April 30, 2017

Save the Date for Half Price BookCellar Sale, Local Author Book Discussion at OL Library, April 29

There are two exciting events being held at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library on Saturday, April 29.  Kicking things off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the Phoebe’s BookCellar Half-Price Sale and then at 1 p.m., join a book discussion with a local author.

If you have never been to the BookCellar — or haven’t been recently — now is your chance to get some incredible bargains on books, DVDs, CDs and audio books.  The BookCellar is a volunteer-run, used bookstore operating on the lower level of the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.  With over 10,000 books in all genres, including History & Biography, Fiction & Mystery, Children’s, Fine Art and Rare & Collectible books.  All proceeds from the BookCellar benefit the Library.

Cynthia Parzych

Plan your visit to the BookCellar so that you can enjoy the local author book discussion, which the library is hosting at 1 p.m.

Cynthia Parzych presents a program in which she will discuss her latest book titled, “Connecticut Made”, which is a new guidebook extolling the virtues of homegrown products by Connecticut craftsmen, artisans and purveyors. 

Connecticut Made is a unique guidebook and local resource full of hundreds of things to find and buy, crafts to discover, factories to explore, and history to uncover––all made in Connecticut. Organized by product type, categories include ceramics/pottery, clothing/accessories, furnishings/furniture, glassware, home décor, jewelry, specialty foods, toys/games, and so much more. Together, these homegrown establishments help make up the identity of the Nutmeg State and are part of the larger fabric of what is distinctively New England.

Born and educated in Connecticut, Parzych is a writer, book publisher, editor and professional chef. She lives in Glastonbury where she runs her publishing company and a food business. She utilizes the produce grown on her property and sourced locally to make sauces, soups, pesto, pickles, vinegars, jams and marmalades all sold from her house and farm stand. 

Autographed copies of Connecticut Made will be available for purchase at a discount following the talk.

The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, off Lyme Street. Spring hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10 AM to 7 PM; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 AM to 6 PM; Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM. For more information, call 860-434-1684 or visitwww.oldlyme.lioninc.org.

If the Library’s parking lot is full, additional spaces are available on Lyme Street. There is also a parking lot behind the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall across the street from the Librar

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Letter From Paris: Thoughts on the First Few Days of Brexit

Nicole Prévost Logan

This was a very good editorial,  civilized and  compassionate.  It avoided throwing oil on the fire, playing the blame game or making doomsday predictions.

On March 30, in le Monde, an editorial appeared under the following title: “An Appeal to London and the 27.”  Actually it was a collective message published simultaneously by The Guardian, Le Monde, La Vanguardia and Gazeta Wyborcza.

One cannot undo 44 years of social, economic and human ties with just a strike of a pen — that was  the four newspapers’ message.   The collateral damage will be felt on both sides of the English Channel.  Three million Europeans live in the UK and more than two million British expats live on the continent. The fate of those five million people is at stake.  

The authors of the editorial suggested the Brexit process should be started on a positive note and tend to the status of the expatriate nationals right away, before starting the negotiation process.

But the day after Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, parted emotionally with the Euroskeptic David Davis British envoy,  the head-on confrontational negotiations started in earnest.

Like a chess player, Theresa May decided that attack was the best strategy and she put the central demands of the UK on the table: first, treat simultaneously the details of the “divorce” and the future of commercial relations between the UK and the European Union (EU); second, organize the future of security cooperation. 

Europe shot back in no uncertain terms.  Angela Merkel said Germany wanted to tackle other matters first and so did Francois Holland,  Donald Tusk and Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator for Europe.  The basic position of the Europeans is that no negotiations on free trade should start until the UK has left the EU totally and become a third-party country. 

The European Union (EU) wants discussions to proceed “per phases,” starting with “reciprocal and non discriminatory” guarantees as to the status of the Europeans living the UK and the 60 billion Euros already obligated by the UK to the budget of Europe. An extremely sensitive point will be for the UK to abide by the decisions taken by the European Court of Justice located in Luxembourg.

As far as the negotiations concerning the future relations between the two parties, some topics promise to be particularly stormy, particularly the “social, fiscal and environmental dumping” or whether to preserve the “financial passport” allowing the City of London to sell financial products on the continent.  The Europeans oppose discussions per economic sector, as wanted by Theresa May, and bi-lateral agreements to be signed between the UK and any of the EU members. 

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

On March 31, Donald Tusk, gave a crucial six-page document to the 27 members of the EU laying down the essential principles of the negotiations to come. The text should be formally accepted by them on April 29 at a summit meeting in Brussels.

Obviously the presidential elections in France will have an impact on the negotiations.   Marine Le Pen applauds an event which will make Europe more fragile.  At the opposite end of the political spectrum, Emmanuel Macron (En Marche party) feels the access to the Common Market  has a price and should be balanced by contributions to the European budget.  François Fillon  (Les Republicains or LR ) supports a firm attitude toward the British demands. He thinks that the Le Touquet agreement needs to be modified and the borders moved from Calais to Dover.

The ideal scenario would be to have the parties agree on these first phases so that discussion on the future should be tackled by the beginning of 2018.

The tone of the difficult negotiations has been set.  It will be a roller-coaster ride for months to come.

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.

Nicole LoganAbout the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

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OL’s Chrysoulakis Family to be Recognized as ‘Fund A Cure Family’ for Juvenile Diabetes Research at ‘Promise Ball’

The Chrysoulakis family of Old Lyme, from left to right, Alex, Angelo and Maureen, is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)’s  2017 ‘Fund a Cure Family’ and will be honored at JDRF’s ‘Promise Ball’ on May 20 in Hartford.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has announced the Chrysoulakis family of Old Lyme as this year’s Fund A Cure Family at JDRF’s 2017 Promise Ball. The annual gala, hosted by the Greater CT / Western MA Chapter of JDRF, will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on Saturday, May 20, to raise funds for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.

When Alex Chrysoulakis was nine years old, his parents Angelo and Maureen noticed that he was drinking an excessive amount of water and took him to his doctor. They received news no parent wants to hear, “your son has type one diabetes”. What followed that moment was the realization that T1D doesn’t quit.  There is never a break from constant finger pricks, calculations, shots, tears, fears and frustration. Every day, his parents say, Alex must carefully plan everything he does.  Playing with friends, being outside in the cold, enjoying an “intense” video game, or watching a scary movie, can all have a drastic effect on his blood sugar level.

