March 23, 2017

LYSB Hosts ‘The Bizz’ Tomorrow, Proceeds Benefit Youth Programs

Rehearsing the grand finale.

Rehearsing the grand finale. File photo.

Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau (LYSB) presents a talent show Friday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School auditorium. The show celebrates the talent that abounds in the youth of our community and the venue offers increased seating over the middle school auditorium.

The show features more than 20 acts, which include singing, dancing, instrumental and bands, all performed by talented Lyme-Old Lyme youth.

LYSB Director Mary Seidner told LymeLine that a great many acts auditioned this year, noting,”Unfortunately we didn’t have room for all of them.  We saw many talented performers and we congratulate everyone on their creativity and energy.”


The show has sold out several times in recent years, so early arrival is recommended.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are $8 at the door.

All proceeds from the show benefit LYSB programs.

For more information, call 860-434-7208.

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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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Shepard-Tambini Presents Talk on her Book, ‘A to Z: Almost All About Me,’ at OL Library Tomorrow

The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library hosts a reading and book signing with local author Phyllis Shepard-Tambini on Friday, March 24, at 4 p.m.

Shepard-Tambini lives in Old Lyme, Conn. and in her book, A to Z: Almost All About Me, she shares stories of her hometown, time spent in New York City, and her family home in Kennebunk, Maine.

Shepard-Tambini shares her unique perspective from the war years to today with a dose of humor, compassion, and love.

All are welcome and refreshments will be served.

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Friends of Whalebone Cove Host Talk on “Future of the Connecticut River” in Hadlyme, Sunday

A winter view of Whalebone Cove.

‘The Future of Connecticut River’ will be the topic of the featured speaker at the annual meeting of Friends of Whalebone Cove on Sunday, March 26, at 4 p.m. in Hadlyme.

Stephen Gephard, supervising fisheries biologist with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Inland Fisheries Division in Old Lyme, will present a program in which he reviews the history of the Connecticut River since pre-colonial times and offers his predictions on how the River will be used in the 21st century.

Gephard is well known in conservation circles up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

In 2014, then President Barack Obama appointed him as commissioner of the Council of North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization, an international body established by an intergovernmental convention in 1984 that seeks to restore and manage Atlantic salmon populations.

And last year the Northeastern Division of the American Fisheries Society (NED) presented him with the its NED President’s Award.

Throughout his 30+ year career with Connecticut DEEP, Gephard has advocated for the restoration of habitat of diadromous fish across the state, region, nation and world, and continues to work for the benefit of the species he manages.

Friends of Whalebone Cove was formed last year by area residents to help government and private conservation agencies protect the fragile eco-systems in Hadlyme’s Whalebone Cove, which is listed as one of North America’s important freshwater tidal marshes in international treaties that cite the Connecticut River estuary as a wetland complex of global importance.

A representative from the US Fish & Wildlife Service Silvio O Conte Refuge will also give a short presentation on the Conte Refuge’s new Comprehensive Conservation Plan. Much of Whalebone Cove and the surrounding upland is part of the Conte Refuge.

The Friends of Whalebone Cove annual meeting is open to the public, both members and non-members. It will be at Hadlyme Public Hall, One Day Hill Road, Lyme. Refreshments will be served.

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Old Lyme Church Hosts Concert for Community by New Orleans Piano Virtuoso Tom McDermott, Saturday

Tom McDermott

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) has announced that Tom McDermott, the New Orleans piano virtuoso, will perform a concert for area residents at 5 p.m., Saturday, March 25, in the Sheffield Auditorium at the church.  A donation of $10 at the door is suggested.  Doors for the concert will open at 4:30 p.m. and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

McDermott’s music has been heard frequently on NPR, the Showtime series “The Knick,” and the HBO series “Treme” (10 of his songs were included throughout the show.)  During his accomplished career, he has recorded more than a dozen albums, including 75 original tunes.  McDermott was a member of the Dukes of Dixieland for several years, as well as a founding member of the New Orleans Nightcrawlers. 

His concert will consist of both original works and timeless classics, and reflect his musical expertise in ragtime, jazz, funk, blues and choro (a Brazilian musical form with similarities to ragtime and jazz). The “New York Times” once said of him in a review, “Whatever direction he moves in, Mr. McDermott is a very skillful pianist.”

In announcing the performance, FCCOL Senior Minister Steve Jungkeit said, “Tom’s work reminds us of the power of music to lift the human spirit. In times of great social injustices such as the one we currently live in, we need the musicians – and the novelists, and the poets and the filmmakers – to remind us of our need for beauty and art … not only to speak to our social struggles but also to help us transcend them. Tom is an amazing artist who can help us do just that. This is a concert not to be missed.”

