June 26, 2017

Old Lyme First Congregational Church, ‘Moral Monday’ Group Host Community Conversation on State Budget’ Tonight

State Senators and Representatives from 30 Area Towns Invited To Attend Public Forum
Event is Free and Open to the Public

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) and the nonprofit organization, Moral Monday CT, are hosting a “Community Conversation on the State Budget” tonight at 7 p.m. to help facilitate a peaceful, respectful, community conversation on the state budget between area elected officials, nonprofit groups and members of the general public. 

The public forum hopes to inspire an insightful discussion surrounding the state’s planned cuts to health care, education and social services and their likely impact on marginalized populations.

More than 30 area elected officials have been invited to attend the public forum on the church’s front lawn, including the state senators and representatives who represent the citizens of Branford, Cheshire, Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, East Haven, East Lyme, Essex, Guilford, Haddam, Hamden, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Meriden, Middlefield, Middletown, Montville, New Haven, New London, North Branford, North Haven, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Salem, Wallingford, Waterford and Westbrook.

In the event of bad weather, the forum will take place inside the church’s historic Meetinghouse.

Moral Monday CT is a statewide coalition of individuals and organizations – originally brought together through the Black Lives Matter movement – that fights for civil rights and social justice for black and brown people in Connecticut.  The organization was founded by Bishop John Selders, Lady Pamela Selders and Minister Cornell Lewis.

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End of an Era for Eno: More than 100 Turn Out to Say Farewell to Lyme’s First Selectman

From left to right, retiring Lyme First Selectman Ralph Eno stands with fellow selectmen Parker Lord and Steve Mattson. In honor of Eno’s long service as first selectman to the Town of Lyme, the new Transfer Station on Brush Hill Rd. is to be named after Eno. Photo by H. Tyler.

More than one hundred people came out Sunday afternoon to Ashlawn Farm on Bill Hill Rd. to celebrate the retirement of Lyme First Selectman Ralph Eno. Those gathered included people Eno had worked with in groups including the Council of Small Towns, the Materials Innovation and Recycling Authority and the Transit District, Town of Lyme employees, and heads of town boards and commissions. 

Retiring Lyme First Selectman Ralph Eno and Lyme First Selectdog Rosie share a moment together at Sunday’s celebration.

To honor Eno’s long and dedicated service to the Town of Lyme, it was announced that the new transfer station will be named after him.  It was a project Eno worked hard to complete and of which he was extremely proud.

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Hear Lampos, Pearson Talk About Their Fascinating Book, “Revolution in the Lymes,” Tomorrow at OL Library

Tomorrow evening at 7 p.m., local authors and historians Jim Lampos and Michaelle Pearson will be speaking about their most recent book, “Revolution in the Lymes,” at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library. All are welcome and admission is free to this fascinating presentation.

The Revolutionary War in the Lymes started as a rebellion of ideas. From its origins in the Cromwellian Saybrook Colony, Lyme (today’s Lyme, Old Lyme, East Lyme and Salem) prospered under the free hand of self-governance and spurned King George III’s efforts to rein in the wayward colonies.

In 1765, Reverend Stephen Johnson wrote incendiary missives against the Stamp Act, declaring on Nov. 1, 1765, “My dear distressed country! For you I have wrote; for you I daily mourn, and to save your invaluable Rights and Freedom, I would willingly die.”

A few years later, the town hosted its own Tea Party, burning one hundred pounds of British tea near the town green. When the alarm came from Lexington in 1775, Lyme’s citizens were among the first to answer.

Lampos and Pearson will explore how local Patriots shaped an epic revolt.

Asked what lasting impact she hoped the book will have, Pearson replied, “We hope this book will bring a renewed interest, rediscovery and appreciation of the forgotten patriots of Lyme, such as Major General Samuel Holden Parsons, Governor Matthew Griswold, Reverend Stephen Johnson and John McCurdy. All were figures of wealth and stature before the Revolution, who sacrificed their treasure, and imperiled their lives for the cause of freedom.”

She continued, “They were dedicated patriots from the outset, and their actions and writings helped shape the ideological ground upon which the Revolutionary War was fought.”

Pearson added, “We also hope to initiate and encourage a line of historical inquiry that focuses on tracing the roots of the American Revolution back to the Cromwellian cause in the English Civil War of the 1640’s. The connections between the Cromwellians of 1640 and the Lyme revolutionaries of 1776 were direct, and Lyme’s patriots knowingly used the Cromwellians’ opposition to King Charles I, and Lyme’s subsequent history of self-government, as the basis for their own opposition to King George III.”