Alex’s responses to this disease have been nothing less than amazing.  In the last four years, he has worked tirelessly to raise thousands of dollars for T1D research through his One Walk team Alex’s Avengers and continues to volunteer as a JDRF youth ambassador.  The Chrysoulakis family is committed to finding a cure for T1D and JDRF is proud to have them represent JDRF as their 2017 Fund A Cure Family.

More than 600 guests are expected to attend this year’s annual Promise Ball in support of JDRF. Proceeds from the event will go towards research and treatments of type 1 diabetes. Last year’s gala event raised more than $1.1M for the Greater CT/Western MA Chapter.

According to Jon Muskrat, Chapter Executive Director, the event will include a cocktail reception; a multi-course dinner; silent and live auctions; JDRF’s signature Fund A Cure program, during which 100 percent tax-deductible contributions may be made directly to research. Bill and Patty Rotatori will serve as the Gala’s chairs and the Esposito Hughes Family will be honored for their more than 20 years of support to T1D research

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, policy influence and a working plan to bring life-changing therapies from the lab to the community. As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $450 million in charitable research in 17 countries.

For more information, visit www.jdrf.org

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Lyme-Old Lyme High School Multi-Class Reunion to be Held July 29

A Lyme-Old Lyme High School multi-class reunion spanning the years 1985-1995 has been announced.  It will be held on Saturday, July 29, from 6 to 11 p.m. at Groton Motor Inn & Suites99 Gold Star Hwy., Groton, CT.

The cost (non-refundable) is $50.00, which includes a buffet dinner and cash-only bar.  The menu includes:

•Tossed Salad

•Warm rolls & butter

•Teriyaki Chicken

•Baked Cod

•Top Round w au jus

•Pasta and Sauce

•Green Bean Almondine

•Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

•Desserts

•Coffee regular and decaffeinated, and hot tea

Hotel Policy:  debit and credit cards are not accepted for our bar.  ATM on premises.

For discounted hotel arrangements, call the hotel @ 860-445-9784.  Ask to reserve a room in our room block for a discounted rate.  Use “Lyme-Old Lyme High School Reunion 2017” as the Group Code.  The cut-off date for reserving the room block at the hotel is Thursday, June 29.

Share your favorite pictures by sending them to LOLH8992@gmail.com

Visit the event Facebook page at LOLHS Wildcat Reunion Hub: https://www.facebook.com/groups/544288812424026

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Letter to the Editor: Premise for Clergy’s Call for Compassion to Refugees Questioned

To the Editor:

Ever since I read the letter from the Valley Shore Clergy Association (published in the VNN in February) something has been niggling me. I just reread the letter. Although I agree with the Clergy’s call for compassion with regard to refugees and the undocumented living and working in America, I can’t help wondering why this group did not speak- out between 2009 and 2016 while Barak Obama deported more than two and one half million of the undocumented living in this country? Perhaps I missed their protest. If I did, I apologize.  If there were no protestations from this clergy group before now, I am led to the conclusion that the Genesis of their letter is partisan politics-not the WORD.

While I support a path to legalization for the undocumented living and working in America, I also understand why so many Americans, who have no hint of bias, want those who came here illegally, criminals or not, to be deported; laws are laws they say. It seems schizophrenic to me to kick people out of this country who came here during the Obama “catch and release” program. If I wanted to come into this country to seek a better life and I faced the prospect of waiting in line for years- versus facing a wink and a nod because of America’s border Gestalt, I think, if I had the grit, I would take my chances. It is a bit like a parent telling a child not to smoke pot and then leaving pot on the kitchen table in plain sight.

Sincerely,

Alison Nichols, M.Div.,
Essex.

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Overeaters Anonymous Sponsor Workshop on ‘Twelve Steps to Recovery,’ April 29

Overeaters Anonymous of Southeastern Connecticut Intergroup is sponsoring a workshop on the Twelve Steps to Recovery Saturday, April 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Saint David’s Episcopal Church, 284 Stoddards Wharf Road in Gales Ferry.

The workshop leader will guide participants through the Twelve Steps, focusing on the first 164 pages of the Big Book.  Overeaters Anonymous is based on the steps, principals, and program of Alcoholics Anonymous, substituting the word “sober” for “abstinent.” The workshop is open to anyone who wants to refrain from compulsive overeating behaviors and choices.

There is no registration necessary and no fee for this program, but a goodwill offering will be accepted.  Participants should bring their own bag lunch and their own Big Book. Additional Big Books will be available for purchase or loan for use during the workshop. 

For more details, contact maren@snet.net.

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Letter From Paris: One Man’s Opinion: ‘How to Save Europe’

Nicole Prévost Logan

“The sixty years since the Treaty of Rome, on March 25, 1957, have not been a long quiet river for Europe”, commented academic Robert Frank.  This is an understatement.  Today, the disaffection for the European Union (EU) has reached such a point that the need for its re-foundation is considered a matter of survival.

A good place to start the soul-searching process is by reading a gem of a book, written by a former diplomat and one of the most influential French scholars on foreign affairs today.  The book has the merit of being very short but so dense in meaning that every single word deserved to be pondered over. The book is called Sauver l’Europe and was published on Nov. 21, 2016.  The author, Hubert Vedrine, born in 1947,  was a collaborator of president Francois Mitterand from 1981 to 1995 and served as minister of foreign affairs from 1997 to 2002 under president Jacques Chirac.

First, the author makes a diagnosis regarding what went wrong.