At the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, music is a vital element of communal life – sacred, secular, classical, jazz, barrelhouse blues. 

For more information, visit the church’s website at www.fccol.org and/or Tom McDermott’s website at www.mcdermottmusic.com.

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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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High Hopes Hosts Chili Open House, Saturday

High_Hopes_Chili_Open_HouseLooking to get involved, make new friends and make a difference?

Join High Hopes Therapeutic Riding for their Chili Open House on Saturday, March 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their facility in Old Lyme.  The event is open to members of the community to give them an opportunity to learn about one of the top therapeutic riding centers in the nation, while enjoying chili with all the fixings.  Bring a buddy and meet High Hopes’  “Buddy”, the horse.

This open house is informal, child-friendly, and your visit can be as long, or short, as your schedule allows.

Those looking to make a difference in the lives of High Hopes’ participants can learn about volunteer opportunities. There are frequent openings for sidewalkers, office help, barn assistance, special event planning and more..

It’s not too early to think about summer and camp staff will be on hand to talk about the High Hopes range of 2017 summer camp programs, which start in July.

High Hopes is located at 36 Town Woods Road in Old Lyme.  RSVP to 860-434-1974 to help us in chili-making planning.

For more information and directions call 860-434-1974 or visit www.highhopestr.org.

High Hopes is one of the oldest and largest therapeutic riding centers in the United States, operating since 1974 and accredited by PATH Intl. (formerly the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) since 1979.

Annually, High Hopes serves over 1,700 individuals. Assisted by over 675 volunteers and a herd of 27 horses specifically trained for therapeutic riding, High Hopes is committed to providing the highest quality of services to the community. Of the more than 800 programs that are members of PATH Intl., High Hopes is one of only six centers in the United States approved by PATH Intl. to provide their training courses in therapeutic riding instruction and has trained instructors from all over the world.

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Lyme Art Association’s ‘Exhibition in Four Acts’ Now on View; Opening Reception, Sunday

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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Sinatra Revue, ‘My Way,’ Opens 2017 Ivoryton Playhouse Season

Rick Faugno* plays Frank Sinatra in ‘My Way’ opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse, Mar. 22.

The Ivoryton Playhouse opens its 2017 season with a treasure-trove of hits by the Chairman of the Board himself – Frank Sinatra. The musical equivalent of a soothing hot toddy on a cold winter night, this trip down memory lane includes such Sinatra signatures as “I’ve Got the World on a String,” “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)” and “Fly Me to the Moon”

Conceived by Todd Olson and David Grapes, this revue, performed by a cast of two men and two women, pays homage to America’s all-time coolest crooner by trotting out a few dozen of the more than 1,300 songs Ol’ Blue Eyes recorded in his unbelievably prolific career. This musical revue recalls the essence of the man through the glorious music he sang – a celebration of Sinatra’s mystique, and his myth, through the music he loved best ­- the American standard.

The show is co-directed and choreographed by husband and wife team Rick Faugno and Joyce Chittick. Playhouse audiences will remember their phenomenal performances in the 2014 production of Fingers and Toes. Their brilliant tap routines and heartfelt musical numbers endeared the pair to everyone that saw them.

Chittick is currently working on the Broadway musical Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, but she is joining her husband to help direct and choreograph.

Rick Faugno* was the original Frankie Valli in the Las Vegas production of Jersey Boys for three and a half years, receiving multiple awards for his performance. Also in Las Vegas, he created and starred in three one-man shows, winning awards for Best Vegas Lounge Act. He recently won a Fred Astaire Award for his work in On the 20th Century on Broadway. Joining Faugno in this production are Lauren Gire*, Josh Powell* and Vanessa Sonon*

The production is co-directed by Joyce Chittick and Rick Faugno, musical directed by Andy Hudson, set design by William Russell Stark, lighting design by Christopher Hoyt and costumes by Elizabeth Cippolina.

My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on March 22and runs through April 9, 2017. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., along with Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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Lyme-Old Lyme HS Hosts Open House for Prospective Students

US News & World Report ranked Lyme-Old Lyme High School 8th in Connecticut in their just published listing of America’s Best High Schools.

School offers tuition options for students not resident in Lyme or Old Lyme

Next Thursday, March 23, Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) welcomes prospective students who do not currently attend a Lyme-Old Lyme School and/or their parents to visit the high school during its spring Open House for Prospective Students.