Michaelle Pearson and Jim Lampos will give an author talk on their book, “Revolution in the Lymes,” Tuesday evening at the Old Lyme-PGN Library. Photo by Angela Chicoski Photography.

Michaelle Pearson holds a B.A. in Journalism and Photography from Creighton University, and a J.D. from New York Law School. She was Director of Copy at Arnell Group, and continues to work as a freelance writer and editor. Pearson sits on the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Board and is a Trustee of the Old Lyme Historical Society. She has written articles of local and historic interest for newsletters and magazines including River and Sound, Events, and the OLPGN newsletter. Pearson is also a member of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists.

Jim Lampos received his B.A. in Sociology (Summa Cum Laude) from Brandeis University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He completed the General Course at the London School of Economics and was awarded a Kaplan Fellowship to attend the New School for Social Research, where he received his M.A. in Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis. Lampos is a published poet and musician who has released eight CDs, toured nationally and has been featured on network television. He and his wife, Michaelle Pearson, have previously co-authored Rumrunners, Governors, Beachcombers and Socialists – A History of Old Lyme Beaches, and Remarkable Women of Old Lyme.

Lampos and Pearson live in Old Lyme.

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White Elephant Sale Intake Starts Thursday: Sale is July 14 & 15

There’s not much you can’t find at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme’s annual White Elephant Sale, which takes place this year on July 14 and 15!

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) has announced that the 81st Annual White Elephant Sale – the extraordinarily popular summertime event that raises funds for charity – will take place Friday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, July 15, from 8 a.m. to noon.  Donations to the sale will be accepted starting Thursday, June 29.

The sale is an important fundraiser that has grown in size every year, enabling its sponsor – FCCOL’s Ladies Benevolent Society (LBS) – to fund more than 25 nonprofit organizations across the region and around the world.  While there are other garage and rummage sales held by other organizations throughout the year, few can match the size, color, camaraderie and excitement of this one.

And they’re off! The annual White Elephant Sale starts each year on the first strike of 9 a.m. on the designated Friday.

Nearly 200 volunteers sign up to help collect, sort, price, organize and sell the various donated items displayed during the spectacular two-day sale.  Area residents who would like to volunteer, should call the church office at 860-434-8686, select option 5, and leave their name and number.

Donations will start being accepted June 29.  Area residents can donate antiques, art, books, bikes, canoes, clothing, collectibles, electronics, kayaks, kitchenware, shoes, ski equipment, tools, toys and more.  A complete list of the items the church does and doesn’t accept for the sale is available on the web at www.fccol.org/wesintake.  Donations will be accepted during following dates and times:

  • Thursday, June 29, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday, June 30, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 1, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 5, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 6, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday, July 7, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 8, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

(Some items – including indoor and outdoor furniture – require advance notice to be donated. ) 

For more information, visit www.fccol.org/wes.

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Lyme Ambulance Association Hosts Square Dance, BBQ, July 7

Mark your calendar to dance the night away on Friday, July 7!

Lyme Ambulance Association, Inc. is hosting a Square Dance & BBQ from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. that evening at the Hamburg Firehouse, 213 Hamburg Rd., Lyme.

The family-friendly Square Dance & BBQ will feature live music by The Reel Thing with caller Bob Livingston.

Ticket prices are $20 for adults with children under 12  free.

For ticket information, visit lymeambulance.org or call 860.434.5667.

All proceeds benefit the Lyme Ambulance Association.

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Update on Saunders Hollow Roadwork

Saunders Hollow Rd. in Old Lyme will be closed Monday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Rte. 156 to Sill Ln.

Only homeowners will be permitted access to Saunders Hollow Rd. Monday

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Old Lyme’s Children’s Learning Center Creates a Delicious ‘Edible Garden’

The OLCLC Edible Garden is thriving.

The cold start to the month of June may have had many gardeners worried about their harvest. Thanks to the pro bono labor of Anu Koiv, the children of the Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center (OLCLC) have already been enjoying fruits and vegetables from their thriving edible garden.

Anu Koiv not only works pro bono on the edible garden, but also on the beds that surround the OLCLC.

“Not only do the kids get to learn about eating healthy foods, but they learn about sustainability and how to manage their own garden,” says Alison Zanardi, director of the OLCLC. It is not very often that preschoolers have the opportunity to interact with a garden and a myriad of different fruits and vegetables like this one. The kids can interact with the plants in the sensory garden, feeling and smelling different tantalizing plants, like mint, cacti and more.

