September 23, 2018

‘Bound for the Sound’ Road Race This Morning Benefits Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation

And they're off! Runners participating in last year's 10K start the race.

And they’re off! Runners participating in the 2016 10K take their first steps in the race.

The Lyme–Old Lyme Education Foundation’s (LOLEF) 7th annual Bound for the Sound Road Race takes place tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 22, starting at 8 a.m., on Hartford Ave., in the Sound View area of Old Lyme.

Runners can choose between a 10K or 5K course, or a one-mile Fun Run. The course travels through the scenic, easy terrain of South Lyme. The race course is mostly flat with some gently rolling hills along country roads, ending with a sprint down historic Hartford Avenue to the beach.  This popular road race attracts quality runners from in and out of state, but its friendly atmosphere has also persuaded many local and 1st time race participants to try for their first 5K.

All proceeds from the race benefit the Foundation’s educational programs in the Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools.

Runners of all ages are welcome, including those in strollers. Register for the race at this link or in person before the race. Registration starts at $5 and varies according to the length of race selected. Registration fees will increase on Race Day, so take advantage and register online today!

Prizes will be awarded to the top overall male and female finishers as well as top two finishers in each age group.

The LOLEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization, governed by a volunteer board of directors from the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme.

The LOLEF’s mission is to create, continue, and enhance the valuable educational programs above and beyond those traditionally provided by the Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools. The Foundation aligns its work with the District’s strategic planning process to encourage innovative and effective learning opportunities for students of all ages. It raises and distributes funds to enhance enrichment programs, support innovative teaching and learning, and build educational partnerships between Lyme-Old Lyme students and the community.

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Celebrate the Equinox, National Public Lands Day Today by Exploring Lyme, Old Lyme’s Open Space

Lyme and Old Lyme both offer innumerable opportunities for walking, hiking and simply enjoying their Open Space.

Tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 22, will be a day of double celebration since it is both the Autumn Equinox and National Public Lands Day.

The Equinox officially marks the beginning of autumn in Connecticut, and for six months thereafter nights will be longer than days.

National Public Lands Day (NPLD), held annually on the fourth Saturday in September, was established in 1994 to celebrate the connection between people and green space in their community, and to encourage use of open space for education, recreation, and general health.

The seasonal change offers tremendous compensation. Fall’s crisper, cooler days are ideal for hiking and nature watching, and our local forests present a truly spectacular color show for leaf-peeping.

The Old Lyme Open Space Commission invites you to enjoy the town’s 600 acres of public lands. Their publication Take a Hike provides a fascinating natural history overview of open space properties. “The Hartford Courant” also recently published a Peter Marteka column on caves within the Ames Family Preserve.

Hiking maps can be found on the Open Space page on the Town of Old Lyme’s web site.

In addition to town-owned open space property, the Old Lyme Land Trust owns over 1,000 acres of scenic, historic and ecologically important land in Old Lyme. Many of these properties have well-maintained hiking trails – descriptions, directions and hiking maps can be found on their website.

Celebrate the Equinox and National Public Lands Day tomorrow, and into the fall, by visiting Old Lyme’s open space.

Share your favorite outdoor activity Saturday on social media with the hashtag #NPLD.

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Salt Marsh Opera Performs ‘La Boheme’ at ‘the Kate’ Tomorrow, Westerly Tonight


In a cold Parisian apartment, a poet is so poor he burns pages of his own manuscript for heat. A chance encounter and cleverly pocketed key lead him to discover a love strong enough to warm his soul. But in impoverished 19th-Century Paris even love is not free, and he is faced with a price he may not be able to pay.

What cost is too high for the woman he loves, and is it worth living without her by his side?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in a spectacular performance of Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center — the Kate — at 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook, this evening at 7 p.m. or Sunday at 3 p.m.  A few tickets are still available for both performances by calling the Kate box office at 860.510.0453 or online by clicking here.