  1. The EU has been working against nations instead of with them.  A federalist Europe, with a superpower in Brussels, Vedrine thinks, is a utopia.  Unlike the USA, Europe is made of nations with different cultures, languages and history.  “There is no democratic path to federalism for Europe.”
  2. The “elites” in Brussels have grown increasingly disconnected from the people.  There is a perception that an accumulation of treaties are drowning the public without acknowledging the opposition.  In the collective memory the worst grievance was when France and the Netherlands said “no” in a referendum about the 2005  constitutional project.  Two years later that project was repackaged and forced through in the treaty of Lisbon.  (Note: this is not entirely true because the second text included several positive modifications)
  3. Over the years, Brussels, has interfered too much  into the people’s lives in imposing annoying regulations:  how to make cheese, set the size of bananas or of the shower heads.  Europe cannot take care of everything. The key word is “subsidiarity.”  It means that competence not attributed to the Union by treaty should  belong to the member states.  Vedrine writes, “Europe was built upside down and should undergo a drastic cure of subsidiarity by simplifying the autistic hypertrophied regulations. “
  4. “Sovereignty” is a hard-won concept one should be proud of.   The final objective of Europe is not to dissolve the sovereignty of the member states but add to it.
  5. Many critics of Europe confuse the EU and globalization.   One by one, French factories have disappeared, for not being competitive enough.  One of the first ones to close was Moulinex.  In 2001 everybody went up in arms against the loss of jobs at the small plant of Normandy .  In 2016, when the Whirlpool plant was relocated to Poland, outsourcing had become the norm.  Whether the phenomenon occurred inside Europe or in Asia, the impact on people who lost their jobs in France was the same.
  6. With the wild expansion of Europe to 27 (nine new members entered the Union in the single year of 2003), it has become hard to run a such a cumbersome structure, especially when some of the states give the priority to their national interests.  This is particularly true with the populist attitude of the Visegrad Group – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia – which showed no solidarity with the rest of Europe at the time of the refugee crisis.
  7. The arrival of more than 1.5 million refugees in 2015 and also in 2016 has shaken a system unprepared for such a brutal surge.  The huge number of immigrants created an unavoidable confrontation between different ways of life, the loss of identity, exasperated by fear of terrorism,
  8. The adoption of the Euro has meant further constraints for the 17 members of the Eurozone.  The 1992 Treaty of Maestricht set two basic rules; the general government deficit should not exceed 3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and the public deficit should not exceed 60 percent of the GDP.

In the opinion of Vedrine, the solution to the problems listed above is not for more integration and certainly not more enlargement. One needs to mark a pause, to listen to the people and to re-center Europe on the essential. One should return to the values of the founding fathers.  Remember how Jacques Delors, who was president of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995, called the EU a “federation of States-Nations” .

To prepare for the celebrations making the 60th anniversary of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the Commission, issued a White Paper offering several scenarios for the 2025 horizon. One of them was to “allow the member-states to move forward, if they wish, in very specific areas. ” The goal is that no one should feel excluded.

On March 6, 2017 the leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Spain met for a mini-summit in Versailles to discuss a Europe à plusieurs vitesses (going at different speeds.)  This was a format never seen before and maybe a preview of what lies ahead.

The American economist Joseph Stiglitz advocates an éclatement (breaking up) of the Euro group into four more flexible zones, until the conditions for more integration are met.”  The opinion of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and OCDE (Organization of Cooperation and Economic Development) and other economists is that the EU had gone to too far on the method of austerity.  The priority now is to create sustainable growth, rather than reduce the deficit .

The most ambitious  proposal for European defense so far has been made by the Robert Schuman Foundation.  It calls for Germany, France and the UK to sign  an intergovernmental treaty for defense and security of the EU.  Let us show more solidarity and agree to share the burden of military expenses before pronouncing empty words like “European defense.”

The author of “Save Europe” points to the mistakes  made by Angela Merkel: abandoning nuclear, after Fukushima, without enough preparation for what to do next; extending a “generous but too personal” invitation to the refugees to come to Europe and single-handedly signing an agreement with Turkey.

Vedrine wants the European way of life  to be preserved.  Even though many complain, there is in Europe a douceur de vie (gentle pleasure of life) one should treasure.  Let Brussels set objectives and the States go their own way .

A recurrent slogan in the campaign speeches of Marine Le Pen  (and of other anti-European populists), is to put la patrie (homeland) first.  By demonstrating that it is possible to keep one ‘s sovereignty, to show it is not a sin to be a patriot and at the same time be a European, would be an effective way to obliterate her arguments. 

On March 29, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, received with emotion the letter from the British Ambassador, marking the departure of the UK from the EU at the outset of the Brexit.  It was, however, both reassuring and encouraging to read this the upbeat remark in Sauver l’Europe , “The idea of a continental partnership between the UK and the EU, expressed by the Brussels-based Bruegel think-tank, could solve many problems.”  

Let us hope this concept is pursued.

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.

Nicole LoganAbout the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

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Letter to the Editor: Valley Shore Clergy Association Stands in Solidarity with Immigrants, Refugees

To the Editor:

We, a group of interfaith clergy from many religious streams and beliefs, feel called to express our support for refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers, and others who wish to live in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” Our sacred texts provide the lens through which we view the world around us; these teachings affirm the following shared values across faith traditions:

• Every single human being is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:28), and we support the integrity and sanctity of every individual.
• We heed the teaching of Leviticus: “When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)
• We are instructed to “Love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18),” and thus to treat others how we wish to be treated.
• We are obligated to follow the prophetic call: “And what does the Eternal require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
• We are reminded of basic human kindness and compassion: “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” (Matthew 25:35)

We are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants. We have all known what it is to be the stranger. Safety and security of all is critical, and we understand the importance of appropriate and thorough vetting of all those who wish to be part of America. However, fear cannot dictate our values. Rather, we are reminded again and again that, when we reach out in love and righteousness, we are most secure.

We know all too well what religious bigotry has wrought in the past. History is filled with many reminders of the horrific destruction caused by hatred, persecution, and intolerance. Instead, we share a message of solidarity, understanding, and dialogue.

We denounce any laws or orders based on xenophobia, discrimination, or fear which run counter to our national interests. We are proud Americans, and we hold dear our country’s core beliefs in religious diversity, ideological diversity, and cultural diversity.

We call upon people of faith to represent moral conscience, compassion for all, and an overarching sense of justice and righteousness.