In order to offer a customized experience for each prospective student and/or their parents, interviews are being offered throughout the day to accommodate varying schedules.  Interviews will be preceded by a student-led tour of the high school.  This format is intended to allow all attendees an opportunity to gain an overview of the school and interact with current students, as well as to obtain answers to individual questions and information on curriculum, student opportunities and more.

In terms of the type of students and/or families the District is aiming to attract, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explains, “This event is offered for students in a variety of situations such as students whose families are looking to move to the area, students who reside here but attend private, parochial, or magnet schools, and tuition-paying students who live in other towns.”

Last month, the College Board released the Class of 2016 Advanced Placement (AP®) Cohort Data, which showed that Lyme-Old Lyme Schools came in as the school system in Connecticut with the second highest overall performance. No other Middlesex or New London County school system achieved a ranking higher than 20th

View from inside the Commons atrium at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

In April 2016, LOLHS was named the eighth best public high school in Connecticut by US News & World Report in their listing of Best High Schools.  Moreover, LOLHS was ranked nationally at #429 and consequently, as one of the top 500 schools in the country, was awarded US News & World Report’s highest honor of a gold medal. Within the state, LOLHS had the highest ranking of any school in New London County and came in ahead of Simsbury, Greenwich and Darien High Schools.

Year after year, LOLHS graduates are accepted into a wide range of diverse and highly selective schools across the US and in some cases, internationally. The Lyme-Old Lyme School system has become a pipeline to the Ivy League schools and the “Little-Ivies” in addition to such schools as Duke, MIT and Stanford, and in the most recent figures available, over 88 percent of LOLHS 2014 graduates pursued higher education.

Facilities at the high school are exceptional with state-of-the-art technology implemented throughout the building thanks to a $49 million renovation project completed in 2014.  The math, science, language, and technology and engineering areas along with the art, music, drama and athletic facilities are now of a quality and sophistication that resembles a college environment, rather than a high school.

Students hard at work in a Chinese class at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, where recently released results show the school achieved the second highest AP scores in the state.

Current enrollment at LOLHS is 487 students across Grades 9 through 12 and the average class size is between 15 and 18.  The school offers a full spectrum of core subjects taught in-house, including 17 Advanced Placement subjects, and also an extensive range of online classes taken through the Virtual High School program.

Students also have the option to pursue the acclaimed Techno-Ticks robotics program along with more than 35 other extra-curricular clubs including High School Bowl, Mock Trial, and Key Club.  Lyme-Old Lyme High School enjoys exceptionally strong music, drama and art programs, which have been recognized with numerous awards both at the state level and nationally.

The school’s athletic program has similarly received innumerable honors over the years and is proud to have several past, present and future Olympians among its alumni.

If you would like to attend this informative event, call Glynis Houde at 860-434-2255 to schedule your appointment.

For further information, contact Tracy Lenz, Director of School Counseling, at 860-434-2255 or lenzt@region18.org or James Wygonik, Principal, at 860-434-1651 or wygonikj@region18.org.

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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 (left) 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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SECWAC Presents UConn Professor Pieter Visscher Tonight in Old Lyme Speaking on ‘Lithium in the Andes’

Professor Pieter Visscher

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) presents Pieter Visscher — professor of marine sciences at the University of Connecticut and director of the university’s Center for Integrative Geosciences — speaking on “Lithium in the Andes” at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School on Tuesday, March 21, at 6 p.m.

His presentation will explore the ecological, economic and geopolitical impact of the world’s largest lithium mines – which are located in the Andes and provide more than 600,000 tons of this metal annually for use in lithium batteries.  Mining of these lithium reservoirs makes a significant impact on the fragile Andean ecosystem.

The mining process requires substantial amounts of water, yet many of the mines are located in the Atacama Desert, the driest place on the planet.  While the Chilean government works with mining companies and local populations on conservation efforts, significant socio-economical, ecological and political tensions remain.

Tickets are $20 for the general public, and free for area college and high school students and SECWAC members; tickets can be obtained at info@secwac.org. (Ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership.)  Reporters are welcome to attend as guests of the SECWAC Board.  (Interested reporters should contact Paul Nugent at info@secwac.org or 860-388-9241.)

The event will be preceded by a 5:30 p.m. reception.  Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC members with reservations (made at least 24 hours in advance) will reconvene for dinner ($35) at the Old Lyme Country Club.

Prior to joining the university, Visscher worked for Hawaii’s Oceanic Institute, the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School and the US Geological Survey.  He is a founding member of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute.

