July 19, 2018

Follow the ‘Vision Box’ Trail This Summer! Opening Reception for Project This Evening at Lyme Academy


Through the balance of the summer, the public can follow the trail of Vision Boxes installed at four sites throughout Old Lyme. The boxes are up for three months — at the end of the project, the boxes will be auctioned. Resulting funds will be contributed to programs that bring urban youth to visit wilderness parks or refuges in the local area and give them the opportunity to draw in the field.

Working in collaboration with non-profit land trusts, the Open Space Commission, individual stewards and local artists, Ana Flores designed the Vision Box project.

Flores is the first Schumann Foundation Visiting Artist at the University of New Haven’s Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. She is an award-winning “ecological artist” probing the relationships between the human and natural history in different geographies. One of her goals as an artist is to encourage the public’s awareness of their local landscapes, deepening their connections to place because if we don’t care about something we will not help protect it.

This spring she has been teaching Environmental Art, introducing students to ecological artists and having them create projects that involve ecology, community engagement, and activism. She has also been exploring the unique environment of Old Lyme in preparation for a public art project. The Old Lyme landscape, with its conjunction of river, marshes, fields, and forests served as the inspiration for the American Impressionist movement in the early 20th century. For over three decades, well known painters traveled here to document the estuary landscape with its particular quality of light.

Flores believes there is a connection between the sustained gaze of these artists and the extraordinary efforts in conservation in the area. She says, “The artists gave the land value for its irreplaceable natural beauty and since the mid 1960’s Old Lyme citizens have been working hard to preserve some of the habitat that lured artists here. The Vision Box project reminds us that we cannot take for granted open space, mature trees, or a clean river – they exist only because of visionary stewardship and in the case of Old Lyme, inspiration from artists’ vision.”

There will be an Opening Reception for the Vision Box project Thursday, July 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, 84 Lyme Street, in Old Lyme.  All are welcome.

The Vision Boxes can be found at these locations:

  1. Ferry Landing Park:
    Walk to end of boardwalk, box on viewing platform.
  2. Watch Rock Preserve:
    Entrance at end of Joel Road, take Yellow trail 0.4 mile, box faces West over water.
  3. Lyme Art Association:
    Box faces stream, located near back parking area.
  4. Champlain North:
    Turn on Wyckford Road, go to end. Open space trails are not private. Take Red trail, bear right, 0.4 mile to Barbizon Oak and box.

The project is made possible with support and funding from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation and Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven.

Special thanks for their support of the project are given  to:

  • Patricia Shippee,
  • Deborah Quinn-Munson,
  • Sara Drought Nabel,
  • Rosamund Christison

Partners include:

  • Old Lyme Open Space Commission
  • Old Lyme Land Trust
  • CT Dept. of Energy and Environmental

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Lymes’ Senior Center’s ‘Summer Sounds’ Series Continues Tonight with ‘The Cartells’

Come and enjoy a summer evening at the Lymes’ Senior Center at 26 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme for “Summer Sounds,” a four-week musical concert series.  The series continues with a performance tomorrow by Doo-Wop Deville, described as, “New England’s Premier Doo-Wop Show Band,” starting at 7 p.m.

All ages are welcome.

Bring your chairs, blankets, dinner, etc. as the performances will be held out on the lawn (weather permitting) or inside if the weather is inclement.

All concerts start at 7 p.m. on Thursday evenings and are followed by a free ice cream social.

The concert schedule continues as follows:

July 19 – The Cartells — “Premier Dance and Vocal Group on the East Coast”

For the past 31 years, the Cartells have been one of the premier dance and vocal groups on the East Coast.

Jazz, swing, Motown, R&B, rock and roll, popular music of all styles are equally represented in their impressive repertoire, and their dedication to defining and fulfilling the wants and needs of their audience results in every appearance being a concert to remember.

The LOL Lions Club will also be at the Lymes’ Senior Center before this concert at 5:30 p.m. selling hot dogs, hamburgers, and other dinner foods.

 

July 26 – The United States 102nd Army Pop Band

Enjoy an evening of patriotic and popular music, performed by the 102nd Army Band- Pop Ensemble

Concert Series Sponsors   

Gold Sponsor: Reynolds’ Subaru & Reynolds’ Boats   

Silver Sponsor:  All Pro Automotive in Old Lyme CT

Ice Cream Sponsors: Old Lyme Republican Town Committee (two concerts), Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee, Atria Crossroads Place in Waterford

Special thanks to Salem Valley Farms Ice Cream

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Affordable Housing Public Hearing Deadline Extended Again, This Time to Sept. 10


Around 270 people showed up at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School last night for the Public Hearing held by the Old Lyme Zoning Commission on the  37-unit Affordable Housing development on Neck Rd. proposed by HOPE and the Women’s Institute.  At the end of the almost three-hour meeting, the Commission voted at the applicant’s request to continue the Public Hearing to their next regular meeting on Sept. 10.

More on this story to follow.

Links to our stories on previous meetings regarding this Affordable Housing proposal are respectively at Boisterous Crowd Packs Middle School Auditorium to Listen to, Give Opinions on HOPE’s Affordable Housing Proposal published June 8, and At HOPE’s Request, Old Lyme Zoning Extends Affordable Housing Hearing Deadline to July 17 published June 13.