Sincerely,
Valley Shore Clergy Association

Rev. Martha Bays
The Congregational Church in Killingworth, UCC

Rabbi Marci Bellows
Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Chester, CT

Rev. Robin Blundon, Interim Pastor
Northford Congregational Church

The Rev. Dr. M. Craig Fitzsimmons
United Methodist Church of Clinton

Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager, Pastor
First Church, East Haddam

The Rev. Dr. Jonathan H. Folts
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Essex, CT

Rev. Dr. Jan Gregory-Charpentier, Pastor
First Congregational Church of Westbrook, CT

Brett Hertzog Betkoski
Trinity Lutheran Church – Centerbrook, CT

Reverend Amy Hollis
Winthrop Baptist Church

Rev. Lee A. Ireland
Interim Pastor, United Church of Chester

Rev Charlotte LaForest
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Essex, CT

Rev. Joy Perkett
First Baptist Church of Essex

Rev. Suzanne Personette
Middlefield Federated Church

Rev. Kenneth Peterkin
First Congregational Church, UCC, Essex, CT

Rev. Geoff Sinibaldo, Pastor
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Old Saybrook, CT

Pastor Les Swenson
St. Mark Lutheran Church, Norwich, CT

Rev. John Van Epps, Pastor
North Guilford Congregational Church UCC

Rev. Cynthia C. Willauer
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, UCC

Pastor Ryan Young
Living Rock Church of Killingworth

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The Latest on the Proposed High Speed Train, from SECoast

The following post was published written by Greg Stroud, Executive Director of SECoast.org, and published March 29 on their website.  It summarizes in detail the latest developments on the proposed high-speed rail route that travels through Old Lyme and perhaps most significantly, notes, “… the FRA is now months behind their revised schedule for release of a Record of Decision – we don’t expect an announcement until at least May.” 

We are re-publishing it in full with the permission of SECoast.org.

Since our last news brief two weeks ago, we’ve had a full calendar, including four days in Washington, D.C., where Daniel Mackay, executive director of the Connecticut Trust, and members of the Trust board met with key staffers for Blumenthal, Murphy, Courtney, Esty, Larson, DeLauro, and Himes.

The takeaway? Strong support from most of the delegation for our early and vigorous advocacy on the high-speed rail issue, as well as a clear recognition that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has crafted a plan which, as it stands, will be unworkable for the state of Connecticut. Take nothing for granted, but this is remarkable progress from a year ago.

Although the FRA is now months behind their revised schedule for release of a Record of Decision – we don’t expect an announcement until at least May – there is a growing sense that, without significant changes, the plan will face stiff resistance from the Congressional delegation. Denying federal funds for potential Connecticut components of the plan is an active focus for the CT delegation in both the Senate and House. Both current and former members of the delegation have reached out to Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), a longtime Fenwick (Old Saybrook) summer resident who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, to brief him on potential impacts.

The Trump administration’s March 16th release of the so-called “Skinny Budget” includes significant cuts to federal transportation funding. This raises all sorts of questions about what transportation investments will, and will not, be prioritized for funding in coming budget negotiations. The Connecticut Congressional delegation considers the “Skinny Budget” to be dead on arrival, but the expectation among both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, is that a significant transportation funding remains very much a live issue.

At this point our focus is to encourage the FRA and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT) to rethink some of the more ‘aspirational’ portions of the planning, and to prioritize investments in the existing corridor in the coming Record of Decision. It’s encouraging that this approach — as evidenced by the recent joint letter signed by numerous state departments of transportation — is gaining traction among the various transportation entities partnered along the Northeast Corridor.

At the state level, the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office (CT SHPO) submitted comments on the NEC Future Final Environmental Impact Statement on March 15. You can find that document here. Their comments provide the first state-agency recognition that concerns in Connecticut extend beyond the New Rochelle to Greens Farms, and Old Saybrook to Kenyon routes. That’s good news for residents concerned about an overlooked proposal to widen the Branford to Guilford portion of the Northeast Corridor.

Although SHPO did not formally oppose any single part of the NEC Future plan, the comments raised a variety of questions regarding the tiered structure of the environmental review, the lack of detail in the FRA documents, called into question the methodology for tallying impacts, and frankly questioned whether the Federal Railroad Administration’s plans for Connecticut had been at all altered by the public outcry and by concerns for preservation.

Getting into the weeds a bit, SHPO also made clear that a tunnel crossing at Old Lyme would not constitute “avoidance,” for the purposes of satisfying key Section 4(f) provisions of regulatory law, which protect “publicly owned parks, recreational areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, public and private historical sites” if there are is a “feasible and prudent avoidance alternative to the use of land.” 4(f) ‘has teeth,’ as they say, so as we continue to press for the FRA to remove the Kenyon to Saybrook bypass from the coming Record of Decision, its important that a statewide agency is weighing in on the significant remaining obstacles to a tunnel scheme for Old Lyme.

Meanwhile, residents of Branford, Guilford and Stony Creek continue to make news as they rally their communities and local groups against the proposed expansion of the Branford to Guilford segment of the Northeast Corridor. We’ve done our best to inform their efforts, and raise their concerns with the press, and with the Congressional delegation. As of late March, the Branford Historical Society, the Guilford Conservation Land Trust, and the Guilford Preservation Alliance, have all come out in strong opposition to the proposed four-tracking of the existing right of way between Branford and Guilford. You can find much more detail on the local efforts here.

At this point, without a clear stance from the CT DOT, and without maps, or a clear description of the purpose, priority, or construction of the four-tracking, many residents in Branford, Guilford, and Stony Creek, are increasingly alarmed, that this under-the-radar proposal will be included in the coming Record of Decision. We’ll see… If you do know anyone in that area, please forward along this latest news! It won’t take a largest appropriation to build this project, if it is ever included in the final plan.

Proposed double-tracking between New Haven and Springfield, MA, has raised little of the same concern, as planners hope to restore added capacity to the corridor. This project remains a bright spot for otherwise troubled NEC Future planning in Connecticut.

Editor’s Note: SECoast.org is an independent special project of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.

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Eastern CT Ballet Performs Family-Friendly Ballet Double-Bill at The Kate, May 6, 7

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “The Kate”, welcomes back Eastern Connecticut Ballet for two performances in one featuring Ballerina Swan and Carnival of the Animals.

Four family-friendly performances will be held on Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., as well as Sunday, May 7, at 1 and 4 p.m.

Ballerina Swan is based on a new book by New York City Ballet’s Allegra Kent and is choreographed by Gloria Gorvrin, the Artistic Director of Eastern Connecticut Ballet.  Laugh and cry as Sophie the swan follows her dream leaving the safety of her home on the water to experience humorous escapades in the ballet classroom.  The ballet concludes with breathtaking variations from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.

Complete the unique double-bill family event with Carnival of the Animals.  Lions, birds, and fish will frolic on stage in Camile Saint-Saen’s musical masterpiece.