Tomorrow evening, Saturday, Sept. 22, there will another performance of La Boheme at 7 p.m. at the George Kent Performance Hall, 119 High Street, Westerly, RI.  For tickets, call 860.535.0753.

This performance at Kent Hall  is a special “Opera in the Round,” an immersive experience that puts you right in the middle of 19th-Century Paris! Eat, Drink and Be Merry with your own Parisian picnic basket as you celebrate with the cast their brief taste of happiness, then march with them from the café into the streets of Paris at the climax of Act II.

These tickets are available on a first come, first served basis.

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Wesleyan Professor to Give Talk This Afternoon on First Amendment Fundamentals at Lyme Library

Wesleyan University Professor Emeritus John Finn

Professor Emeritus John E. Finn will present a talk titled Speech Freaks: First Amendment Fundamentals and Common Misperceptions at the Lyme Public Library on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 2 p.m.

He will elaborate on the kind of limits that can be placed on speech, why objectionable speech must be protected, the relationship of the First Amendment to other constitutional liberties and principles, and why “it is every citizen’s civic responsibility to be literate about the Constitution – to know not only what it says and means but also to know why it means what it does, to know where it is clear, where it is vague, and where it asks us to make up our own minds”

Dr. Finn holds a Ph.D. in political science from Princeton University, a J.D. from Georgetown University, and a degree in culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute. He is Professor Emeritus of Government from Wesleyan University in Middletown and is the author of several highly regarded books on constitutional law.

This program is sponsored by The Friends of the Lyme Public Library. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, call the Library at 860-434-2272 or email programreg@lymepl.org.

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Old Lyme Special Town Meeting to be Held Monday to Vote on Pump Station, Solar Facilities

Following on from Wednesday’s (Sept. 19) meeting attended by approximately 75 Old Lyme residents, the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen announced yesterday that a Special Town Meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. to vote on both the proposals that were discussed at Wednesday’s meeting.  The meeting will be held in in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium at 53 Lyme Street,

Around a dozen questions were asked at Wednesday’s meeting and many residents left after the end of the first hearing.

At Monday’s Special Town Meeting, residents will be asked to vote on the proposed lease of a portion of the Town-owned property at 72 Portland Ave. in Old Lyme.  The lease, which was presented by First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder on Wednesday, includes access rights to the leased area, to the Miami Beach Association, the Old Lyme Shores Beach Association, and the Old Colony Beach Association, and to each of their respective Water Pollution Control Authorities (the “Tenants”), for an initial term of 40 years from its commencement date, for the purpose of the construction, operation, and maintenance of a sanitary sewage pump station, underground piping, and related facilities by the Tenants.

The proposed lease terms and a map showing the proposed lease area are available on the WPCA page of the Town website  at www.oldlyme-ct.gov

Residents will also be asked to approve a resolution that the first selectwoman, on terms and conditions deemed by the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen to be commercially reasonable and in the best interests of the Town, and subject to the approval of the Town Attorney as to legality and form, is authorized to negotiate and enter into a Memorandum of Agreement and subsequent lease for an initial term of up to 25 years with a solar energy generation firm.

This firm must be legally qualified to produce and distribute solar energy in the State of Connecticut for the purpose of allowing the tenant to install, own and operate solar photovoltaic generation equipment (“Solar Facilities”) on some or all of the capped portion of the former landfill on the Town-owned property at 109 Four Mile River Road in Old Lyme, together with and for the term of the lease:

(i) an easement over, across and through Town Property outside the leased area as reasonably necessary to allow the tenant, its employees, invitees, agents, contractors and subcontractors to access the leased property and the Solar Facilities by vehicle, foot or otherwise, in such location(s) as shall be reasonably determined by mutual written agreement of the Board of Selectmen and the tenant;

