes and the Ehnes Quartet on Saturday, December 2nd at 5 p.m. and Sunday, December 3rd at 3 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Hailed as “an important new force in the chamber music arena” with a “dream-team line-up” (Strings), the Ehnes Quartet is comprised of four renowned string musicians: violinists James Ehnes and Amy Schwartz Moretti, violist Richard O’Neill, and Musical Masterworks’ own Artistic Director, cellist Edward Arron.

Formally established in 2010, the members of the Ehnes Quartet have played chamber music together in various formations for more than 20 years. The quartet’s highly refined, sensitive and expressive performances have delighted audiences and critics across North America, Europe, and Asia, and have made them one of the most sought-after chamber groups performing today.

Musical Masterworks will be continuing its popular pre-concert talks before both concerts.  Concertgoers are invited to join Edward Arron one hour before each of the December concerts for an in-depth discussion about the composers and music featured that weekend:  Haydn, Bartók and Beethoven.

Musical Masterworks’ 27th season continues through April 2018.  To purchase a mini-subscription of any three concerts ($100 each) or individual tickets ($40 individual; $5 student), visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

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Joshuatown Bridge Renovation Project Continues in Lyme

The project to repair and repaint the Joshuatown Bridge in Lyme, which spans the Eight Mile River, is expected to start this week. The Town of Lyme anticipates the project will take approximately three weeks to complete.

Although one-lane closures may be required for limited periods, detours should not be necessary and the flow of traffic should not be affected significantly.

The Town of Lyme reminds everyone to be especially vigilant while traveling both near and across this bridge, and also to be aware of the presence of the project workers.

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Lyme Land Trust Celebrates Opening of Brockway-Hawthorne Preserve

Explore the beautiful trails of the Brockway Hawthorne Preserve, Oct. 14.

The Lyme Land Trust hosts an opening celebration for its newest property, the Brockway-Hawthorne Preserve, at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 22.  Meet at the Brockway-Hawthorne Preserve Parking Lot, Brush Hill Rd. in Lyme.

This 82-acre nature preserve has been developed with hiking trails that traverse all the significant places from savannah-like terrain bordered by stone walls to some of the last remaining hemlock stands in Lyme. Parts of the trails meander along Whalebone Creek with wonderful rocky outcroppings and crossings on bridges built by Dominion Power Station volunteers.

See this stone wall in the Brockway Hawthorne Preserve.

The trails connect with the existing system at the Ravine Trail, which, in combination with Selden Creek Preserve, offers an extensive network of trails with many diverse habitats.

After the ribbon cutting, join Ralph Lewis former State of CT geologist and Tony Irving, forest ecologist for a short walk “Talk and Walk” looking at the long- and short-term land-use history of the preserve.  See how bedrock and glacial geology shaped the land, thus dictating how it has been worked over the centuries.

For more information, email Info@LymeLandTrust.org

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G.I.R.L. ™ Agenda Powered by Girl Scouts Launches to Mobilize Civic Action; Provides Tools for Public, New Badge for Youngest Members

STATEWIDE – Girl Scouts of Connecticut and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) have launched the G.I.R.L. Agenda Powered by Girl Scouts,* a nonpartisan initiative to inspire, prepare, and mobilize girls and those who care about them to lead positive change through civic action. The multiyear effort celebrates the Girl Scout legacy of civic engagement, and for the first time ever, GSUSA is sharing free, expert-curated civic engagement resources beyond its 2.6 million members. The resources are derived from Girl Scout programming that has driven generations of girls over the past century to become leaders.

Introduced at G.I.R.L. 2017, a gathering of girls and women from around the world, including 41 Girl Scouts and adults from Connecticut, the G.I.R.L. Agenda makes it simple to access civic engagement resources that are tailored to prepare every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to stand up for what they believe in. The tools provide a roadmap for how people can take action in ways such as challenging unfair policies, mobilizing communities to support important causes, and meeting with public officials and community leaders to educate them about key issues The G.I.R.L. Agenda will give hundreds of thousands of girls and adults tangible ways to take civic action on topics of their choosing.

Also part of the initiative, Girl Scouts announces its new Good Neighbor badge for Daisies (girls in grades K–1). It joins the organization’s existing Citizen badges—Celebrating Community, Inside Government, Finding Common Ground, Behind the Ballot, and Public Policy—which engage girls in age-appropriate activities involving community service, public policy, government, voting, and more.