Vegetables patiently waiting to be picked by the preschoolers.

Preschoolers are free to walk around the garden during their time outside and select whatever food that they choose from their luscious garden. Kale chips, fresh tomatoes, blueberries, and strawberries are often enjoyed as snacks.

More vegetables in the Edible Garden that are ‘ripe for the picking’ by the preschoolers.

Anu Koiv is the mastermind behind the garden, and the staff and students are all extremely appreciative of the work she has done.  Not only is she building a garden for the benefit of the preschooler’s education, but also to benefit the wildlife who will be inhabiting the garden. “We’re inviting nature back into the landscape of the courtyard. Each and every plant has ornamental and food value,” notes Koiv.

Pike’s Playground is named in honor of Connie Pike, founder of the OLCLC.  Children can interact with plants in the sensory garden.

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Simpson Healthcare of Old Lyme Wins “Best Scientific Communications Agency-CT” at 2017 Business Excellence Awards

Simpson Healthcare Executives wins “Best Scientific Communications Agency-Connecticut” at the 2017 Business Excellence Awards hosted by Acquisition International Magazine. (PRNewsfoto/Simpson Healthcare Executives)

Simpson Healthcare Executives have announced that they have won “Best Scientific Communications Agency-CT” at the 2017 Business Excellence Awards, presented by Acquisition International Magazine.

Simpson Healthcare is a diverse, scientific strategy and communications agency, founded in 1998 by Kelly Simpson-Angelini, CEO+CSO and located in Old Lyme, that challenges all healthcare stakeholders to think disruptively about change in healthcare. Acquisition International featured Simpson Healthcare in a congratulatory interview in their Winners Supplement for the 2017 Business Excellence Awards.

Simpson Healthcare is honored to have won this prestigious business award at the 2017 Business Excellence Awards, a program that was created to acknowledge the trailblazers of the corporate domain. Their agency is proud to have been designated as one of these leading, esteemed organizations who have demonstrated creativity, commitment, experience, and strong leadership in the modern corporate business climate.

Simpson Healthcare would like to thank their internal teams and their leadership, as they are proud to have the right people on every team; they have created a great, talented culture of learning, science, and innovation that is rooted in the agency’s purpose: to support our clients in sharing the scientific story of the diseases they touch and therapies they discover for all in need.

The Simpson Healthcare team looks forward to the future as they unite to advance science and the discovery and development of the game-changing therapies for their clients, and encourage collaboration among key stakeholders to improve the healthcare experience for patients into the next coming decades.

Acquisition International is a monthly magazine published by AI Global Media Ltd, a publishing house that has reinvigorated corporate finance news and reporting. The magazine has a global circulation, which brings together all parties involved in deal-making and, in an increasingly global deal market, is uniquely positioned to reach the deal-makers that matter. For more information, visit: http://www.acquisition-intl.com/.

Simpson Healthcare Executives is located in Old Lyme, CT and is a global leader in biopharmaceutical marketing and communications, dedicated to driving therapeutic innovations forward. Since 1998, Simpson Healthcare Executives supports their clients in sharing the scientific stories of the diseases they touch and therapies they discover for all in need. For more information on Simpson Healthcare Executives, visit: www.simpsonhealthcare.com.

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Saybrook Stage Presents ‘Barefoot in the Park’ at ‘the Kate,’ July 13-15

The cast of ‘Barefoot in the Park’ gather for a photo.

The Saybrook Stage Company presents “Barefoot in the Park” by Neil Simon at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, ‘the Kate,’ July 13 through July 15, at 8 p.m. with matinées July 15, at 2 p.m. and Sunday, July 16, at 3 p.m.

Neil Simon is at his best in this hilarious and touching romantic comedy about a conservative straight-as-an-arrow young lawyer and his free-spirited new bride. They are newlyweds in every sense of the word – still giddy from their over-the-top honeymoon at The Plaza – and now find themselves in a less-than-perfect Greenwich Village fifth-floor walkup in New York City.

The pricey apartment with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job is only the beginning of their rocky happily-ever-after life. The play is clever and funny, filled with snappy dialogue and witty one-liners. – Neil Simon is simply masterful in this 1960’s story of newlywed life.

A rehearsal scene from ‘Barefoot in the Park.’

The comedy unfolds as the couple moves into their new apartment and receives a surprise visit from the bride’s easily-winded, loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor in-the-attic – where everything that can go wrong does. The antics just get started as the mother and neighbor surprisingly get along better than anyone expected; while the newlyweds can only argue. The bride thinks the groom is too staid and boring – she wants him to be more spontaneous – and running barefoot in the park would be a nice start!