There are also numerous Letters to the Editor on the subject in our Letters section and opinions in our Op-Ed’s section.

The articles themselves also stimulated a wide variety of comments.

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Special Old Lyme Town Meeting Announced for July 23, Vote on Town Contribution of $1.75M for OL-PGN Library Upgrades Planned

A vote on the Town of Old Lyme’s contribution of $1.75 million for renovations and upgrades to the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is planned for July 23, at a Special Town Meeting.

A Special Town Meeting has been announced by the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen on Monday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Meeting Hall of the Old Lyme Town Hall at 52 Lyme St., Old Lyme to consider a proposal to appropriate $1.75 million towards the cost of the capital construction project being undertaken at the Library by the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Association, Inc.  It is anticipated that a vote will be taken on the proposal at the meeting.

More to follow in a separate story on the library’s renovation proposals.

Also, a proposed ordinance to amend the Town’s Harbor Management Plan to create a procedure for the Harbor Management Commission to recommend variances from the Harbor Use Zone Standards of the Plan to a state or local permitting authority acting on an application to conduct activities affecting the waters of Old Lyme.

A copy of the proposed ordinance is posted on the Town’s website and paper copies are available for review in the office of the Town Clerk.  

If approved by the Town Meeting, this ordinance will be effective 15 days after its publication in a newspaper having a circulation in the Town of Old Lyme.

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Community Meeting to Discuss Master Plan for Halls Rd. Improvements Announced, July 25

Aerial view of Halls Rd. and Old Lyme.

Believing that community involvement is key to the future success of Old Lyme, the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen and the Halls Road Improvements Committee have announced a Community Meeting to discuss ‘Improvements for Halls Rd.’ on Wednesday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.

Feedback at community meetings over the past two years has made it clear that developments along Halls Rd. need to be looked at in an integrated, long-term context. At the recommendation of the Halls Road Improvements Committee, Old Lyme has retained the Yale Urban Design Workshop (YUDW) to help develop a proposed master plan for the area along Halls Rd.

In addition, the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC), which is a non-profit government/business joint effort, has offered to help collect economic and market data in support of the planning process.

The meeting will introduce YUDW and CERC to the public. Group break-out sessions will follow to allow discussion among attendees and presenters. The presenters are attending the meeting both to describe what they can do and also to ask the residents of Old Lyme what they hope to accomplish.

 

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Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Hosts Classic Car Show During Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival, July 28

This year’s Classic Car Show sponsored by the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions will be held on the grounds of the Bee and Thistle Inn on Saturday, July 28.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Classic Car Show will be held on Saturday, July 28, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the grounds of the Bee & Thistle Inn, Lyme St, Old Lyme, next to the Florence Griswold Museum, between I-95 Exits 70 and 71.

There will be 14 classes shown as well as a ‘People’s Choice’ award.

Admission is $5 for spectators and $10 for show car registration (includes admission for driver and one passenger).  

The Lions will serve their usual fare, including bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs, and fries.  All proceeds benefit Lions charities.

To pre-register your car for the event, visit the Car Show Registration at this link. Your $10 registration fee is not due til the day of the show.

The Car Show is now part of the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, where you will find art exhibitions, music and dance, family fun, and wonderful artisan cheeses and breads.

Directions: From the north, take I-95, exit 71, right onto Four Mile River Road, left onto Route 1 South, which becomes Lyme Street.  You will find the Bee & Thistle Inn on your right. From the south, take I-95, exit 70, go left onto Route 156, take a right onto Halls Road, then a left onto Lyme Street (Route 1, Boston Post Road). the Bee & Thistle Inn will be on your left.

Rain Date: Sunday, July 29.
 
Car owners: arrive by 9 a.m. Flea Market vendors: set up before 9 a.m. 

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Ivoryton Playhouse Offers Second Season of ‘Playhouse on the Shore’ at Water’s Edge; See ‘La Dolce Vita,’ July 22

‘Playhouse at the Shore’ at Water’s Edge features Carly Callahan.

After last year’s successful engagement, Ivoryton Playhouse returns by popular demand to Water’s Edge Resort and Spa with six cabaret-style dinner theatre performances written for and performed exclusively at Water’s Edge.

This original series will showcase the professional talent of Ivoryton Playhouse performers and musicians in three unique productions.

La Dolce Vita will be performed July 22 and Aug. 12. Be transported to Italy for an evening of Italian favorites drawn from cinema, the concert stage, the great opera houses and the most celebrated clubs. Sit back, relax and enjoy delicious Italian cuisine complimenting this feast of the senses as performers serenade you with the iconic melodies of Italy.

Summer heats up with Summer Nights Aug. 19 and 26. Get ready to go back in time as the sizzle of hits from the ‘70s is celebrated. Feel free to sing and dance along as the talented cast hosts the hottest night of entertainment on the Shoreline.

Each of these evenings offers a combined entertainment and culinary experience. A cocktail hour, featuring an array of appetizers, is followed by the first set of the show. Then, enjoy a buffet style dinner, dessert, and second round of entertainment.

Schuyler Beeman is both a choreographer and performer in the Ivoryton Playhouse’s Summer Cabaret-Dinner Season at Water’s Edge.