Funders of his research have included NASA, NSF, NIH, EPA and DOE. His current research focuses on biosignatures (changes in rock or atmosphere that provide evidence for life).

Visscher holds graduate degrees in chemistry, environmental law and microbiology from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.  He is currently a Fulbright Specialist and travels extensively to Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, where he is involved in conservation issues.

The presentation is a part of the SECWAC Speaker Series.  SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America.  Its mission is to foster an understanding of issues related to foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate and educational programming.

Through its annual Speaker Series, SECWAC arranges up to 10 presentations a year that provide a public forum for dialogue between its members and experts on foreign relations.  Membership information is available at www.secwac.org.

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Duck River Garden Club Hosts Landscape Architect at Next Tuesday’s Meeting

The next meeting of the Duck River Garden Club will be held Tuesday, March 28, at 7 p.m. in the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall. The meeting will open with a social time starting at 6:30 p.m., which will be followed by the program at 7 p.m. and the business meeting at 8 p.m.  All are welcome.

The program presenter will be Allan Broadbent, PLA, ASLA, who is the landscape architect for Granoff Architects and the topic for his program will be, ‘Creating Outdoor Rooms.’ Broadbent will demonstrate the principles of creating space—both vertical and horizontal—how to modify existing spaces by adding containers, arbors, boundaries, with consideration for the scale and proportion of containers and grading of the landscape.

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Old Lyme Churches Host Community Dinner to Raise Awareness, Support for Syrian Refugee Family Resettlement in Lyme, April 1

Steven Jungkeit, Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. (File photo)

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) has announced that FCCOL, Christ the King Church and Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church would hold a joint community dinner – featuring a smorgasbord of traditional Syrian foods and dishes – at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, to help raise awareness and support for the churches’ efforts to resettle a second family of Syrian refugees in Lyme.

There is no charge to attend and enjoy the community dinner; admission is free.  An offering will be taken up during the meal to allow anyone who would like to contribute to the churches’ ongoing Syrian family relocation efforts to do so.  The meal will be prepared by members of the Hamou family – the first family of Syrian refugees that the churches helped resettle to the Old Lyme community last year – and served with the assistance of congregation members.

The churches encourage residents who would like to attend the dinner to RSVP via email to any of the church offices:  FCCOL, fccol@fccol.org; Christ the King Church, ctkoldlyme@aol.com; Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church, office@saintannsoldlyme.org.

In announcing the community dinner, FCCOL Pastor Steve Jungkeit said, “The images of the horrific refugee crisis in the Middle East have touched the hearts of so many of us in Old Lyme.  We were proud to link arms with our friends at Christ the King Church and Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church to sponsor the resettlement of the Hamou family – to help the family into a new home, schools and jobs here in Old Lyme.”

Jungkeit continued, “It’s been a rewarding experience for everyone involved.  And now the Hamou family is joining with us to help our churches rescue another Syrian refugee family from warfare and persecution.  I am incredibly proud of the community of Old Lyme and invite everyone to join us for this fund-raising dinner.”

For more information, visit FCCOL at www.fccol.org, Christ the King Church at https://www.christthekingchurch.net, and Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church at http://saintannsoldlyme.org.

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Lyme Academy College to Donate Historic Document Collection to Lyme Art Association, Sunday

Elisabeth Gordon Chandler at work.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts has announced that on Sunday, March 26, it will make a formal presentation of a collection of historic documents and original exhibition catalogs to the Lyme Art Association. The event will occur 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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Saybrook Point Inn Installs Comcast Business High Speed Internet Services

A view of Saybrook Point Inn from the Connecticut River.

Comcast Business today announced that Saybrook Point Inn, a luxury Connecticut inn featuring elegant accommodations, fine dining and premier spa services, is using Comcast Business Ethernet, Internet, Phone and Video offerings to provide guests with high-quality technology services as well as improve inn operations.

The privately-owned travel destination is located on the Connecticut River at the entrance to Long Island Sound and features more than 100 guest rooms, a full-service spa, fine dining restaurant and marina that can accommodate vessels up to 200 feet. To meet its commitment to environmental conservation, operational efficiency and exceptional guest services, the management team streamlined its technology offerings and implemented Comcast Business Internet to increase the performance for all three of its networks in the marina, office and guest areas.

“Both our social and corporate guests require high-speed internet service, from the visiting yachts in the marina who use it for self-diagnostic marine systems and video applications, to those staying in our inn. Comcast Business provides us with reliable internet as well as phone and video services throughout the property,” said John Lombardo, general manager of Saybrook Point.