“Barefoot in the Park” originally opened in 1963 to rave reviews and was nominated for three Tony Awards. The play ran for over 1530 performances making it Neil Simon’s longest running Broadway hit. The New York Times wrote at the time “I don’t think anybody stopped laughing while the curtain was up”.

The Saybrook Stage Company is pleased to return once again to The Kate in Neil Simon’s romantic comedy directed by Jim Hile. This will be their 14th production at The Kate and the second Neil Simon play having performed “Rumors” in July 2014 – the more recent previous plays are Noises Off, Deathtrap, The Wayside Motor Inn, Moon Over Buffalo and this past January, The Farnsworth Invention.

Visit www.thekate.org or call 877.503.1286 and reserve your tickets now. Also, visit www.SaybrookStage.org for more information about The Saybrook Stage Company.

The Saybrook Stage Company was founded as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality local theater on the Connecticut Shoreline at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Saybrook Stage welcomes actors of all levels and abilities – and anyone who genuinely loves the arts – to come together and share in the experience that only live theater can provide. The actors that have been part of The Saybrook Stage Company to date have varied backgrounds and “day jobs” from teachers, artists and homemakers to lawyers, business people and judges. The Company looks forward to producing many more quality productions at the beautiful venue of The Kate and continuing to thrive in this wonderful, artistic region of Connecticut.

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Old Lyme Historical Society Honors Special Member, Retiring Board Members; Presents Scholarship

The Grange Hall on Lyme Street is home to the Old Lyme Historical Society.

The Old Lyme Historical Society, Inc., (OLHSI) at its annual meeting on June 12, recognized the following people:  departing Board members:  Julia Griswold, Dolores Green, Sheila Wertheimer, Martha Hansen, Jennifer Hillhouse and Tim Griswold.

Martha Hansen was recognized for her many years of service to the Board as secretary and webmaster.

Jennifer Hillhouse and Tim Griswold, founding members of the Society, were honored for their 12 years of service to the Board, Griswold having served as Co-Chairman for five years during which time he spearheaded the campaign to purchase and fund the former Grange building on Lyme Street.

The Old Lyme Historical Society Annual Meeting was held on June 12, 2017 at 55 Lyme Street. The Society elected its 2017-2018 officers (shown from left): Mark Lander, Co-Chairman, Andi Williams, Secretary, Ned Farman, Co-Chairman and Ann Marie Jewett, Treasurer.

New Board members were welcomed: Sandy Downing, Andi Williams, Nick Westbrook, Matt LaConti, John Pote and Mark Terwilliger. Officers for the upcoming year were announced: Co-Chairmen: Ned Farman and Mark Lander, Secretary: Andi Williams and Treasurer: Ann Marie Jewett.

This years OLHSI Carol Noyes Winters Scholarship recipient was Lyme- Old Lyme High School senior Rose Datum. Shown with recipient Rose Datum are her parents Michael and Jennifer Datum, Rose’s sister Chloe and OLHSI Scholarship Committee member Kevin Cole.

The Carol Noyes Winters Scholarship was awarded to Lyme-Old Lyme High School Senior Rose Datum, who will attend UConn.

This years OLHSI James Brewster Noyes Award recipient was Architect Stephen Joncus. This award honors a Society member who goes “above and beyond” in time and effort to support the Society. Shown from left are Architect Stephen Joncus and board members Martha Hansen and Mark Lander.

The James Brewster Noyes (Chairmen’s) Award was given to Society member Steve Joncus is recognition of his efforts on behalf of the remodeling of the Society Building and his work with the Tuesday Morning Work Crew.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Graduates Told, “Go Off … Save the World,’ But Know, ‘Old Lyme Will Forever Welcome You Home’

The traditional cap toss rounded off a special evening celebrating the Class of 2017.

It was a truly beautiful June evening last Thursday as 118 students received their high school diplomas along with the privilege of calling themselves alumni of Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS.) Principal James Wygonik, class advisor Brett Eckhart, and four empowering students reflected in different ways on the class’s past four years at LOLHS.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Principle Jim Wygonik told the Class of 2017 they had made the school “An even better place.”

Wygonik recalled the Class of 2017 as one never to be put down nor to sidestep a challenge. He described how, when told that public prom proposals would no longer be permitted this year as in some cases they could be upsetting, the class dutifully complied on the personal level, but, on the group level, took matters into their own hands. In a very public event, a large group of class members proceeded to invite him to the prom!  Wygonik said that inspired response demonstrated, “The culture you have fostered,” and as a result, that day, “Our school became an even better place.”