(ii) an easement on Town property outside the leased area, as reasonably necessary for the sole purpose of servicing the solar facilities, to build, maintain, upgrade, install and relocate electrical lines, conduits, and disconnects running to and from the solar facilities and other equipment and communication facilities, including without limitation utility meters and switches, transformers, inverters, disconnects, reclosers, poles and switchboards, all of which shall be reasonably needed to operate the solar facilities, and all of which shall be located where reasonably determined by mutual written agreement of the board of selectmen and the tenant;

(iii) the right, license and privilege to use, as reasonably necessary, up to 15,000 square feet of Town property outside the leased area  as a temporary workspace for the placement and storage of equipment and materials during the construction and the removal of the solar facilities, the specific location of such temporary workspace to be agreed upon by mutual consent of the selectmen and the tenant prior to construction of the solar facilities.

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Two Goals Down, Wildcat Soccer Girls Bounce Back to Defeat Saybrook Rams 3-2

In a thrilling game played yesterday on their home field, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School soccer girls defeated Old Saybrook 3-2.

Old Saybrook’s Allison Cody scored two goals in the first half, both unassisted, to lead the game 2-0.

Later with 5:25 minutes left in the first half, Wildcat Britney DeRoehn scored off of a cross from Kaylee Armenia.  Mya Johnson then scored unassisted at 23:46 in the second half to tie the game.

With 2:12 remaining on the clock, Johnson — the Wildcat’s all-time leading scorer — netted the game-winning goal off a corner kick assist from Danielle McCarthy.

Grace Coverdale and Sam Gray were in net for Old Lyme and made two saves each, while Kelsey True was in goal for Old Saybrook with 10 saves.

Old Lyme is now 2-0-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the Shoreline.

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See ‘Once’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through Oct.14

Katie Barton plays the lead role of Girl in ‘Once,’ which opens Sept. 19 at Ivoryton Playhouse.

The Broadway smash hit Once, has opened at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician about to give up on his dreams and a beautiful young Czech immigrant are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, an unexpected friendship and collaboration quickly evolves into a powerful but complicated love story, underscored by emotionally-charged music.

Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Once is an original theatrical experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once is an unforgettable story about going for your dreams and the power of music to connect us all.

Based on the 2007 movie of the same name, written by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, the show features all of the haunting songs from the critically acclaimed film, including the Oscar-winning “Falling Slowly”. This uplifting show strikes an unforgettable chord in audiences and speaks to the power of music to connect us all. As Irglova said in her remarkable Oscar acceptance speech, “Fair play to those who dare to dream and don’t give up.”

Ivoryton welcomes back Ben Hope*, who has performed at Ivoryton in Million Dollar Quartet and Stand by Your Man. Hope is making his directorial debut with this show, which is dear to his heart, since he performed the role of Guy on Broadway many times.  What makes this production special is that Hope is directing his wife, Katie Barton*, in the role of Girl. Barton has also performed in Ivoryton, playing the lead role of Tammy Wynette in Stand by Your Man.

Joining them in this production are Sam Sherwood*, last seen in Ivoryton in The Road — My Life with John Denver, as Guy; Steven G. Anthony* as Billy; Jonathan Brown as Svec; Margaret Dudasik* as Reza; Andreina Kasper as Bank Manager; Marcy McGuigan* as Baruska; John Mervini as Eamon; Morgan Morse as Andre; Rachel Mulcahy as Ex-Girlfriend; Don Noble* as Da; Victoria Wepler as Emcee and Cadyn Malary and Lizzie Pantano as Ivanka.

Musical direction is by Eric Anthony, set design by Glen Bassett, lighting design by Marcus Abbott, and costume design by Cully Long.

Once runs through Oct. 14, 2018.  Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p. m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org 

Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity.

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Cappella Cantorum Hosts Late Registration for December Concert, Sept. 24; Includes Works by Puccini, Saint-Saen


Join the Cappella Cantorum Masterworks Chorus for its first rehearsal of Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Saint Saens’ Christmas Oratorio this evening, Monday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River. Use the rear entrance.