Each evening features a professional cast of performers, in addition to a trio led by Music Director, Eric Trudel.  Cast members include Lili Thomas, Katie Weiser, Carly Callahan, Jamaal Fields-Green, Schuyler Beeman, Max Swarner, Richard Pittsinger, Charlie Widmer, Emily Langford Johnson, Amy Maude Helfer, Kate Hubbard and Devon Perry.

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

Tickets are $59 per person plus tax and gratuity, 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.

Photographs by Ivoryton Playhouse

1 – Schuyler Beeman ( choreographer/performer)

2 – Carly Callahan (director/performer)

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Chestnut Hill Presents Four Chamber Music Concerts in August at the Kate 


Now in its 49th season,Chestnut Hill Concerts will present four programs of chamber music this August at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook. The prestigious series is highly-regarded, not only for its programming, but also for the world-class musicians that artistic director Ronald Thomas invites for the performances.

The concerts will take place August 3, 10, 17, and 24, all Friday evenings at 8 p.m. Cellist and artistic director Ronald Thomas will host and perform in each concert.

The Aug. 3 concert features Ronald Thomas performing the 5th Bach Cello Suite. The rest of the concert presents John Novacek’s Rags for Violin and Piano, and the Brahms Piano Quartet in  G minor, Op. 25. In addition to Ronald Thomas, artists include Steve Copes, violin; Matthew Sinno, viola; and Randall Hodgkinson, piano.

On Aug. 10, Chestnut Hill presents two string sextets and a string quartet. Chestnut Hill welcomes the Amernet String Quartet, whose members include Misha Vitenson, violin; Franz Felkl, violin; Michael Klotz, viola; and Jason Calloway, cello. The quartet will perform Schubert’s String Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 125, No. 1. The quartet will be joined by Vivek Kamath, viola and Ronald Thomas, cello to perform two string sextets: Richard Strauss’ String Sextet from Capriccio, Op. 85 and Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet Souvenir de Florence, Op. 70

The program on Aug. 17 presents music by Debussy, Kodály, and Dvořák. Ronald Thomas and Mihae Lee will perform Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano; Catherine Cho, violin, Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violin, and Todd Phillips, viola will perform Kodály’s Serenade for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 12; and the ensemble will perform Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81.

The season finale on Aug. 25 explores the music of Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Schumann, including the rarely-heard Horn Quintet in E-flat by Mozart, K. 407, written for one violin and two violas. The concert also includes Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49 and Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47. This performance introduces Frank Huang, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, to the Chestnut Hill audience, and brings back some of its favorite performers: William Purvis, horn; Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violin and viola, Cynthia Phelps, viola; Ronald Thomas, cello; and Mihae Lee, piano.

The 2018 season of Chestnut Hill Concerts is made possible with support from the Connecticut DECD Office of the Arts.

All concerts are Friday nights at 8 p.m. at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate), 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Subscriptions to the four concerts are $140 (orchestra) and $120 (balcony). Single tickets are $40 for orchestra seats and $35 for the balcony. Kids and teens come free. To purchase tickets, contact The Kate’s box office at 860-510-0453, or visit www.thekate.org.

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Middlesex Hospital Opens Renovated Essex Facility

Middlesex Hospital leaders celebrate the opening of the renovated Shoreline Medical Center. From left to right, Lori Pascarelli, Manager of Occupational Medicine, Jackie Calamari, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Dr. Matthew Lundquist, Chief of Occupational Medicine, David Giuffrida, Vice President of Operations, Brian Taber, Physical Rehabilitation Director, Donna Stroneski, Vice President of Human Resources and Robin Copperthwaite, Rehabilitation Supervisor.

ESSEX — Middlesex Hospital has opened its renovated building at 252 Westbrook Road in Essex.

The building was once home to the Shoreline Medical Center, which moved to 252 Flat Rock Place in Westbrook in 2014. On July 10, Middlesex Hospital’s Occupational and Environmental Medicine Department and its Physical Rehabilitation Department began seeing patients at the renovated facility.

The Physical Rehabilitation Department, which includes the Hospital’s physical and occupational therapy programs, has several offices located throughout Middlesex County. The department’s office at 192 Westbrook Road in Essex is now closed due to the department’s move to the renovated space.

Occupational and Environmental Medicine also moved from 192 Westbrook Road. As such, Middlesex Hospital no longer has any offices located at that address.

When it renovated 252 Westbrook Road, Middlesex installed new exterior wall framing, insulation, siding and a new roof. The inside of the building was rebuilt and includes a new HVAC system, ceiling, lighting, flooring and finishes. By doing this work, Middlesex invested in its facility, in the services it offers and in the Essex community.

“We are so excited to open this renovated facility,” says Middlesex President and CEO Vincent G. Capece, Jr. “This building will give our Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Physical Rehabilitation departments a new home. It will give them the space and resources to continue doing what they do best—caring for our community.”

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Catherine Christiano Exhibits Paintings of Old Lyme Beach Cottages in Chelsea, NYC

Catherine Christiano, Twilight, Miami Beach, Old Lyme, 2018, Oil on Panel, 4 1/4 x 6 inches. Photo credit: Catherine Christiano.