“We always hear that girls want to be active in public policy and learn how to advocate for positive change, so this is a great way to give them the resources they need to stand up for what they believe in and help make our world a better place,” said Girl Scouts of Connecticut CEO Mary Barneby.

Learn more about these resources on www.GIRLagenda.org. To sign up for Girl Scouts or to sign up as a volunteer, visit gsofct.org/join.

Girl Scouts of Connecticut are more than 41,000 members strong – over 27,500 girls and over 14,000 adults – who believe that every girl can change the world.

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Open House at Lyme Local History Archives, Oct. 21, to Feature WWI documents from Lyme Families

On Saturday, Oct. 21, from 1 to 3 p.m., special displays at the Lyme Local History Archives will showcase World War I (WWI) letters,documents and photographs saved by Lyme families.  Letters now in the Archives written by five Lyme soldiers give a picture of the last years of the war in Army posts in Georgia and on the front lines in France.

Also on view will be Archives materials from 1917–1918 including Lyme Grange minutes, which record local concerns on the home front.  Resources for researching  Connecticut relatives who served in the war will be displayed.

In 2016, the Archives began a two-year project to solicit documents, letters or photographs related to World War I from Lyme families.  A number of families responded by donating WWI materials or allowing scans of documents.  The Open House will highlight these materials new to the Archives as well as WWI materials given by previous donors.

The Lyme Local History Archives are located in the Lyme Public Library at 482 Hamburg Rd  (Rte. 156) in Lyme, Conn.

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Collins of Old Lyme Named a ‘Best Lawyer in America’ … Again

Attorney John A. Collins, III of Suisman Shapiro.

John A. Collins, III of Old Lyme has again been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018. Collins is an attorney specializing in the field of Personal Injury Litigation at Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law in New London.

Two of Collins’s fellow attorneys at Suisman Shapiro, Matthew E. Auger and Robert B. Keville , were also named in the Best Lawyers listing — Auger in the practice area of Medical Malpractice Law and Keville in the area of Workers’ Compensation Law.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

“For more than a third of the century,” says CEO Steven Naifeh, “Best Lawyers has been the gold standard of excellence in the legal profession.” President Phil Greer adds, “We are extremely proud of that record and equally proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of these exceptional legal professionals.”

Collins has successfully obtained verdicts or public settlements up to $10 million on behalf of injured victims over a 30-year law practice. He currently serves as the Managing Partner of Suisman Shapiro. The Connecticut Bar Foundation honored Attorney John A. Collins, III, in 2005 with his selection as a Life Fellow. “Selection as a Fellow requires demonstrated superior legal ability and devotion to the welfare of the community, state and nation, as well as to the advancement of the legal foundation”. Source: Connecticut Bar Foundation.

Auger handles serious personal injury cases, including wrongful death claims, automobile collisions, slip and falls, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and product liability. Mr. Auger is a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate with the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is also a Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the United States Naval Reserve and is a Judge of the Gaming Disputes Court for the Mohegan Tribe of Indians in Connecticut.

Keville is a Director who concentrates in Worker’s Compensation and Civil Litigation. Mr. Keville is a member of the Connecticut Bar, both State and Federal. He is also a member of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Keville’s practice focuses on the representation of injured workers in State and Federal Worker’s Compensation forums, as well as serious personal injury claims. He has tried numerous cases to conclusion and has appeared before various Appellate tribunals, up thru and including the State of Connecticut Supreme Court.

Editor’s Note: Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law is the largest law firm in eastern Connecticut. It is located at 2 Union Plaza, P.O. Box 1591, New London CT 06320. Phone: (860) 442-4416. For further information, visit www.suismanshapiro.com

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Rep. Carney Applauds the Passage of a New Opioid Bill Signed on ‘International Overdose Awareness Day’

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) stands at left as Governor Malloy signs the new opioid bill.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) attended a bill signing of Public Act 17-131, An Act Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse at the Hartford Public Library on Thursday, Aug. 31. Joining him were many legislative colleagues, local officials and advocates, who all stood in support of the legislation that seeks to curb the growing opioid crisis in Connecticut.

This ceremonial bill signing took place as the state took part in “International Overdose Awareness Day.”