These melodious and inspiring works will be performed in concert Sunday, Dec. 2, at John Winthrop with professional orchestra and soloists. Simon Holt of the Salt Marsh Opera will direct.

Auditions are not required.

Registration is $50 plus music: Puccini $9, Saint-Saens $11. Late registration is the following Monday, Sept. 24, same time and place.

For more information, visit www.CappellaCantorum.org or call 860-526-1038.

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Letter to the Editor: Democrat Pugliese Represents a Fresh, Viable Alternative in House 23rd District Race

To the Editor:

Matt Pugliese offers a refreshing, non-partisan voice in the state House of Representatives for Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. Matt brings business experience from the non-profit sector where he has managed tight budgets and competing union interests to deliver theatrical arts to communities in Middletown and at U Conn. Matt has been recognized for his business acumen by the Hartford Business Journal 40 under 40.

As a resident of Old Saybrook raising a young family, Matt knows first hand the importance of supporting education, working women and families. With his courage to speak up for policies that make sense, Matt has earned the endorsements of Moms Demand Gun Sense, CT Chapter of National Organization of Women and Planned Parenthood.

Connecticut has distinguished itself as a leader in gun control and voting equality. To retain these advances, our legislature needs to be controlled by those willing to stand up for these values. Connecticut needs to become a leader in business and the arts. Matt Pugliese has the experience and fortitude to be our next leader.

Sincerely,

Candace Fuchs,
Old Lyme.
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Letter to the Editor: Protection of the Environment is Good for the Economy

To the Editor:

We in the lower Connecticut Valley live in one of the world’s “last great places”. But can we afford to protect the environment if it raises our taxes and costs us jobs and money? This question always comes up around election time but it is based on an incorrect assumption and it leads to the wrong answer. For a state like Connecticut with its knowledge based economy, the environment is actually good for the economy.

China has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and it is a leader in the environmental technology. Some of the wealthiest places on earth (Germany, Denmark, California) are the most environmentally conscious. Solar voltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians are projected to be among the fastest growing occupations in the United States. Connecticut is home of some of the pioneers of the future (the fuel cell industry) and has some of the best resources in the world for the green economy; e.g.: the Connecticut Green Bank (the first in the nation) and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. Our own locality has initiatives such as Sustainable Essex and the Chester Energy Team and engines of sustainability such as Centerbrook Architects and Noble Power Systems. All of this is in addition to the tourist industry which brings jobs and money to the area as well as making it a nice place to live. These signs are telling us something – that the future belongs to the clean and the efficient.

You don’t need to be a member of the Sierra Club or a follower of the Pope’s Encyclical to care about the environment. It is good enough to care about turning “Green to Gold” (to quote from the book by Dan Esty of Yale). The green economy is the wave of the future and if jobs and money are what we want, we ought to get on board or we will lose BOTH our environment and our economy.

Sincerely,

Frank Hanley Santoro,
Deep River.

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Potapaug Audubon Presents  Author McLeish on “Return of the Sea Otter,” Oct. 4

Potapaug Audubon presents  “Return of the Sea Otter” with Todd McLeish on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall, 52 Lyme St.

Join author Todd McLeish as he shares adorable photos and describes his adventures studying sea otters from California to Alaska. Nearly driven extinct for their thick fur pelts, the “champions of cute” have returned to the West Coast in large numbers but are still threatened by sharks, killer whales, fishermen and native hunters.

McLeish’s book about sea otters will be available for purchase and signing.

This event is free and all are welcome. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.

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Old Lyme Zoning Hears Final Comments on HOPE’s Affordable Housing Proposal, Decision Now Pending

The Old Lyme Zoning Commission listens to comments from a member of the public at Monday night’s meeting.