Class of 2017 Adviser Brett Eckart proudly wears the Class of 2017 pin with which he displaced the one for the Class of 2005.

Brett Eckart, who served as Class of 2017 Adviser and is a social studies teacher at the high school, used a multiplicity of props to enhance his speech to the class.  He confessed that he knew this class was tired of hearing about the “Great Class of 2005,” which he had always regarded as the ultimate class in terms of their character and achievements.  He duly placed a large 2005 pin on his gown to remind them of that fact one last time.

Lauren Quaratella stands with a fellow graduate, whom she first met at Lad & Lassie Pre-School.

But by the end of his speech, after describing some of the many memorable times he had shared with the Class of 2017, he reached down into the podium, pulled out something and then proceeded to stick an even larger 2017 pin over the 2005 one to indicate how this class has now risen to prominence in his mind over that of 2005.  Eckart also reminded the class not always to focus on their destination but to savor the journey along the route.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent ian Neviaser, Board of Education Chairman Mimi Roche and Board of Education member Nancy Edson share a smile after the ceremony.

Class President Callie Kotzan opened the ceremony by saying goodbye to all things about high school that will be missed, both important and unimportant. She formally gave her last goodbye to the Class of 2017 and encouraged her classmates to hold on to that inner child, despite all of the changing that comes with growing up, saying, “As we go off into the rest of our lives I encourage you to find the beauty, and although we are growing up it does not mean we must lose our passion and excitement for life.”

Twins Maggie and Abbie Berger celebrate their graduation.

Honor Essayist Rachel Hayward used the children’s book, Oh the Places You’ll Go, by Doctor Seuss to highlight the accomplishments she and her classmates have made, and the endless opportunity that awaits the class in the future. Quoting Seuss’s famous words, she told her classmates, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose,”  …  and the direction Hayward has chosen for herself in the autumn is Lafayette College, Pa.

Salutatorian Laura Wayland steps down from the podium after giving her speech.

Salutatorian Laura Wayland, who is headed to Yale University in the fall, compared the hard work, pain and accomplishments she had experienced as a dancer, to those she had endured and achieved as a student. She encouraged her fellow classmates never to forget the hard work needed to find blissful happiness in life, advising them to, “Let those passions guide you, and ground you, in the complex dance that is life, and then noting optimistically, “As long as you continue to follow your passions, and follow your dreams, you will be able to accomplish anything.”

Valedictorian Natalie Rugg smiles after giving an emotional, stirring speech.

Valedictorian Natalie Rugg opened her speech by thanking her family, friends and teachers, “who have supported and inspired me through the past 18 years,” saying, “I would not be the person I am today without you all.” Then she addressed her classmates, declaring, “We all have bright futures ahead of us. With the unmatched education that Region 18 and Lyme-Old Lyme High School have offered us, we have a breadth of tools at our disposal.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education members, administrators, faculty and seniors file into the Thursday evening’s graduation ceremony led by the Class Marshals.

Rugg continued by recognizing the beauty and intimacy of the town of Old Lyme and encouraged her peers never to forget the town from which they came.  As the daughter of a career submariner, Rugg commented, “My hometown could have been anywhere: Guam, Hawaii, California. But I ended up growing up here in Old Lyme.” Noting that, “The beaches may not be as beautiful as those in Guam,” and “the weather isn’t as predictable as California,” she stated proudly, “Out of all the places in the world, I would not have rather grown up anywhere else than in Old Lyme.”

Celebrating a certain graduate with a special sound.

Rugg elaborated noting, “Yes, Old Lyme is small, but it’s also a beautiful, tight-knit community,” adding, “I realized that this place, this is my hometown.” and stating unequivocally, “When I’m in Providence next year {Rugg will be attending Brown University in the fall], I’ll introduce myself as growing up in Old Lyme, and one day I’ll bring my children here and show them around, just as my parents did for me.”

The LOLHS Chorus sang ‘Unwritten’ under the direction of Chorus Director Kristine Pekar.

Looking out over the “sea of seniors,” an emotional Rugg gathered her composure and said firmly, “And, my classmates, this is your hometown, too. Even when we’re taking on the world, we’ll still have Old Lyme to keep us together.” Fighting back tears, Rugg took another long pause and then concluded, “Though we will soon be going off to save the world, remember that Old Lyme will forever welcome you home. Reserve this one day to revel together and embrace the place that has made you the brilliant person you are now.” 