A collection of small paintings by Old Lyme resident Catherine Christiano that feature the cottages of Old Lyme’s beach communities will be exhibited at George Billis Gallery in Chelsea, New York location. The Summer Group Show will run from July 10 through Aug. 4.

The opening reception for the public will be held tomorrow evening, Thursday, July 12, at the George Billis Gallery located at 525 West 26th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues from 6 to 8 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This latest series of paintings was created this past winter in a temporary studio at Hawk’s Nest Beach in Old Lyme.

Catherine Christiano, Twilight, Miami Beach, Old Lyme, 2018, Oil on Panel, 4 1/4 x 6 inches. Photo credit: Catherine Christiano.

Ever drawn to the character of the homes and the pictorial possibilities presented by these structures and their interplay with light, Christiano has returned numerous times to Old Lyme’s seasonal beach communities perched on the edge of the Long Island Sound.

Most of the paintings are an intimate 4 ¼ x 6 inches, the size of a standard postcard. While the paintings are small, each is a carefully painted arrangement of design elements that also convey a sense of the inner life of the place.

Christiano notes that while working from the Hawk’s Nest studio, “I was able to observe the ever shifting light day after day, sunrises to sunsets, and finally understood first-hand its qualities that drew the Impressionists to Old Lyme so many years ago.”

A painter known for creating detailed representational works, Christiano has been a studio artist based in Old Lyme for over 20 years. She was classically trained at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts during the time that it was an intensive program focused on working from nature and the human figure.

Catherine Christiano, Summer Rentals, Hawk’s Nest , 2018, Oil on Panel, 4 1/4 x 6 inches. Photo credit: Catherine Christiano.

Past local projects include the illustrations for the Old Lyme Historical Society’s memoir Poverty Island and the seal for the Town of Old Lyme.

The George Billis Gallery marks its 23rd year in the Chelsea Art District and opened a second gallery in the burgeoning gallery district of Culver City in Los Angeles.

For additional images and information about Christiano’s works in this exhibition, contact the Gallery via email at gallery@georgebillis.com  or phone at 2120645-2621.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce Hosts Annual Dinner, Presents Scholarships, Elects Board Members

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce presented Senior Business Leadership Scholarships to Mason Swaney (left) and Amanda Marsh while Brandon Lee (right) was the recipient of the Chamber’s Senior Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce (LOLCC) held its Annual Dinner at the Old Lyme Country Club Wednesday, June 20.  Fifty-six people were present including state legislators, representatives from the Town of Old Lyme, and scholarship winners from Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS).  It was a memorable evening for all present.

The Senior Business Leadership Scholarship awardees share an amusing moment with  Scholarship Committee Co-Chair Russ Gomes (second from right) and State Senator Paul Formica (R- 20th).

The business section of the meeting opened with the Treasurer’s report by Tim Griswold, followed by LOLCC President Olwen Logan giving a review of the 2017-18 Chamber year. She reported that the four main goals of the year had all been met or surpassed;

  1. Increase Chamber Membership – Logan was pleased to announce membership has  risen from 60 in June 2017 to over 110 one year later.
  2. Publish a new “Chamber Member Directory and Visitor’s Guide” – publication of the new full color, 44-page guide was completed in March.  Copies are available in the Old Lyme Town Hall.
  3. Secure space for the Chamber in Old Lyme Town Hall – achieved with assistance from First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and her Assistant Cathy Frank.  Logan expressed thanks to both on behalf of the Chamber.
  4. Restoration of  the Chamber sponsored sign at the foot of the Exit 70 off-ramp was skillfully and carefully completed by Chamber member Sophie Marsh, who was honored with a bouquet in appreciation of her excellent work.

Logan also highlighted the many events organized throughout the year by the Chamber including Dinner Meetings at local restaurants, Business After Hours at a variety of locations, and Business Breakfasts.  She also mentioned some of the upcoming happenings through the summer, including Business After Hours at Lyme Art Association on July 18 and at the Bee and Thistle Inn on Aug. 15.

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) reads from the State Citation to the Chamber’s Senior Business Leadership Scholarship recipients. From left to right, Mason Swaney, Amanda Marsh, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair Russ Gomes, State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) and Carney.

Chamber Scholarships were then presented by State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th).  These were introduced by the Co-Chairs of the Scholarship Committee Russ Gomes and Olwen Logan.

The scholarship winners and their parents gathered together for this photo.

The recipients of LOLCC 2018 Business Leadership Awards were Lyme-Old Lyme High School seniors Mason Swaney and Amanda Marsh. Senior Brandon Lee was awarded the 2018 Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts. 

The Chamber also honored their Business Students of the Month from the 2017-18 school year at their Annual Dinner. From left to right, State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd), Aoife Hufford, Ann Cote, Alex Montville, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair Russ Gomes, State Senator Paul Formica (R- 20th) and Olwen Logan, Chamber President and Scholarship Committee Co-Chair. Missing from photo is Patrick Looney.

Also honored at the meeting were the Chamber’s four Lyme-Old Lyme High School Business Students of the Month:

  • Patrick Looney,
  • Alex Montville,
  • Ann Cote
  • Aoife Hufford. 