More than 250 people filled the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium Monday evening to hear another round of comments from both the applicants and their attorney, and members of the public regarding the proposed 37-unit Affordable Housing development at 18-1 Neck Rd. (formerly 16 Neck Road). The applicants have submitted two separate applications for 23 and 14 dwelling units respectively known as River Oak Commons I and II.

Zoning Commission Chairman Jane Cable  (second from left) consults with a fellow commission member during the hearing.  Photo by Debra Joy.

Public comment was closed around 10:30 p.m. (thus meeting the legal requirement in terms of how long it can be held open) and the meeting ended without the commission taking a vote on either application.

Project Engineer Joe Wren (left) of Indigo Land Design of Old Saybrook makes a point to the attorney for the applicants, David Royston, at the end of the meeting.  Photo by Debra Joy.

The commission now has 65 days from the closing of the public hearing to deliberate and vote.

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Op-Ed: ‘A Project Without Solutions’: SECoast Director Questions Possible Approval of HOPE’s Affordable Housing Proposal

Editor’s Note: The author is the executive director of SECoast.

If the ends justify the means – and supporters are willing to overlook a flawed planning process, a dubious subdivide and shell corporations designed to skirt environmental regulation – we ask simply that the public and Zoning Commission members consider carefully the true character of those ends.

Surely, it’s never been the case that a failure of ends can justify a failure of means. But failed—and at best uncertain ends—are exactly what Hope Partnership, Women’s Institute, and attorney David Royston asked members of the Commission to approve last night in an effort to establish an aura of inevitability and bureaucratic momentum for the project.

At the very least, we expected the applicants to resolve those issues directly acknowledged under health and safety rules as the basis for their request for a continuance on July 11, 2018. Pedestrian safety? Months later, still crickets. Really, how is it possible, that plans submitted last night included a crosswalk between residences and the community center within the development, but failed to address pedestrian safety and a crossing of Route 156 to the nearby shopping district?

In defense, attorney Royston leans heavily on the letter of the law, but what he does not explain is that a street design can be defective—and thus unsafe—even if the design is otherwise legal. Years ago, the design for I-95 between Exit 70 and Exit 74 met the letter of law, but as we understand now, the geometry of the roadway was fatally flawed. Oh the irony, that we might repeat a similar mistake in the very same location.

We understand that many of the numerous issues of health and safety considered separately may not rise to the high bar of outweighing the real public good of affordable housing, but to be clear as a matter of the law, these issues should not be considered separately – a practice called segmentation – but rather as a meaningful whole. As Ms. Marsh, and others have pointed out amply in questioning safe exit and entrance to the property, it’s possible that each sightline considered as a piece is sufficient, but considered together, lack commonsense and safety.

We believe that this project makes that same error of segmentation not once, but many times over, aided too often by fibs and later revisions along the way to secure the aid and approval of various boards, commissions, and bodies, including (but not limited to) misleading filed papers to secure the subdivide, the promised recusal of counsel and ‘completed’ water testing to secure approval of wetlands, the use of shell corporations and the subdivision to avoid DEEP oversight and regulatory standards for a project of this size, the steady growth of the project over the course of months from a dozen or 16 units to 37 units and 950 ft of retaining walls reaching to eight feet in height. You might ask yourself why these retaining walls were never a serious topic of conversation at the Inland Wetlands hearing earlier this year. Perhaps, it’s because they weren’t in the plan approved at the time.

Now the applicants ask that the commission members and the public put this all aside and approve a project without solutions in place even for automobile traffic, water or septic; without designs which comply with the 2018 Fire Code. If this constitutes sufficient planning, truly we wonder what an incomplete or inadequate plan for the applicant would be. Really, are we to believe that nonexistent or endlessly variable plans better meet the rules of health and safety, than mere bad plans? We remain unconvinced.