Mildred Sanford Outstanding Educator Award winner Jon Goss chats with a graduate after the ceremony.

Continuing a privilege afforded to the senior graduating class, officers of the Class of 2017 then presented the Outstanding Educator Award in memory of Mildred Sanford to the faculty member selected by their class, Technical Education teacher Jonathan Goss.

Jay Wilson conducts the LOLHS band playing Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance.’

After the distribution of diplomas, the newly-pronounced alumni threw their caps high into the air in the traditional, celebratory hat toss, the band struck up the Sine Nomine Ceremonial March in a British Style by Ralph Vaughn-Williams and the graduates marched out into the arms of awaiting friends and family to celebrate their success.  

The LOLHS Chorus led the singing of the school’s Alma Mater.

Congratulations to the Class of 2017!

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Old Lyme Library Expands its Opening Hours in Response to User Demand

The Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is expanding its opening hours in response to user requests.

The top two requests in the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library’s most recent survey were for increased hours and improved collections.  Library Director Katie Huffman is now pleased to announce that the Library will be increasing its operating hours by 19 percent this Spring.

Starting June 5, the library’s new hours will be:

Monday through Thursday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Huffman notes that these changes will not require an increase in the budget, adding, “There is much more we’d like to do in the future, including improving our collections and further expanding our hours, but these improvements will require additional funding. In the meantime, we hope the new hours will make it easier for you to visit the Library as a regular part of your week.”

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CT Historic Preservation Office Seeks Public Input at Meeting on Statewide Plan, June 27 in Saybrook

The Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) is working on a Comprehensive Statewide Historic Preservation Plan to be completed by the end of the year.

The plan will be a planning document at an intensive level, addressing the treatment of historic and cultural resources across the state. It will serve as a guide for planning and decision making by the SHPO, Towns, agencies, non-profit organizations, and others who may affect these resources.

For southeast Connecticut, there will be a meeting at The Pavilion at Saybrook Point Park, 154 College St., at Saybrook Point, Old Saybrook, CT on Tuesday, June 27, from 7 to 9 p.m.

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Ivoryton Playhouse Presents Dinner-Cabaret, ‘A Night on the Town,’ at ‘Water’s Edge,’ June 25

AREAWIDE — Ivoryton Playhouse, in a new partnership with Water’s Edge Resort,  will present a series of eight cabaret-style dinner theatre performances beginning Sunday, June 11, written for and performed exclusively at Water’s Edge.  This original series will showcase the professional talent of Ivoryton Playhouse performers and musicians in four unique events.

This original series of four uniquely themed productions celebrate a broad array of musical styles and genres:

Great Balls of Fire:
Sunday, June 11, and Sunday, June 18
‘50s Rock N’ Roll and so much more.

A Night on the Town:
Sunday, June 25 and Sunday, July 9
Featuring the musical inspiration of New York City.

That’s Amore:
Sunday, July 16 and Sunday, July 23
Favorites from opera and musical theatre celebrating all things Italian.

Sounds of the ‘70s:
Sunday, July 30 and Sunday, Aug. 13
Hits from the disco era.

Carly Callahan. Photograph courtesy of Carly Callahan

Each evening will feature a professional cast of performers, in addition to a trio led by Music Director, Eric Trudel and directed by Carly Callahan.

Cast members include Marsha Ackerman, Schuyler Beeman, Carly Callahan, Billy DiCrosta, Amy Maude Helfer, Kate Hubbard, Emily Johnson, Mia Pinero, Jorge Prego, Michael Scarcelle and Charlie Widmer.

“We have put together some great talent for these evenings, including cast members from our season, to bring the Water’s Edge audience a night of entertainment that they won’t forget,” said Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director of Ivoryton Playhouse.

Water’s Edge, previously known as Bill Hahn’s Hotel, was an entertainment destination in the 1940s and 50s and featured both up-and-coming singers and stars such as Henry Youngman, Art Carney and Barbra Streisand.  “We’re thrilled to revive the wonderful provenance of this resort, and look forward to entertaining a new audience inspired by Bill Hahn’s delightful evenings here decades ago”, said Hubbard.

Tickets are $69 per person, including dinner and the show, and can be purchased by calling Water’s Edge Resort at 860-399-5901.  Tickets are not available through the Ivoryton Playhouse website or theatre box office.

For more information, visit watersedgeresortandspa.com.