Brandon Lee, winner of the Chamber’s Senior Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts glances at this high school art teacher and mentor Will Allik. Others in the photo from left to right are State Rep. Devin Carney, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair Russ Gomes, State Senator Paul Formica, Lee, Allik, Old Lyme Selectwoman MaryJo Nosal

The Chamber was honored that the Co-Chair of the LOLHS Business Department Joanne Hedwall and the Chair of the LOLHS Art Department Will Allik were also able to attend the dinner.

Finally, a new slate of board members was presented and then voted into office unanimously.  The officers for the year starting July 1, 2018 are:
Rich Shriver, President
Joann Lishing, Secretary
Tim Griswold, Treasurer. 

The Board of Directors is:
Gene Chmiel
Heather Gagnon
Dan Henderson
Doug LoPresti
Suzanne Thompson
Jean Wilczynski . 

Incoming President Shriver thanked outgoing President Logan for her leadership and many accomplishments and also thanked Gail Stevens for her contributions during her term on the board of directors.

The Old Lyme Country Club served a delicious meal in the beautiful main dining room and an enjoyable evening was had by all.

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Sound View Celebrates its 25th Independence Day Parade

Flag-bearer Joann Lishing proudly leads the Sound View Independence Day Parade down Hartford Ave. in Old Lyme, marching immediately ahead of The Silver Cornet Band.  Photos by Lisa Roderick Knepshield.

It started as a small parade meant just for the residents of Sound View.  Twenty-five years later the Independence Day parade held Saturday morning and organized by the Sound View Beach Association is now a sizable event in terms of numbers and again, as in the vast majority of the previous years, was held under cloudless skies on a perfect day.

Joann Lishing, who has been the flag-bearer at the front of the parade for more years than she can remember, notes, “Families have grandchildren visit specifically to participate in this parade.” She points out, however, that despite its ever-increasing size, “It’s still a family parade.”

Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (left, rear) marches alongside State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) behind the band.

State Rep. Devin Carney (R- 23rd) joined the throng and cheerfully marched the full length of the parade.  He noted, “The Sound View parade is always a wonderful celebration of our nation’s Independence Day and Old Lyme’s beach community. This year’s parade was no exception and I was honored to participate.”  He added, “The organizers did a remarkable job and it was great seeing so many people marching and enjoying the festivities.”

Judging of the decorated bikes, costumes, and so forth is no easy task.

After the parade had completed its fairly lengthy route of Hartford, Swan, and Portland Avenues, the judging began and then awards were presented for male and female in categories such as best-decorated bike or wagon, most patriotic outfit, best float, funniest outfit, and best-dressed pet.

Smiles and laughter were the order of the day and everyone seemed to share Lishing’s sentiment that, “This parade really pulls the community together.”

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Talking Transportation: “The Automotive-Construction Complex”

How did Americans develop their love affair with driving?

Visit the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington and the transportation exhibit, “America on the Move,” will sell you on the commonly-held theory that when Henry Ford made cars affordable, Americans loved them and demanded more and more highways.

Of course, that exhibit is sponsored by General Motors, which donated millions to put its name on the collection.

But University of Virginia history Professor Peter Norton, author of “Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in American Cities,” says that’s a myth.  Just as outgoing President Eisenhower warned us of the military industrial complex, Norton says an automotive-construction complex took over our country, paving from coast to coast.

Sure, Americans like their cars.  But it was a conspiracy of economic interests that turned us into a car culture.  Where cities once enjoyed a network of cheap, fast streetcars, GM, Firestone and the oil companies bought and wiped them out, replacing them with buses and cars.

“This country destroyed and rebuilt its cities in the 20th century to serve automobiles,” says Norton.  And those same interest groups are alive and well today in Connecticut.

Groups like “Move CT Forward” aren’t pro-transportation as much as they are pro jobs … their jobs, in construction.  And they’ve spent a lot of money lobbying in Hartford to keep their members, the unions and contractors, busy.   While I’m happy they’re promoting transportation, their motives are hardly altruistic.

This is nothing new, says Norton.  The original interstate highways built in the 1950s used Portland Cement because that company lobbied so hard for its product over cheaper asphalt.  And now that rusting rebar and crumbling cement is costing us a fortune.

Another myth from that era was that President Eisenhower built the interstates to move troops quickly for national defense.  That may have been the pitch to Congress, but the real reason for the highways was to evacuate civilians from the big cities in the event of nuclear war.  Lucky we never had to test that idea.

Last August when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston … the most urbanized highway city in the country … authorities didn’t even try to evacuate people because they knew more would die on congested roads than in the storm.

Who pays for all this road building?  You do, in the form of income taxes and, yes, gasoline taxes.  But Norton says gas taxes are hardly a fair way to pay for all this.

Why does the motorist driving on a dirt road pay the same gas tax as one driving I-95?  The costs they place on road maintenance, the environment and our stress levels are grossly different, so why isn’t the cost?

“It would be like having Best Buy selling everything by the pound.  People would flock to the electronics (our crowded interstates) instead of the towels,” he notes (though I’m not sure Best Buy even sells towels, but I take his point.)

He reminds us that before the interstates, the nation’s first “super highways” like the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the New Jersey Turnpike were built – not as freeways – but toll roads, and they still are today.