For months, the best defense this plan had was the apparent – we were repeatedly promised – lack of a better location. We fully understand those who might embrace the good of affordable housing when presented with such a solitary opportunity. But it appears that even this is untrue, as already last night Kristin Anderson of the Women’s Institute made clear that this project was the first of others already contemplated or in part planned in Old Lyme. We strongly advise the community, the Commission, and the applicants to leave aside the current project, and embrace these other alternatives.

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Lock Your Cars! Thefts of Cars, Cash in Cars Reported in Numerous Locations in Old Lyme, Neighboring Towns

The Old Lyme Police have advised residents to be vigilant in locking their cars, and removing valuables and cash from their cars.  This follows a series of break-ins into cars that in many cases, were unlocked. A car was stolen from Hefflon Farms and break-ins were reported on Duchess Drive, Johnnycake Hill Rd. and Hawthorne Rd.  Neighboring towns were affected as well.

The Chester Resident Trooper TFC Matthew Ward #815 from Connecticut State Police – Troop F Westbrook issued the following statement to Chester residents Sept. 4:

Early Monday morning 9/3/18 we had several vehicles gone through in various areas of Chester – Railroad Avenue, Denlar Drive, Goose Hill and others.  Approximately 10 or so vehicles were gone through that we know of with a few items stolen. One residence had video surveillance and it showed the suspects trying to gain entry into the residence from keys taken out of one of the cars. 
Essex, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook also had several vehicles gone through with one car stolen from Essex and one car stolen from Old Saybrook. Please lock your vehicles and lock your residences at night. This has been happening alot in the surrounding areas. The suspects are from the Hartford, New Britain and New Haven areas and are stealing cars mostly.  Please be vigilant and report any suspicious people or suspicious vehicles in the area.    
Anyone with information about any of these incidents is asked to contact old Lyme Police or the State Police at Westbrook.
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Talking Transportation: Secret “Hacks” of Grand Central 

Grand Central Terminal stands resplendent in the center of New York City. Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash.com.

There is possibly no more beautiful railroad station in the world than New York City’s Grand Central Terminal (GCT).  As the destination of over 55,000 daily rail commuters from Connecticut, it’s a place where many of us spend a fair amount of time.

I’ve been riding in and out of Grand Central for over 50 years.  So to help you maneuver the station’s labyrinth of tunnels, ramps and stairs, here are some of the “secrets” of Grand Central that I find most useful.

Underground Access:

Sure, you can enter Grand Central from street level, but in bad weather you can find your way there underground from blocks away.  The north-end access entrances at Madison and 47th St., Park Ave. and 48th St. and the Helmsley Building walk-ways are dandy, though not all open on weekends.  But did you know you can also access from 43rd or 45th St., west of Vanderbilt, from inside the Chrysler Building, the Hyatt Hotel on 42nd St. or via the subway’s shuttle station, on the south side of 42nd St., just west of Park?

Fastest Way from / to the Lower Level:

If your train dumps you on the lower level, forget about the ramps or stairs for the long climb to street level, especially with luggage.  Walk to the forward end of the train and look for the elevator near Track 112.  It’ll take you to the upper level or, better yet, to within steps of Vanderbilt Avenue (see below).  Getting to the lower level platforms from street level is just as easy.  On the upper level, look for the elevators and take them down to “P” (Platform) level avoid two flights of stairs.

Washrooms with No Wait:

The new washrooms at the west end of the lower level have helped a lot, but still there’s often a line.  Take the nearby escalators up one level, turn around, and on your left is the Stationmaster’s Office complete with a small waiting room and lav’s … but for women only!  Or, go right and just before the ramp up to 42nd St. and Vanderbilt, look on your left for the sign for the Oyster Bar.  Go down the steps into the bar and you’ll find ornate bathrooms known only to a few.

Best Place To Get A Cab:          

Forget about the long line at the taxi stand on 42nd St. east of Vanderbilt.  Instead, go out the west end of the Main Concourse, up the stairs and out onto Vanderbilt Ave.  Cross the street and wait at the corner of 43rd.  Taxis flow through here, dropping off passengers every few seconds. If you’re heading west you’ll avoid the traffic on 42nd Street too.