This promises to be an afternoon of beautiful music and dance.

For more information on tickets for any shows at the Kate, visit www.thekate.org or call the Kate Box Office at 860-510-0453.

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Raising a Flag in Old Lyme to Raise Awareness of Organ Donation Program

Kidney transplant recipient Rev. Mark Robinson raises the Donate Life flag outside Old Lyme Town Hall while Rob Wallace (back row, second from left), who patiently awaits the identification of a life-saving liver transplant donor, watches.

About 50 residents, advocates, organ transplant recipients and at least one person on the waiting list for a transplant attended a Donate Life flag-raising ceremony Friday at Old Lyme Town Hall to increase awareness in the community of the organ donation program.

Several years ago the Town of Old Lyme was asked to fly the Donate Life flag for the month of April by a father whose daughter’s organs were donated after her untimely death. This meant a great deal to the family and the Town has flown the flag each year since then in the knowledge that it promotes awareness of the organ donation program.

“This is a really, really important thing” said Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, “ The more light we can shine on this, the better it is for us as advocates, and the better it is for those in need of organ donation.”

Dr. Richard Jones

The guest speaker was Dr. Richard Jones, Past President of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who has devoted much of his time in retirement to advocating for organ donation programs. “Last year there were more than 33,000 organ transplants” Jones reported, “but the sad part of the story is that 22 patients a day die waiting for a transplant and there are over 120,000 people waiting on the list for a life-saving transplant.”

“The hope is” Jones continued, “that by raising the Donate Life flag, someone in the community will see that flag and ask, “What does that mean?” and will then move on to become a future donor.”

Kidney transplant recipient Rev. Mark Robinson with two other transplant recipients

Despite the falling rain, Rev. Mark Robinson from Old Lyme, who recently received a kidney transplant due to the efforts of the Old Lyme-based Mentoring Corps for Community Development (MCCD) who advocated for him, cheerfully raised the Donate Life flag surrounded by other organ recipients, and also by Rob Wallace of Old Lyme, who is currently on the waiting list for a liver transplant.

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Handweavers’ Guild of CT Presents “Weavers’ Haven” in New Haven; Demo Day, April 8

“Weavers’ Haven,” the Juried 2017 Biennial Show of the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut opened April 1, at the River Street Gallery at Fairhaven Furniture, 72 Blatchley Avenue in New Haven, CT. Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.

The show offers a creative, colorful and masterful wonderland of original handwoven works of all kinds from the practical to the artistic created by handweavers from across the state.  Works by a number of local handweavers are featured in the show.  Admission is free.

The opening reception and awards ceremony were held Saturday, April 1.  Demonstration Day will take place on Saturday, April 8, from 11 to 3 p.m. The show will be open through April 28.

Founded in 1948, the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut invites handweavers, spinners and other fiber artists from all levels of experience to exchange ideas and share knowledge, to encourage and educate, to stimulate creativity and to challenge their abilities in fiber art techniques.

Hand spinners demonstrate their craft.

For more information about the show, visit the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut website or contact Barbara Smith at 860.608.9708 or smith.assoc1@gmail.com

About the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut: The Guild meets five times a year on the third Saturday of the month, bimonthly from September through May. All meetings are held at the Congregational Church of South Glastonbury, located at the intersection of Main & High Streets in South Glastonbury, CT. For more information, visit the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut website

About River Street Gallery at Fairhaven Furniture: In 2003, Fairhaven Furniture renovated a former workspace in our building into an expansive, loft-like showroom… and a gallery was born. River Street Gallery showcases fine art and craft by regional artists in combination with high-quality, artisan-made furniture in a warm and welcoming environment.  For more information, visit their website.

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Florence Griswold Museum Director Jeffrey Andersen to Step Down After Successor is Chosen

Jeff Andersen, Director of the Florence Griswold Museum, will step down from the position he has held for more than 40 years when a successor has been selected.

After over 40 years of service to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., Director Jeff Andersen is planning to step down after a new director is appointed. Ted Hamilton, President of the Board of Trustees, announced that a comprehensive national search will be undertaken in the months ahead, overseen by a committee of trustees and coordinated with an executive search firm.

“Jeff Andersen has guided the growth of this museum with equal measures of vision and attention to detail,” Hamilton said. “He sees things clearly and stays focused on long-term goals.  Jeff charted a course for the Florence Griswold Museum to become a singular American art institution based on its history as an artist colony.  He inspired our trustees, staff, and volunteers to dedicate themselves toward this mission. Under his leadership, the Museum has become known for its compelling exhibitions and innovative educational programs.”

A fifth-generation native of Northern California, Andersen began his career at the Museum after completing his M.A. in Museum Studies from Cooperstown Graduate Program in Cooperstown, N.Y. During his tenure, the Florence Griswold Museum evolved from a seasonal attraction with one staff member and fewer than 1,000 visitors per year to an accredited art museum with 20 staff members, 225 dedicated volunteers, nearly 80,000 visitors annually, and over 3,000 members.  Early on, Andersen helped establish an endowment fund for the institution, which now funds one-third of the Museum’s annual operating budget of $2.6 million.

Working closely with teams of trustees and professional colleagues, Andersen led a transformative, decades-long campaign to reacquire the original Florence Griswold property with the goal of creating a new kind of American museum based on the site’s history as the creative center of the Lyme Art Colony.  Reunifying the historic estate, much of which had been sold during the 1930s, took seven different real estate transactions, culminating in 2016 with the purchase of the last private parcel of the original estate.

Supported by capital campaigns that raised over $20 million collectively, the Museum implemented master plans to reconstruct historic gardens, relocate the William Chadwick artist studio, build education and landscape centers, and open the Robert and Nancy Krieble Gallery, an award-winning modern exhibition, collection, and archives facility designed by Centerbrook Architects.  In 2006, the Museum completed the restoration of the National Historic Landmark Florence Griswold House (1818) as a circa 1910 boardinghouse of the artists’ colony.  Located along the banks of the Lieutenant River, the Museum’s 13-acre historic site now forms an essential part of a visitor experience that integrates art, history, and nature.

As part of his duties, Andersen has organized exhibitions for the Museum and written extensively about American artists in Connecticut. For a museum of its size, the Florence Griswold Museum has been active in publishing scholarly books and catalogues to accompany many of its exhibitions.  Beginning in 1983, Andersen established a close relationship with The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company on behalf of the Florence Griswold Museum, assisting the company in assembling a major collection of 190 paintings and sculptures by American artists associated with Connecticut.