Driving may seem to be free, but it isn’t.  And until we ask drivers to pay for its real cost, there is no incentive to do anything but drive (and pave) more.

Jim Cameron

About the author: 

Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com

For a full collection of “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media.

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Community Comes Out in Force to Support Blood Drive Honoring Lyme-Old Lyme HS Grad Lisa Russell

Mike Russell gives blood at the Blood Drive held yesterday in honor his older sister, Lisa.  All photos by Catherine Frank.

“A grand success,” was how Pam Russell described the response to the Blood Drive held yesterday in Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall, which was organized by her elder daughter Kimberly Russell Thompson (a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Class of 2005) in honor of her younger daughter (Kim’s sister), Lisa, who graduated with the LOLHS Class of 2007.  Lisa was seriously injured in the spring by an out-of-control car in Boston and received a significant amount of blood in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

Volunteers help keep hunger and thirst at bay.

More than 120 members of the community including a local legislator, as well as friends and family members showed up and, in fact, so many came that the American Red Cross administrators had to start turning people away in the afternoon.  Some came to donate blood while others were helping out in a variety of ways at the event and still more people  — Pam said “dozens” — donated food and snacks, which were served during the Drive.

Andy Russell chats with State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) at the Blood Drive.

At the end of the day, some 77 pints of urgently needed blood had been donated and some, who were unable to give blood at this event due to the large numbers, signed up to donate at the Blood Drive to be held at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme Sept. 11 .

Attorney Tom McGarry (pictured at the head of the table) joined Jean Wilczynski to serve as Notaries, who volunteered their time to assist with the effort to encourage attendees to consider setting up a Durable Power of Attorney. Rayna and Richard Dakin (seated to right of McGarry) were also volunteers at the event.

During the Blood Drive, Russell Thompson campaigned for people to complete Durable Power of Attorney paperwork — this allows a family member to pay bills and the like, when someone is incapacitated for any reason. It is a document that would have helped Lisa’s family take care of some essentials for Lisa without causing them great difficulty when Lisa was unable to sign anything for herself .

Russell Thompson explained, “We had Notaries available all day … there were several people who completed their important documents at the drive,” adding, “Mostly everyone started having conversations about why these documents are so important.”  She said there was also, “Discussion about continuing to educate [more people] about how important these documents can be and to urge people to start having those tough “what if” conversations with loved ones.”

Event volunteers Pam Russell (left) and Mary Stone sit while Andy Russell stands behind them.

Pam, who is head of the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Language Arts Department, said that she and her husband, Andy, who serves as chairman of the Old Lyme Board of Finance, ” … were moved by the numbers and the friends who came even from as far as New Hartford to show support. There were coworkers, parents of my students, former students, classmates of Lisa’s, friends of friends.”  She summed up the whole event in just three words, ”  It was amazing!”

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Rep. Carney Earns 100 Percent Voting Record During 2018 Legislative Session

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) earned a perfect voting record during the 2018 legislative session. There were 317 votes taken this year according to information released by the House Clerk’s office.

“I have always made it a priority to be present for every vote,” said Rep. Carney. “In my opinion, the most important part of my job is to ensure the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook are heard on each and every piece of legislation that comes before the General Assembly. I am proud to have achieved this distinction for the district for the fourth year in a row.”

Rep. Carney currently serves as ranking member of the Transportation Committee, is on the Environment Committee and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

For an overview of important legislation addressed in the 2018 legislative session, visit the Office of Legislative Research website at www.cga.ct.gov/olr.

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

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A Perfect Day for a Parade! Lyme Celebrates the Fourth of July Under Sunny Skies

Rowland Ballek, who served as this year’s Grand Marshal, smiles broadly as he fulfills his duty.  Photo by Mike Dickey.

The boom of the musket echoes through the ears of the crowds gathered on either side of Cove Street, patiently awaiting the commencement of the annual Fourth of July Parade in Lyme.

The traditional firing of muskets signals the start of the Lyme Fourth of July Parade. Photo by Michele Dickey.

These fine soldiers then take up their positions at the front of the parade.

‘Vintage’ soldiers march down Cove Rd. Photo by Michele Dickey.

Children sit on the sides of the road with bags in their hands, ready to collect any candy that might be thrown their way. 

Grand Marshal Rowland Ballek rides in style at the head of the annual Lyme Independence Day Parade. Photo by Katie Reid.

The parade begins with the Grand Marshal Rowland J. Ballek, who served as the moderator of Lyme’s Annual Town Meeting for 46 years.

Photo by Katie Reid.

People marching in the parade hold balloons and buckets full of candy, ready to toss the sweets to the youngsters who are watching the parade pass.

Photo by Katie Reid.

Children ride scooters with baskets filled with treats, enthusiastically waving American flags and expressing their patriotism with red, white, and blue skirts and streamers.

Everybody loves a parade! Photo by Michele Dickey.

They came from “Sea to Shining Sea” …

Photo by Michele Dickey.

And also participating are this interesting crew …

Photo by Michele Dickey.

… two bears and a gorilla wearing sunglasses, who seem to take the whole event in their stride!

Photo by Michele Dickey.