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Glenn Close to Receive 2nd Annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award at Annual Gala, Aug. 26


OLD SAYBROOK —
Acclaimed actress Glenn Close has been named the recipient of the 2nd annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award. The award, given by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, is bestowed yearly upon an individual who embodies the spirit, independence, and character of the legendary actress.

The award will be presented to Close at the organization’s annual Summer Gala on Saturday, Aug. 26.

Close has been nominated for six Academy Awards, won three Tonys and three Emmys, and advocates for mental health issues.  She made her feature film debut in The World According to Garp, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She was subsequently Oscar-nominated for The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons and Albert Nobbs.  For the latter, she was also a producer, co-wrote the screenplay and composed the lyrics for the Golden Globe nominated theme song, “Lay Your Head Down.”

Close won two consecutive Emmys along with a Golden Globe Award, and three SAG nominations for her portrayal of ‘Patty Hewes’ on Damages. She won a third Emmy for her title role performance in Serving in Silence: the Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (for which she also received a Peabody Award as executive producer).

In 1974, Close made her professional, theatre, and Broadway debut in The Phoenix Theatre’s Love for Love, directed by Harold Prince. Over her forty-three year career, she has always returned to the theater, receiving Tony Awards for Death and the Maiden, The Real Thing and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, as well as an Obie Award for The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs. Last spring, Close made her London-West End debut in a new production of Sunset Boulevard, for which she won a London Evening Standard Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award. She is presently starring, to great acclaim, in that same production, on Broadway.

Close’s decision to join the acting profession in part stems from viewing one of the most famous and first ever television interviews with Katharine Hepburn, conducted by Dick Cavett, the inaugural Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award Winner.  Hepburn became an inspiration to Close and Hepburn welcomed this role, finding small ways to support Close through communications and appearances at events honoring Close.

The Aug. 26 Gala at the Kate will take place on the historic Old Saybrook Town Green. The event begins at 6 pm with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails under the tent.  Dinner and dessert by Max Catering will be complemented by live and silent auctions as well as remarks celebrating Close and another tremendous year of arts and culture at “The Kate.“ The Kate will then turn the party up a notch, filling the dance floor with current tunes and crowd favorites and dancers/instructors from the Fred Astaire – Old Saybrook Dance Studio will perform and join the party.

During the event, Close will receive the award, a graceful statuette sculpted in the likeness of Hepburn by Kimberly Monson, an artist and faculty member of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

Numerous sponsorship levels are available, which include a variety of benefits, visibility, and the possibility to meet and greet with Close. The event’s top sponsor may participate in the awarding of the Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award to Close.

Visit http://thekate.org/events/2017KateGala/ for sponsorship details or to purchase tickets.  For more information contact Dana Foster at dana.foster@thekate.org

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

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Fun in the Sun! Lyme School Students Celebrate School Year End with Refreshing Field Day

Students and staff of Lyme Consolidated cool off with the help of the Lyme Fire Department at the school’s field day.  All photos by Jacob Ballachino.

The students and staff of Lyme Consolidated School couldn’t have asked for nicer weather for the school’s annual field day held this past Monday. An afternoon of fun was a great way to bring the academic year to a close and spend some time getting away from the classroom and enjoying the weather.

Students skidded through the water as they made their pass through the water.

Under clear blue skies and a hot June sun, students enjoyed fun sports, games, races and more. A majority of the students found refuge from the unforgiving sun in a one area designated for water games. Others who were able to withstand the heat long enough played soccer, kickball or on the playground.

As the school year comes to a close, the fifth graders enjoyed their last field day before moving on to the middle school.

Around 2:30 p.m., the Lyme Fire Department arrived as the students lined up by grade and waited expectantly for what was undoubtedly the highlight of the afternoon. As the firetruck launched a massive stream of icy cold water, the children jumped with excitement. The students sprinted out into the cold power of the hose after Lyme School Principal James Cavalieri called for their line to do so.

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Volunteers Needed to Control Invasive Plant in Local Rivers, Reserve an Informational Talk at Your Club/Organization

Water chestnut is an invasive plant that is easy for volunteers to remove & keep under control. Join CRC for upcoming volunteer events to learn about & remove this invasive plant.

There is an emerging threat to the Connecticut River and the waters within its basin that any boater, paddler, angler or property manager can help control. European water chestnut (Trapa natans) is an aquatic invasive plant that spreads rapidly, covering bodies of water with dense foliage impeding recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming.

The Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC), formerly Connecticut River Watershed Council, is hosting a variety of opportunities this summer for residents to learn more and help remove this threat.