In 2001, Hartford Steam Boiler donated the entire collection to the Museum, where it serves as a centerpiece of ambitious collection, exhibition, and education programs revolving around diverse expressions of American art from the eighteenth century to the present day.  Works from this collection by such artists as Ralph Earl, Frederic Church, Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf, and others have been lent to over forty museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and The National Gallery, London.

Over the years, Andersen has been a leader in the cultural community, serving on numerous non-profit boards, such as Connecticut Humanities and the New England Museum Association, and working as a peer accreditation reviewer for the American Alliance of Museums. In 2004, he received the Public Service Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.  In 2016, Andersen was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Museum Association (NEMA).  “Throughout his career, Jeff has been an inspirational leader at the Florence Griswold Museum, on the NEMA board, and through all of his community service,” said NEMA Executive Director Dan Yaeger.

“It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to be a part of this Museum,” Andersen reflected.  “What I am perhaps most proud of is the deep sense of loyalty and camaraderie that is felt amongst our staff, trustees, volunteers, and members. In many ways, it echoes what Florence Griswold and the original Lyme artists had with one another. In this spirit, I know that everyone will give their full support to the next director to help the Museum flourish in the years ahead.”

Andersen, who lives in Quaker Hill, Connecticut, is looking forward to spending more time with his family in California and traveling with his wife, the artist Maureen McCabe, who was a longtime professor at Connecticut College. Andersen intends to stay active in the art world and in the community at large.

The Florence Griswold Museum has been called a “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal and a “must see” by the Boston Globe.  Its seasonal Café Flo was just recognized as “best hidden gem” and “best outdoor dining” by Connecticut Magazine. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut.   Visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for more information.

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Carney Testifies in Support of Harsher Drug Dealer Penalties

State Rep. Devin Carney testifies during the Judiciary Committee hearing on proposals to introduce stricter penalties for drug dealers.

Proposals Seek to Increase Penalties for the Possession and Distribution of Narcotics

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) testified this week before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee in support of three proposals that would seek to create harsher penalties for possession and distribution of narcotics.

Specifically, Senate Bill 1039 An Act Concerning Criminal Liability In The Case Of Drug Overdose Deaths, Increasing The Penalty For The Possession Of A Narcotic And Criminalizing The Misbranding Of Synthetic Drugs, House Bill 7290 An Act Increasing Penalties For Dealing Synthetic Drugs and House Bill 7292 An Act Concerning The Classification Of Drugs And Creating Drug Dealer Civil Liability.

In his remarks, Representative Carney stated, “The State of Connecticut is in the midst of an epidemic caused by fentanyl and the drug dealers who knowingly sell it to our residents. Fentanyl is so powerful that only 55 pounds of it has the power to kill every resident in Connecticut – twice. This is not normal and should not be dealt with lightly or else more of our residents, including the sons and daughters of our constituents, will die.”

According to the Hartford Courant, in 2016, 479 people who died of an overdose had fentanyl in their system – six times more than those who died two years ago when 75 people who overdosed had fentanyl in their system … In 2012, there was one death from a mix of fentanyl and heroin. In 2016, there were 276. In 2012, there were two deaths from the mixture of fentanyl and cocaine. In 2016, there were 142.

Carney continued, “The time has come to make drug dealers face stricter penalties for knowingly dealing fentanyl or other narcotics laced with it. Knowingly selling fentanyl to a drug addict or someone interested in trying an illegal narcotic is reprehensible and no one should feel pity for these dealers. Justice will be served when they are behind bars and incapable of dealing death sentences to drug addicts by supplying fentanyl to our citizens.”

The bill awaits further action by the Judiciary Committee.

Carney represents the 23rd District communities of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

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Help Us Determine the Future of LymeLine.com, Please Take This Survey

We are delighted to have been asked by a professor from the School of Journalism at the University of Kansas, Dr. Peter Bobkowski, to participate in a project to research the news audiences of hyperlocal news websites.

The professor and two of his graduate students are conducting this study to understand better who reads local news websites, and about their readership and social habits. This will entail you completing a survey, which the professor and his students have created.

We would really appreciate as many readers as possible taking the time to complete the survey, which is expected to take approximately 10 minutes.  You can find the survey at this link.  When you click on the link, the landing page is a Consent Information Statement with more information.

The information you supply will remain completely anonymous at all times.  The raw data from the survey will be shared with us and will help us determine the future of LymeLine.com, but we stress again it will be in a form that it is totally anonymous.  The survey will be open until Monday, April 3.

Thank you so much for your support and assistance!

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Lyme Academy College Donates Historic Document Collection to Lyme Art Association

Elisabeth Gordon Chandler at work.

Yesterday, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts made a formal presentation of a collection of historic documents and original exhibition catalogs to the Lyme Art Association at the the Association’s historic building on Lyme Street. The event took place immediately prior to the opening of the Lyme Art Association’s A Show in Four Acts exhibition.

This remarkable collection was part of the estate of Elisabeth Gordon Chandler (1913-2006), who not only founded the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, but was also previously president and a long-time member of the Lyme Art Association. The Archives Committee of Lyme Academy College has spent several years assembling and preparing this gift of history to the Lyme Art Association.

The collection being donated includes a comprehensive collection of Lyme Art Association exhibition catalogs including a 1909 8th annual exhibition pamphlet listing the artists Childe Hassam and Willard Metcalf and also, a 1921 20th annual exhibition booklet, which was the inaugural exhibit in the new Charles A. Platt designed gallery. In addition, there are catalogs of the spring watercolor exhibits, which began in 1925, along with the autumn exhibitions, beginning in 1933.

Many letters and documents related to Elisabeth Gordon Chandler’s time as Lyme Art Association president from 1975-1978 and tell of her productive time during a transformative era in the Association’s history. Important documents relate to the ‘Goodman Presentation Case’ of 1928, a collection of 35 small artworks by early Lyme Art Association members. An original copy of Charles A. Platt’s “General Specifications for the Art Gallery” of July 1920 is included with this collection, which gives a detailed outline of the plans for the gallery.