Where to Have a Smoke:

Want to enjoy a cigar before your train?  Forget about lighting up anywhere inside the station. Instead, go to the Hyatt Hotel just east on 42nd St. From street level, go up two levels by escalator to their taxi stand and you’ll find yourself on the raised Park Avenue as it wraps around GCT.

These are a few of my favorite “hacks” of Grand Central.  Drop me an e-mail with yours and I’ll include them in a future column.

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media 

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After Receiving State Grant, Old Lyme to Undertake Historic Properties Survey

The Town of Old Lyme is planning to conduct a survey of historic properties in the town after receiving a grant of $30,000 from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to support the project.

The Request for Proposals for the project was issued in June of this year and can be viewed at this link.  Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal confirmed yesterday that only one application was received in response to the proposal.

A meeting will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6, at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall to introduce and discuss the project, at which a SHPO representative will be present.

The board of selectmen first discussed the possibility of undertaking the survey at a Special Meeting held in November 2016.  The issue had been raised by the Old Lyme Historic District Commission, which had made a motion requesting a study of historic properties in the town.  At that time, the board of selectmen did not move forward on the issue.

Read our article published Nov. 21, 2016 about that Special Meeting at this link.

 

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Reading Uncertainly? “Et Cetera, Et Cetera” by Lewis Thomas,

Awhile back, a conversation at Ashlawn Coffee in Old Saybrook brought up the word “blight,” in connection with a new committee in Old Lyme.

What, indeed, is “blight”?

Is one person’s “ugly condition” possibly a delight for someone else? That brought up the word “Blighty,” a word referring to England, possibly from Urdu and no connection whatsoever with the word “blight.” So do some words we use infrequently mean the same to all of us?

That question, nagging my brain, led me back to a book I had read almost 30 years ago, Lewis Thomas’s Et Cetera, Et Cetera, in which this medical doctor explores the derivation of many of our common words, with great humor and erudition.. Consider: animus, pessimism, snare, sleep, fastidious, scrutiny, pupil, hair, googol (not Google, I might add!), free, music, ethics, and Gaia.

Fascinating.

From their origins in Indo-European, Greek, Latin, and other languages, to today’s usages, these words have evolved almost as much as we homo Sapiens.

Take, for example, the word “presently.”  Some 300 years ago, it was used by the English to mean now or at this moment. Then, in the 18th and 19th centuries in “Old Blighty,” English novelists used it in the sense of the near future. That persisted into the 20th century, but in the last 50 years “presently” seems to have begun to revert to its original sense in many vocabularies.

As Dr. Thomas notes with the word “delight,” “But there is no lasting light in delight; its cognates carry soft warnings of the shadow just ahead.”

His introduction opens our minds to the delight of language: “the mark of being human is speech and the ready use of metaphor, and the evolutionary development of this trait is told, in part, by the history of words … I keep forgetting words. But forgetting is part of the fun, allowing the pleasure of looking them up and being flabbergasted all over again … I turned into an obsessed collector, picking up and storing in the untidy attic of my mind words upon words.”

More salient quotes: “ … something over 90 percent of the remarks made in a day’s turning are essentially idle sounds …  indicating presence, politeness, interest if interest is wanted, readiness to talk,” and  “ … the immense role played by small-talk in keeping discourse going.”  As such, “language is itself the most exhilarating of games, an endless contest in which we are engaged in all our lives, pure fun for the mind.”

Can we as human beings actually learn to live together?

Thomas is cautious about our future: “Right now, because of the noisy triumph of individualism in the last two centuries, and especially because of our collective follies since 1914, we seem to ourselves to have lost the game altogether, on our way to extinction. Good. We will need a few more decades of deep discouragement, casting about for ways to change our behavior toward each other, and then perhaps the notion deep in our collective consciousness will take hold, and we will start changing without realizing that we are transforming ourselves … letting nature, at last, take her course and relying on the language for new guidance.”