Next come the counselors and campers from Camp Claire as they proudly carry their banner and wave to spectators, while cheerfully singing, “It’s a Grand Old Flag.”

Photo by Katie Reid.

The Lyme Garden Club is here …

Photo by Katie Reid.

And the Lyme Cub Scouts make a very special appearance!

Photo by Katie Reid.

People drive by in the coolest cars in town …

… and the coolest tanks!

Bruce Noyes drives the tank while his wife Tammy sits atop the big machine. Photo by Michele Dickey.

And finally the Lyme Ambulance Association closes out the proceedings for another year.

Photo by Katie Reid.

And after all was done, there were smiling faces everywhere, but also some hot and exhausted folks including this four-legged fellow — a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Simon and owned by Heather and Tom Richardson.  Perhaps he was waiting for his free ice pop, courtesy of Hamburg Cove Yacht Club?

Photo by Michele Dickey.

Here’s hoping everyone had a happy Independence Day — see you next year!

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Welcome, Katie Reid, our Summer Intern at LymeLine.com!

Katie Reid

We are delighted to welcome Katie Reid of Old Lyme as our summer intern at LymeLine.com. 

She is a rising senior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School and has loved writing since she was 10-years-old.  Katie told us, “I am very excited to have the opportunity to write for LymeLine.com.”

Aside from writing, Katie loves to perform, and participates in not only the high school musicals but also the newly-formed high school show choir, Amped Up!

Katie also plays volleyball and coaches a local T-ball team.

In the future, Katie hopes to pursue her passion for writing by becoming an author, editor, or a journalist.  We hope that her experience here at LymeLine.com helps her realize that dream.

If you see Katie out on assignment for us, stop by and say hello to her — she would love to meet you!

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Tell Me More! Tell Me More! See ‘Grease’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through July 29

Danny, played by Johnny Newcomb, and  Sandy (Kimberley Immanuel) are the leads in ‘Grease’ at Ivoryton Playhouse.  Both are members of Equity. Photograph by Anne Hudson.

IVORYTON — Dust off your leather jackets, pull on your bobby-socks and take a trip to a simpler time as Danny and Sandy fall in love all over again at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Opening July 5, and running through July 29, Grease, by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey,  features all the unforgettable songs from the hit movie including “You’re The One That I Want”, “Grease Is The Word”, “Summer Nights”, “Hopelessly Devoted To You”, “Greased Lightnin’” and many more.

Here is Rydell High’s senior class of 1959: duck-tailed, hot-rodding “Burger Palace Boys” and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking “Pink Ladies” in bobby sox and pedal pushers, evoking the look and sound of the 1950s in this rollicking musical.

Head “greaser” Danny Zuko and new (good) girl Sandy Dumbrowski try to relive the high romance of their “Summer Nights” as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through such songs as “Greased Lightnin’,” “It’s Raining on Prom Night,” “Alone at the Drive-In Movie” recalling the music of Buddy Holly, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley that became the soundtrack of a generation.

The Burger Palace Boys comprising (Kenickie, (Natale Pirrotta*), Roger (Taylor Morrow), Danny (Johnny Newcomb*), Doody (Luke Linsteadt*) and Sonny (Max Weinstein) play a key  role in ‘Grease.’ * denotes member of Equity. Photograph by Anne Hudson.

Grease‘ opened Off-Broadway at the Eden Theatre on Feb. 14, 1972 but was deemed eligible for the 1972 Tony Awards, and received seven Tony Award nominations. The 1994 revival also garnered Tony nominations and the show went on to a successful national tour, featuring local hero Micky Dolenz as Vince Fontaine.

The movie that we all know and love opened 40 years ago and it is a testament to the music and the iconic characters that ‘Grease‘ is still the word today.

The best part of this quintessentially American high school story (aside from the music, of course) is what Danny, Sandy, Rizzo, Kenickie, Frenchy and the rest of the Rydell High gang taught us – that the people who really care about you will stay by your side no matter how different you are from one another, and support you just the same whether you’re a pom-pom-wielding goody-two-shoes, a leather-touting T-Bird or a starry-eyed, pink-haired aspiring beautician, who drops out of school months before graduation.

So throw your mittens around your kittens and hand jive the night away with the show that’ll make you want to stand up and shout, ‘A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop, a-wop-bam-boom!

This production stars Johnny Newcomb* as Danny Zuko and Kimberley Immanuel* as Sandy. Johnny made his Broadway debut in The Last Ship and was part of the national tour of American Idiot. He was last seen in Ivoryton as Roger in Rent. This season’s audience may remember Kimberley for her luminous performance as Luisa in The Fantasticks.

Other cast members that may be familiar to Ivoryton audiences are Alyssa V. Gomez* (Rizzo), Amy Buckley (Miss Lynch), Cory Candelet (Eugene), Jonny Cortes (Johnny Casino), Taylor Lloyd (Marty), Alexa Racioppi (Patty Simcox) Max Weinstein (Sonny) Amanda Lupacchino, Andee Buccheri, and Nathan Russo. Making their Ivoryton debut are Katelyn Bowman (Frenchy) Lawrence Cummings* (Vince Fontaine/Teen Angel), Luke Linsteadt* (Doody), Taylor Morrow (Roger), Natale Pirrotta* (Kenickie), Shalani Taylor (Cha-Cha), Audrey Wilson (Jan), Jamaal Fields-Green, Jared Starkey and Clementine Wurzbach

The production is directed and choreographed by Todd L. Underwood and musical directed by Michael Morris, with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Elizabeth Saylor Cippolina.