Elisabeth Gordon Chandler

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts (originally named Lyme Academy of Fine Arts) was founded by members of the Lyme Art Association in 1976 during the time Chandler was President. The school was based on preserving the time-honored traditions and disciplines of training in the fine arts.  Founded as an Academy, it became an accredited College in 1996, and in 2014 became a College of the University of New Haven (UNH), when UNH acquired the College.

Lyme Art Association dates back to 1902, when a group of tonalist painters, led by the New York artist Henry Ward Ranger (1858-1916), were asked to hold a two-day exhibition in August at Old Lyme’s Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library. The artwork exhibited consisted entirely of landscapes depicting the local countryside, painted while they boarded at the home of Florence Griswold (1850-1937). It is believed that Lyme Art Association is the nation’s oldest continuously exhibiting art group in the country.

A nationally recognized portrait sculptor, Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, was a regular exhibitor at the Lyme Art Association, and she became vice-president in 1974 and, president in 1975. With a goal of obtaining tax-exempt status for the association, and continuing the teaching and traditions of representational art, she set to work to create an art school in the basement of the gallery building.

The ceremony commemorating the transfer of historic archives will take place at Lyme Art Association, 90 Lyme St. Old Lyme, CT at 1:30 p.m., just prior to the opening of the exhibition A Show in Four Acts at LAA.

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Lyme Art Association’s ‘Exhibition in Four Acts’ Now on View

Alan James, Essex Steam Train Sketch, watercolor (Industrious America)

Four new exhibitions, each with a different theme, will be on view in the Lyme Art Association (LAA)’s beautiful historic galleries from March 17 through April 28.  A Contemporary Look, Holding Still, Industrious America, and LAA Faculty run concurrently.  An opening reception for all four exhibitions will be held on Sunday, March 26, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Exhibition in Four Acts is one of the most dynamic and exciting exhibitions that the LAA , bringing together four distinct types of representational art.  Industrious America showcases the work of talented artist members who set out to celebrate American industry and the man-made landscape.  A Contemporary Look is an exhibition of abstracted, yet still representational work.

Jerry Caron, By Way of Bejing, oil (Holding Still)

Holding Still features still life works in all mediums …

Hollis Dunlap, A Day at Ashlawn Farm, oil (LAA Faculty)

and LAA Faculty features work by our outstanding and talented studio instructors. Each exhibition is shown in one of the four skylit galleries in our historic building.

Spring Burst, mixed media (Contemporary Look)

“A visit to the Lyme Art Association to see the Exhibition in Four Acts feels like visiting four different galleries.  There is a variety and a shift in mood as you move from one gallery to the next,” states gallery manager, Jocelyn Zallinger.  “This show also allows a visitor to focus on each genre in a way that is not possible in other exhibitions.”

The opening reception for all four exhibitions is free to the public, and will be held on Sunday, March 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the gallery, located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Conn.

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday12 to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org

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Remembering Walter Kaylin: “Already a Legend”

Walter Kaylin, 95, a 52-year-resident of Old Lyme, died peacefully Feb. 15, 2017, at Apple Rehab in Guilford, Conn., after a long period of declining health. His two daughters were by his side. We published Mr. Kaylin’s obituary at this link. This column by Randall Beach, Walter Kaylin’s son-in-law, was first published March 11 in the New Haven Register and on the NHRegister.com at this link, “Randall Beach: The amazing Walter Kaylin, already a legend,” We are pleased to republish it here with the permission of the New Haven Register.

Walter Kaylin 06.28.1921 – 02.15.2017

When I picked up the ashes of my father-in-law, Walter Kaylin, last Monday morning at the crematorium in Wallingford and drove back to New Haven with him beside me, I thought about his wonderful life and his never-ending stories.

Listen, you would have to expect vivid, funny stories from a guy whose wild tales were in anthologies entitled “He-Men, Bag Men & Nymphos” and “Weasels Ripped My Flesh.”

Walter wrote those during the late 1950s and ‘60s for pulp magazines such as “For Men Only,” “True Action” and “Stag.”

He spun sagas of macho men on dangerous tropical islands rescuing damsels and plugging the bad guys. Many of them were war-related. Check out the title of his contribution to “Men” magazine, July 1966: “The Black Lace Blonde, the Yank Jungle Fighters and the Chicom Plot to Grab the Mid-Pacific.”

Walter’s colleagues in that New York City office were other tough-nut writers such as Mario Puzo, who would go on to write “The Godfather” and Joseph Heller, who later wrote “Catch-22.”

Bruce Jay Friedman, another of Walter’s peers, noted Walter was nothing like the characters he concocted.

“He looked like a divinity student, always buttoned up,” Friedman recalled on the backside of one of Walter’s anthologies. “Then the stories would come in. They were special — seamless and outrageous and wonderful. I think of him as a treasure.”

But Walter didn’t achieve the literary fame later accorded to those other writers. His two books, “The Power Forward” and “Another Time, Another Woman,” didn’t sell and quickly went out of print.

But at the age of 92, when he was living at Apple Rehab in Guilford, unable to walk, Walter saw those two anthologies get published, thanks to pulp fiction enthusiasts Robert Deis and Wyatt Doyle.

“It means a lot to me,” Walter told me when I asked him how it felt to finally get such recognition.

But he never took himself too seriously. He added with a sly smile, “I was reading those stories in bed last night and I was shocked at how savage they were. I was thinking, ‘My God! Could this be me?’”

Walter got a lot of his source material during World War II, when he was a radio operator in the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army, stationed in the Philippines. He didn’t see much combat but he met a lot of unforgettable guys and “dames.” He recalled they were gorgeous, “all of them with mouthfuls of gold teeth.”

Because Walter grew up in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium, he watched Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in action. When Gehrig was mired in a batting slump, Walter wrote him a letter, telling him not to worry, the hits would soon start coming again. Gehrig wrote back, thanking him. I wish Walter had held onto that reply. But he certainly remembered it well.

Even when he was in his 90s, in a bed or his chair at the Guilford rehab center, he could still recall seeing those fabled Yankees and others of that era — Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays — playing for the local ball clubs. He also told us he saw Satchel Paige pitch after that star in the Negro leagues finally got a chance to play in the majors.

Walter and his wife, Peggy Kaylin, loved living in New York but they also enjoyed getting out of town with their young daughters, Jennifer and Lucy. In the late 1950s, they began spending weekends in a beach-side cottage in Old Lyme. Eventually, they got weary of the Sunday night drives back to the city and they moved to Old Lyme to live there year-round.