His conclusion is a bit more optimistic: we have “a brain capable not only of awareness and what we call consciousness … but we do something more than this. We record the details of our past experience and make compulsive guesses about our future … More than this, and here is our uniquely distinguishing feature, we talk to each other about these things. In short, we are unique because of language.  … The really important, far and away most important thing about human beings is human society. We are … a biologically, mandatorily, ineluctably social animal.”

Step back a moment and explore words with Dr. Lewis Thomas, and then go forth and share them with everyone else.

Editor’s Note: ‘Et Cetera, Et Cetera’ was written by Lewis Thomas and published by Little, Brown & Co., Boston 1990.

Felix Kloman

About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction that explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farm Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His wife, Ann, is also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visit every summer.

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First Day for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Goes Smoothly, Whritner Named ‘Teacher of the Year’

It was the first day of the new school year for Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools yesterday.  Facebook was littered with “First Day Photos” of, in most cases, smiling students setting off to their new classes and sometimes, school for the first time.

Elementary School teacher Sue Whritner was named 2018-19 Teacher of the Year at LOL Schools’ Convocation on Monday.

During Convocation on Monday, when all employees of LOL Schools gather together for a ‘Pre-Start of School’ assembly, Mile Creek School Principal Patricia Downes announced that Sue Whritner from Mile Creek had been selected as the 2018-19 Teacher of the Year.  Whritner was immediately given a standing ovation and plenty of loud cheers by her peers.

Downes also announced that the 2018-19 Non-Certified Employee of the Year was Instructional Aid Jen Harvill, who similarly works at Mile Creek. Harvill received a lengthy standing ovation as well.

A smiling Jen Harvill acknowledges the applause from her colleagues after being named 2018-19 Non-Certified Employee of the Year on Monday.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser told LymeLine, “We had a great opening filled with smiles and excitement about starting a new year.  Everyone was thankful that we installed air conditioning last year in all buildings.  This certainly will make the first couple of days much more productive.  We are excited to have everyone back and look forward to this year’s successes.”

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Large Turnout to Discuss Future of Lyme Academy, Variety of Options Proposed

More than 80 people attended the meeting at Lyme Academy College Monday afternoon to discuss its future. Photo by SEcoast.org.

University of New Haven (UNH) President Steven Kaplan, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts Campus Dean Todd Jokl, Lyme Academy Board Chair Stephen Tagliatela, and Lyme Academy faculty member/alumna Kimberly Monson, hosted a meeting yesterday afternoon at the College to discuss its future.  The meeting was held in response to the numerous concerns and questions raised subsequent to the UNH Board of Governor’s announcement on Aug. 20 that it had, “decided, effective at the end of the academic year in May 2019, to discontinue the University’s degree-granting academic offerings” at the College.

SECoast.org attended the meeting and wrote, “Upwards of 80 residents, alumni, faculty, and members of the art community turned out, in what was an unsettled, but positive and forward-thinking discussion.  Kaplan set the tone with an emphasis on maintaining the Academy as a viable educational arts institution, briefly laying out the short-term challenges …”  Read their full report at this link.

Erica Moser from The Day also attended and her report is at this link.

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Immigrant Family Taking Refuge in Old Lyme Church Featured in ‘The New Yorker’ Story

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and the Rehman family of three from Pakistan that are currently living in the church’s basement were featured in a story titled No One Is Safer. No One Is Served in The New Yorker last week.

The Rev. Steven Jungkeit, senior minister of the church, describes the article in these words, “The story, written by reporter Dave Eggers, traces their lives from when Malik and Zahida [Rehman] first met in Pakistan, to their living in sanctuary in our church with their five-year-old daughter … It also provides a solid description of the theological framework that underlies our sanctuary efforts.”

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