From Jan. 1, 2015 through Aug. 2, 2016, Connecticut recorded 800 deaths due to overdose. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives unanimously expands upon legislation passed in 2016 and 2015, and includes some of the following aspects:

  • Instructs the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council to convene a working group to study substance abuse treatment referral programs that have been established by municipal police departments to refer persons with an opioid use disorder or who are seeking recovery from drug addiction to substance abuse treatment facilities;
  • Reduces the maximum opioid drug prescription for minors from 7 days to 5 days and maintains current law that allows a prescribing practitioner to exceed the limit for chronic pain, palliative care or acute pain if necessary as long as it is documented in the medical record
  • Requires individual and group health insurers to cover medically necessary detox treatment, as defined by American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) so that those looking for help cannot be turned away due to insurance issues;
  • Increases data sharing between state agencies regarding opioid abuse or opioid overdose deaths;
  • Increases security of controlled substances prescriptions by requiring scheduled drugs be electronically prescribed;
  • Allows patients to file a voluntary non-opioid form in their medical records indicating that they do not want to be prescribed or administered opioid drugs.

“Today, I was proud to stand with both Republicans and Democrats alongside Governor Malloy to enact bipartisan legislation that will help in the fight against opioid addiction. Opioid addiction is something that affects every community in our state, including every town within the 23rd District,” said State Rep. Devin Carney, continuing, “While drug addiction is not new, the addition of fentanyl into the equation is causing people from across the state to lose their lives at an alarming rate.”

Carney added, “Everyone, including me, knows someone who has been affected by drug addiction, whether it’s a parent, child, grandchild, or friend and I believe our society must continue working to battle this or we will continue to see lives taken far too soon.”

He noted, “I applaud the State of Connecticut for being a leader in this area and legislators from across the political spectrum for joining together to work towards solutions in an attempt to combat this growing epidemic. I also want to thank those within my community who have worked so hard to educate, communicate, and share their stories about drug addiction.”

Connecticut is expected to see more than 1,000 accidental drug-related deaths in 2017.

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Rogers Lake Drawdown to Begin After Labor Day

Every leap year, Rogers Lake is scheduled to be lowered in the fall so that landowners can perform any maintenance at the waters edge. But this did not happen in 2016 due to the drought.

Because of this, the drawdown will take place this fall (2017) as follows:

  • The drawdown will start after Labor Day and the full drawdown of a maximum of 14 inches should occur by mid-September.
  • The drawdown will be maintained from mid-September to Nov. 1.

The Rogers Lake Authority can be contacted at Rogers-Lake-Authority@googlegroups.com

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Old Lyme Town Hall Gets a Facelift

Painters from Martinez Painting work on the upper sections of Old Lyme Town Hall.

During 2007-2008, Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall was renovated and an addition built, providing ADA accessibility and mechanical upgrades as well as expanded space. The results pleased both staff and visitors but that was nearly 10 years ago, and in some areas, the paint on the older portion of the facility failed to adhere.

It also became apparent that many of the plantings along the building were too close to the exterior siding and this, in combination with the passage of time, caused a number of areas of rot and deterioration.

The front entrance of the Old Lyme Town Hall is being refreshed with a new coat of paint.

This summer, the exterior of the building was power-washed and the deteriorated skirt and corner boards (which contained lead-based paint) were removed. These latter will be replaced with material that resists rot and is appropriate for use at or near ground level.

All remaining surfaces will be scraped, encapsulated and will receive two coats of fresh paint.

Even the flag pole gets a fresh coat of paint!

The contractor for project, which started Aug. 1 and should be completed by Sept. 10, is Martinez Painters of Clinton, Conn. 

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CT Trust Warns $1.1 Billion Susquehanna Bridge Project Might Set Unacceptably Low Bar for Environmental Protection in CT

Rendering of Susquehanna Bridge Project. Source: David Anderson, “Deadline approaches for comments on Susquehanna rail bridge replacement”, April 6, 2017, Baltimore Sun.

A June 26 announcement by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that the $1.1 billion Susquehanna Bridge Project on the Northeast Corridor in Maryland poses “no significant impact,” drew sharp comment from Daniel Mackay, Executive Director of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, who warned that such a decision could set an unacceptably low bar for mitigating historic, cultural and environmental resource impacts from future high speed rail projects in Connecticut.