But Walter never stopped writing. Jennifer, the woman I married, recalls hearing him typing away in a room adjacent to the kitchen and later in his office upstairs, where he had an expansive view of the shoreline.

When he wanted to take a break from his writing, he walked into the sun room on the first floor, sat down at the piano and played in his unique style: a rolling, rollicking, free-wheeling boogie woogie outpouring that was delightful.

During his four years at Apple Rehab, he kept a succession of typewriters in his room and he was constantly thinking of story ideas, then getting them most of down on paper.

We have been sorting through his many correspondences and story fragments and came upon a letter he wrote to an editor at “The New Yorker” magazine.

“At age 90 I’m working on a highly unusual novel,” he wrote. “‘Hear the Chant of the Jungle’ centers on the relationship between 23-year-old Paulie Ohlbaum of the Bronx and a considerably older, incredibly tall Watusi woman, Roz, who emerged from Rwanda (Congo) to take care of him for the first two years of his life, then disappeared and has rematerialized 20 years later. By this time Paulie and his older brother, Luther, own and run a motel, Owl’s Eye, in Connecticut, on the Sound.”

Walter went on for a couple of pages, continuing to weave the imaginative scenario. He concluded the letter: “Does this interest you? If so, I’d be happy to send you the first section, which concludes with Roz getting set to meet Paulie for the first time in 20 years.”

We couldn’t find the editor’s response, if there was one. But it didn’t matter much to Walter. He kept writing anyway, up until the final week or two of his life. That’s an inspiration for all of us to keep going.

He also kept playing the piano. Apple Rehab has a community room where residents gather and there’s a piano in the corner. Walter spent a lot of time seated there in his wheelchair, entertaining everyone within earshot.

Over the last year or two, Walter would sometimes hold up the bent, arthritic fingers of his right hand and complain he couldn’t play piano as freely as he had in previous years. But that never stopped him.

He loved movies, especially the classics from his prime. A month or two ago, my wife and I went to Best Video and rented “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” for him. We watched it together at Apple. After it ended, Walter exclaimed, “That was some picture!” It would be the last one he ever saw.

We also supplied Walter with Heaven Hill, his favorite Bourbon whiskey. He always enjoyed a little glass of it just before dinner time.

That community room, and I’m sure all of Apple Rehab itself, is quieter now, some of the life gone out of it. There are many people, besides us, who miss hearing Walter play and miss his stories.

His four grandkids, who he was so proud of, also dearly miss him. My younger daughter Charlotte posted a message that ended: “Papa, the world is already a little less cool without you.”

He made it to 95. As he often told us in his final year, he had done enough. He was ready to go. His wife had died in 2010.

Walter had few regrets; he didn’t dwell on such stuff. He had enjoyed life. For many years, he had sat with Peggy on the beach, sipping cocktails while listening to his jazz records playing from inside their home. As he watched the sun slowly set over the water, Walter always said, “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

One day this spring we will scatter his ashes in that idyllic playground where life couldn’t get any better.

Contact Randall Beach at rbeach@nhregister.com or 203-680-9345.

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The Kate Welcomes Spring With Unique Performances, Exciting Partnerships

Spring is here at the Kate … and summer is just around the corner!

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is welcoming Spring in many ways.  As the weather gets warmer and the days longer, the Kate’s performances are intended to brighten your mood.

With a Doors Tribute Band on March 24, and Mary Poppins – the Broadway Musical from March 31 to April 2, through to the simulcast National Theatre Live performance of Obsession featuring Jude Law on June 8,  the Kate hopes to make your Spring shine.  And there are some surprises in store when you find out who is coming for the CPTV series at the Kate in June.

The tent that resides over the patio area of the Kate will be up in early May, heralding in warmer days and soulful nights of great music and events.  Become a member today and come to an evening of networking with area friends and businesses at the Membership Reception on the Kate’s namesake, Katharine Hepburn’s birthday, May 12.

Then get ready for special events under the tent as the summer season approaches along with the Kate’s largest fundraiser, the Summer Gala, which is held in August and honors a special guest award recipient.

“This is going to be an amazing season filled with performers people know and love, as well as performers that will surprise and excite our audiences,” said Brett Elliott, Executive Director of the Kate, adding, “The Kate is coming into its own and we look forward to more people being a part of it all.”

For more information on tickets for any shows at the Kate, visit www.thekate.org or call the Kate Box Office at 860-510-0453.

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Lyme-Old Lyme MS Science Olympians Win State Championship, Now Move Onto National Contest in Ohio

State champions! The Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Science Olympians proudly display their winner’s trophy.

It’s not only the UConn Women’s Basketball team that’s enjoying an extraordinary run.  This weekend, the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Science Olympiad team completed a remarkable feat by taking top honors in the 2017 Connecticut Science Olympiad State Championship for the fifth time in the past six years.

And now, as reigning state champions, the Lyme-Old Lyme team moves forward to the National Science Olympiad Competition on May 19-20, in Dayton, Ohio, where its members will represent the State of Connecticut.  The Lyme-Old Lyme team again dominated the Connecticut contest amassing gold medals in nine events, silvers in 10, and bronze medals in three events.

Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division (Division B is middle school; Division C is high school). Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology.

Proudly wearing their medals, team members Sadie Frankel (right) and Bella Hine share smiles after their team won the state Science Olympiad championship.

By combining events from all disciplines, the Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to become involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation. Through Science Olympiad, students, teachers, parents, principals and business leaders bond together and work toward a shared goal (https://www.soinc.org/).

Lyme-Old Lyme Science Olympiad coaches Shannon Glorioso and Elizabeth Dushin credit the support of the community for their continued success. “The Lyme-Old Lyme community support, whether it is directly coaching the Olympians, helping to manage all the behind-the-scenes tasks, making monetary donations to allow the team to purchase much-needed supplies or any of the other ways the community has supported the team are truly why this team has been so successful.”

Asked his reaction to the result, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser responded, “We are so proud of the ongoing success of our students and coaches in this amazing program. This is yet another example of the strong STEM programming offered by the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools where we offer a private school experience in a public school setting.”

Congratulations to these budding scientists and good luck in Ohio!

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