Quick and thorough action must be taken to prevent this plant from taking over because water chestnut reproduces exponentially. “The good news is that this plant is easy to identify, it reproduces only by seed, and pulls up easily,” notes Alicea Charamut, River Steward for the Connecticut River Conservancy.

She continues, “It can be managed by trained volunteers. For small to moderate infestations, no chemicals or equipment are needed other than willing volunteers in canoes, kayaks, and shallow draft boats. This work offers an opportunity for those of us who love our rivers, lakes and ponds to give back to them in a fun and easy way.”

There are two opportunities to learn to identify and report the plants. CRC hosted an information session at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex on Tuesday, June 13, and will do so again at LL Bean at Evergreen Walk in South Windsor on Friday, June 19. Both events are at 6:30 p.m. There will be a brief presentation, live plants on display, and plenty of time for questions.

Charamut is also available to give talks to groups within the Connecticut River watershed, who want to bring this information to their organization or club.

Paddlers and boaters can also help CRC manage known infestations. Five hand-pulling events are already scheduled for the floating meadows of the Mattabesset River in Middletown and Keeney Cove in Glastonbury in June and July with more to be scheduled as new infestations are reported. The work is fairly easy, a little dirty and very rewarding. Supplies are provided. Those who wish to attend need only bring their boat and PFD.

In addition, CRC is coordinating a River Sweep of the Connecticut River, its coves and ponds to scout for this invasive plant. “Because the seeds from these plants can last for up to twelve years, knowing where these plants have been found is crucial. In order to effectively control the spread of these plants we must monitor locations where they have been found each year and have as many eyes on the water as possible.” Paddling and boating groups can adopt a section of the river to scout for plants on or around Saturday, June 24.

“It will take a community of those who care coming together to help control this plant,” says Charamut. The Connecticut River Conservancy joins many partners in the effort to control water chestnut in the Connecticut River watershed. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments, Jonah Center for Earth and Art, Connecticut River Museum, and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station are all active participants working to help control this aquatic invasive plant.

More groups are encouraged to join the effort. Much of the work in the lower Connecticut River Valley here in Connecticut is possible thanks to a generous grant from the Rockfall Foundation.

For more information about education and volunteer opportunities to help control European water chestnut, visit www.ctriver.org/get-involved or contact Alicea Charamut at acharamut@ctriver.org.

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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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Local Resident Caius Mergy Graduates from Middlebury College

Caius Mergy after his graduation from Middlebury College.

Caius Mergy, son of Michele and Lee Mergy of Old Lyme, Conn., received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics from Middlebury College on Sunday, May 28.  Caius graduated summa cum laude and also received Honors from the Department of Classics. 

In addition, Caius was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, America’s most prestigious academic honor society, to which about one college senior in 100 nationwide is invited to join annually.

Middlebury College President Laurie L Patton presided over the ceremony and conferred degrees on the 552 graduating seniors. Each graduate also received the traditional Middlebury cane, a replica of the one used by Gamaliel Painter, one of the college’s leading founders. 

Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, gave a 20-minute Commencement address.

In the Fall, Caius will be attending Oxford University in England, where he will be pursuing a Master of Philosophy degree in Classical Archaeology, where he plans to focus on Ancient Greece. 

Prior to moving to England, Caius will spend this summer working at a new archaeological excavation of a religious sanctuary on a small island off the coast from Athens, Greece.

Founded in 1800, Middlebury is a top-tier liberal arts college located in the Champlain Valley of central Vermont. Middlebury offers a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that is particularly strong in environmental studies, international studies, languages, sciences, and literature. The college’s undergraduate enrollment is about 2,500.

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Ventola Named New Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Assistant Principal

The new assistant principal of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, Noah Ventola

The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools have announced the appointment of Noah Ventola as the next Assistant Principal of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School. Ventola will begin his new position on July 1.

Ventola joins the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools after serving the East Haddam Schools as a social studies teacher, assistant principal, and department chair as well as chair of the Curriculum Council. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont and holds advanced degrees from both Eastern Connecticut State University and Southern Connecticut State University.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “Noah really impressed the interview committee with his passion for student engagement and learning. His extensive knowledge of curriculum and instruction combined with his even-keeled demeanor and practical approach to problem solving will serve him well in his new role.”  Neviaser continued, “Noah comes highly recommended by his colleagues, and we look forward to the partnership between Noah and our new principal, Mark Ambruso. We are excited to welcome this new team to our district.”

Ventola also has previous experience in the Region #8 Schools as a social studies teacher. He lives in Durham with his wife and children.

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