Grease opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse July 5 and runs through July 29. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.

Additional matinee performances are on Saturday, July 7, 14 and 28 at 2pm.

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.

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Here Comes the Sun! Heat Wave Heralds Arrival of Summer, Read These Tips to Stay Cool

White Sand Beach in Old Lyme attracted quite a number of visitors, but many preferred to stay inside in the cool of their air-conditioning. Photos by Katie Reid.

A heat wave has swept over the northeast and down the east coast of the United States, with temperatures rising to over 95 degrees in Old Lyme. Summertime visitors and permanent residents alike have flocked to the beaches, all seeking opportunities for a refreshing swim and refuge from the beating sun.

The humidity is expected to break sometime over the weekend, but for now, say hello to the hot summer weather!

Some locals and folk from farther afield chose to try and cool off on White Sand Beach in Old Lyme, but others opted not to venture outside and brave the heat.

The Old Lyme Office of Emergency Management and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) offer the following tips during extreme high temperatures:

Slow down, and avoid strenuous activity.

  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect heat and sunlight and help maintain normal body temperature. Protect your face with a wide-brimmed hat.

Drink plenty of water regularly and often, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

  • Limit intake of alcoholic beverages — they can dehydrate your body.
  • Eat well-balanced, light, regular meals.

Stay indoors as much as possible.

  • If you do not have air conditioning, stay on your lowest floor, out of the sun. Electric fans do not cool the air, but they do help evaporate sweat, which cools your body.

Go to a place where you can get relief from the heat, such as air-conditioned libraries, theaters, shopping malls, and other community facilities that may offer refuge during the warmest times of the day.

  • Cover windows that get morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings or louvers. Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.
  • Avoid too much sunshine. Sunburn slows the skin’s ability to cool itself. If you are outside, use sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) rating.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in a closed vehicle.
  • Do not leave pets outside for extended periods. Make sure pets have plenty of drinking water.

Check on family, friends, and neighbors regularly.

For more information, visit this link.

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Talking Transportation: Federal Air Marshals? Worthwhile or Worthless?

Do you feel safe when you fly?

Forget about exploding jet engines, cracked aircraft windows and clear-air turbulence.  What about terrorists?

We haven’t seen a domestic case of terrorists attacking jetliners in years, thanks to increased scrutiny of passengers by the TSA, the Transportation Security Administration.  From the moment you book a flight, you are being screened.  If you’re on the “No Fly List”, you’d better switch your travel plans to Amtrak or MegaBus.  And when you get to the airport, get ready for a full pat-down search.

But airlines’ last line of defense against terrorists is FAM, the Federal Air Marshal Service.  Created in 1961 after a spate of skyjackings to Cuba, the air marshal program, now administered by the TSA, has grown to 3000 marshals and an $800 million budget.

But the program is now in trouble.

The Government Accounting Office last year reported that even TSA could not demonstrate that FAM is effective or even served as a deterrent to bad guys.  Since the program was accelerated (from 33 marshals before 9/11), air marshals have not made a single terrorist arrest, though the armed, undercover agents have thwarted several “disruptive passenger” incidents.

In April, a deranged woman on a Delta flight from London to Salt Lake City jumped on an air marshal who had been supervising her after she overturned a drink cart.  She was cuffed (by another marshal) for the duration of the flight and faces a year in prison.

In December 2005, air marshals shot and killed a man as he ran off an American Airlines flight in Miami, claiming he had a bomb.  Ignoring calls to “stop” and “get down”, the shooting was declared “legally justified” in a 46-page follow-up report.  The man had no explosives, but was found to have missed his meds for a bipolar condition.

Even with 3000 marshals, there is no way the TSA can cover the 42,000 daily flights in the US.  There were no marshals on shoe-bomber Richard Reid’s (2001) or underwear bomber Umar Farouk’s (2009) trans-Atlantic flights.

One of the criticisms of FAM is that they waste their time policing “flights to nowhere” on regional 50-seat aircraft when it’s the longer, bigger jets that need attention.

FAM is also sullied by low morale and allegations of alcohol abuse.  Between 2002 and 2012  air marshals were arrested 148 times and charged with 5000 cases of misconduct including 1200 cases of lost equipment — including their weapons.

If you travel for a living, imagine their job.  They can’t sleep in-flight, suffer from the same delays as the rest of us and have to be ready on seconds’ notice to discharge their weapons at 30,000 feet.

Some marshals say FAM’s problems are due to its ties with TSA.  They suggest the service would be better off as part of Customs and Border Protection or the FBI.

But Robert MacLean, an air marshal fired in 2006 after disclosing that the service was cutting back on coverage of overnight flights, calls FAM “security theater serving absolutely no purpose other than showing they (TSA) are doing something”.  (MacLean was finally taken back into FAM after a 10-year legal fight that went all the way to the Supreme Court.)

Jim Cameron

About the author: 

Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com

For a full collection of “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media.

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