The proposed rail bridge replacement project bisects the National-Register-listed Havre de Grace Historic District in Maryland, comprised of approximately 1000 historic structures, many from the 18th century, on the banks of the Susquehanna River, and was reported in the Baltimore Sun on June 26, 2017.

“FRA determined that the most comprehensive level of environmental review was not needed for this $1.1 billion dollar rail project in the midst of a historic coastal community in Maryland,” noted Daniel Mackay, Executive Director of the Connecticut Trust. “Connecticut and Rhode Island communities caught in the cross-hairs of FRA’s bypass proposals should be concerned for the signal sent by this Maryland project – the process ahead may not yield the protections that communities want for themselves.”

Since the FRA released draft plans on November 15, 2015 to expand new high-speed railroad corridors across coastal Connecticut and Rhode Island, under a federal planning process called “NEC Future,” the Connecticut Trust, and its grassroots partner SECoast, have led a campaign to counter FRA’s insensitive approach to transportation planning for the Northeast Corridor routes through Connecticut.

“FRA’s plan represents a once-in-a-generation decision that will fundamentally shape the communities, economies and ecology of coastal southern New England,” explained Gregory Stroud, Director of Special Projects at the Connecticut Trust, and co-founder of SECoast. “The only sure way to protect our communities from these types of impacts is to fully remove these projects from the Record of Decision.”

The FRA is expected to announce a long-delayed Record of Decision for NEC Future this summer, finalizing a blueprint for the Northeast Corridor which will shape infrastructure decisions and investment through 2040, or later. The current blueprint has been in place since a similar process completed in 1978. The Northeast Corridor, which connects cities between Washington, D.C. and Boston, is the nation’s busiest rail corridor.

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Reemsnyder, Nosal Seeking Re-election to Old Lyme’s Board of Selectmen in November

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, a Democrat, plans to run again in November for the position she has held for the past five and a half years.

In an exclusive interview with LymeLine.com, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (D) has announced her intention to run for a fourth term in November of this year along with fellow incumbent Democratic Selectwoman MaryJo Nosal, with whom she has campaigned successfully for the past three elections.

Reemsnyder told LymeLine.com that she felt she and Nosal together had accomplished a great deal during their tenure by focusing on four broad areas of action.  These were, firstly, projects, which she described as, “Getting things done;” secondly, setting up systems “that will continue on after our tenure,”in a wide variety of areas; thirdly, “support initiatives that add to the quality of life for everyone in Old Lyme;” and finally, “improving customer advocacy and support.”

Democrat MaryJo Nosal will run again in November for the position of Old Lyme Selectwoman.

Reemsnyder went on to give detailed examples of activities she and Nosal had successfully completed under each heading.  In the ‘Projects’ category, she mentioned the Rogers Lake Dam and associated fish ladder, closure of the Town’s landfill, improvements at Sound View including new sidewalks, ADA crosswalks, paving, and parking payment kiosks, and the rebuilding of the Fred Emerson Boathouse at Hains Park.  She noted that the Sound View Improvements Project was 80 percent funded by a federal grant and the boathouse project 50 percent funded by a STEAP grant.

Under the systems heading, Reemsnyder highlighted how the introduction of centralized purchasing in town hall and enhanced cleaning schedule of town buildings had improved service without raising costs.  She also noted that maintenance improvements have resulting in the hiring of a Facilities Manager, who oversees a regular maintenance schedule on all town buildings and improvements in the grounds around town hall. The introduction of new technology under Reemsnyder’s watch has allowed online permit processing for land use permits, including building, zoning, fire marshal and possibly, in the future, health.

In terms of quality of life projects, Reemsnyder cited Lymes’ Senior Center improvements that have resulted in the hiring of a full time Senior Center Director and increased usage of the facility each year by seniors in Lyme and Old Lyme.  She also mentioned the installation of art displays in town hall, the introduction of a ‘No Smoking’ policy in town buildings and beaches, the increased use of town hall space for community meetings, and the establishment of the Rogers Lake Weeds Committee.

Finally, in the improving customer advocacy and support category, Reemsnyder listed some of her and Nosal’s achievements as the increase in the Town’s surplus from 16 to 23 percent, an improvement in work relations with both the Town of Lyme and Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, the establishment of two special funds — one for road improvements and the second for town buildings — to plan for the future maintenance and unexpected costs, and finally the vigorous opposition to the proposed high-speed rail bypass through Old Lyme.

Asked why she was running again, Reemsnyder said there are still a number of projects in the works that she and Nosal, “want to see through.” She said these include the Academy Lane Fire Dock, Sound View improvements, wastewater management in Sound View, the Mile Creek bridge and the LED street-lighting project.

Reemsnyder continued, “I think I have been very pro-active for people,” commenting, “I have been very communicative,” before adding, “When people call, I try to respond as soon as possible.”

And then she concluded cheerfully, “And most important, I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve really enjoyed serving the people of Old Lyme.”

Editor’s Note: It should be noted that Reemsnyder supplied us with a lengthy list of her administration’s achievements, but we were only able to include a selection of them in this article.

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Welcome to Our Summer Intern, Jacob Ballachino

Jacob Ballachino

We are delighted to introduce our newest intern, Jacob Ballachino, to our readers.  Jacob, who lives with his family in Old Lyme, has completed two years at UMass Amherst where he is a communications and journalism major. He is going to be working for LymeLine.com throughout the summer covering news and events in Lyme and Old Lyme.

Jacob is especially interested in sports and entertainment and so hopes to be writing some stories for us focused on those areas.  He’s already written a couple of great pieces for us, one about the Tour de Lyme and the other about A Woman’s Exchange, and we think he’s off to a flying start!

Asked why he wanted to intern for LymeLine.com, Jacob responded, “I hope to gain first-hand experience in reporting and also to build personal connections with a diverse group of local community members.”

If you have any news tips or story suggestions for Jacob, you can contact him directly at jballachino@umass.edu and if you see him around town, make sure to say hi to him.

Finally,  welcome on board, Jacob — we’re so pleased you’ve joined our team!

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Sun Shines Brightly on Another Highly Successful ‘Tour de Lyme’ Cycling Event

Off they go! Bike riders start their choice of Tour de Lyme route.

Nine hundred and fifty cyclists from all around the area woke up on Sunday morning to the early spring sun shining down on the registration tables of the 5th annual Tour de Lyme. The event started and finished at the beautiful Ashlawn Farm on Bill Hill Rd. in Lyme, Conn., for the third consecutive year. Participants could choose between a myriad of different rides both through the trails of Nehantic Forest, Beckett Forest, and Mount Archer or through the winding roads of Lyme.  The event even offered an eight-mile family ride.

First started by John Pritchard five years ago, this year’s Tour de Lyme hosted by the Lyme Land Conservation Trust was a huge success and through registration fees and charitable donations, the land trust is able to maintain and expand the beauty of Lyme’s forestry and wildlife. In an effort to keep the town of Lyme as rural and well-maintained as possible, the Tour de Lyme is clear proof that a small organization can have a big impact.

Musicians entertain during the post-ride picnic at Ashlawn Farm.

The start times of each individual ride were staggered with the intention that all riders arrive back at the picnic around the same time to enjoy live music, several unique food trucks, and even physical therapy free for anyone who participated in the ride.

The 950 riders had a choice of four different routes on the road, and two routes through the woods. Brian Greenho, Tour de Lyme Mountain Bike Director and course designer, took time out from his busy schedule on Sunday to talk more with me about the event. He explained that has been heavily involved with the mountain bike aspect of the tour since its commencement, helping adapt the routes in order to make it more attractive to the riders.

Riders set off enthusiastically from Ashlawn Farm in Lyme on the mountain bike route.

Greenho noted that by obtaining one-day permission to use land from six private land owners, “The Tour de Lyme provides an opportunity for riders to get out into the trails and explore all three forests [Nehantic, Beckett, and Mount Archer] with hundreds of other riders,” adding that this is, “… something that would be inconceivable any other day of the year. Plus it gives the riders a chance to see the land that [Lyme Land Conservation Trust President] John Pritchard and the Trust itself work so hard to protect.”

Year-on-year participant growth in the Tour de Lyme can be seen through each of its first five occurrences. The Lyme Land Conservation Trust intends to keep the event going — and growing — in years to come and in a clear validation of that goal, it certainly seemed that all this year’s riders left the 2017 event enthusiastic for the next.

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


Judith Danenhower Read

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

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

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

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