He continued, “Leveraging technology allows us streamline operations. We can be more of a high-touch resort because our staff can spend more time interacting and servicing our guests, whether they are visiting for a vacation or attending an event in our ballrooms and conference center.”

Saybrook Point Inn was the first “Green Hotel” designated in Connecticut and is well-known for its eco-friendly practices, several of which rely on technology to meet the property’s green commitment.

Looking across the Saybrook Point Inn’s marina to the accommodations beyond.

In the guest rooms, Saybrook Point implemented Comcast Business’ Q2Q hospitality solution offering guests full voice and video offerings with a specific Saybrook Point default channel to promote various events and news and a second menu channel. These channels eliminate the need for the Inn to print materials for the rooms continuously, thus adding to its eco-friendly mission. Their cogeneration and extensive solar panel system also rely on solid internet services to perform properly.

“Technology offerings including high-speed internet, phone and hi-def video are among the top amenities for resorts such as Saybrook Point Inn to keep guests connected to their families and work during their travels as well as provide entertainment options,” said Michael Parker, regional senior vice president for Comcast’s Western New England Region.

He added, “Saybrook Point Inn is a well-known for its beautiful location, exceptional guest services and commitment to the environment and community. Comcast is fortunate to work with this Inn to provide the high-tech solutions to meet guest needs as well as optimize business operations.”

Additionally, Saybrook Point Inn relies on Comcast Business to strengthen its operations with a 100 Megabit-per-second (Mbps) Ethernet Dedicated Internet line and PRI business phone service for direct dialing around the property.

“Our invoices are processed via an online central accounting system so our efficiency is greatly impacted if the network is slow or offline. Also, our staff offices, printers and copiers are connected through an online shared system, which needs reliable internet,” Lombardo noted.

He commented, “Comcast Business ensures that we are operating at peak productivity. And it has allowed us to implement new guest service systems. For instance, in the dining room, we use iPads and OpenTable to communicate the status of each table in real-time with the hostess station to decrease guest wait times, and we are implementing systems for housekeeping and maintenance departments to both eliminate paper, intrusive radio communication and have better accountability.

Lombardo said, “We also installed two treadmills recently that have built-in Wi-fi capability for internet surfing and access to online special fitness programs.”

Editor’s Notes:

  1. Situated along the picturesque shores of historic Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Saybrook Point Inn, Spa and Marina features a collection of 100 elegantly-appointed guestrooms, 24 villas offering long and short-term rentals, a rejuvenating full-service SANNO spa, and casual fine dining restaurant, Fresh Salt, as well as a unique waterside Lighthouse Suite. In addition, the historic Three Stories and Tall Tales luxury guesthouses offer exquisite rooms that convey the story of famous local residents, including Katharine Hepburn. Saybrook Point also shines with the pristine Saybrook Point Marina, a landmark boating destination conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River with easy access to Long Island Sound. It can accommodate vessels from 12 to 200 feet and has received numerous premier Connecticut marina awards.
    More information is available at www.saybrook.com.
  2. Comcast Business offers Ethernet, Internet, Wi-Fi, Voice and TV solutions to help organizations of all sizes transform their business. Powered by a next-generation, fiber-based network, and backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast Business is one of the largest contributors to the growth of Comcast Cable. Comcast Business is the nation’s largest cable provider to small and mid-size businesses and has emerged as a force in the Ethernet market; recognized over the last two years by leading industry associations as its fastest growing provider and service provider of the year.
    For more information, call 866-429-3085. Follow on Twitter @ComcastBusiness and on other social media networks at http://business.comcast.com/social.
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Old Lyme Land Trust Hosts Annual Meeting This Afternoon; Includes ‘CT River Tidal Marshes’ Talk, ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award

This photograph by Hank Golet, of Old Lyme, won the top award at the 2016 Land Trusts Photo Contest, jointly sponsored by OLLT and the land trusts of Lyme, Essex, East Haddam, and Salem. It is of a juvenile yellow-crowned night heron, fishing at the edge of a tidal creek in Old Lyme.

The Old Lyme Land Trust will host its 51st Annual Meeting on Sunday March 19, at the Lymes’ Senior Center, Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme.  The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. with refreshments, and the public is invited.

The Trust will also present the 2017 annual Volunteer of the Year Award at the meeting. This award is given annually to recognize extraordinary volunteer service to the Trust, and by extension, to the Town of Old Lyme. All residents of Old Lyme and neighboring towns can enjoy the 14 preserves and over 1,100 acres maintained by Old Lyme Land Trust.

The 2016 recipient was Rob Evans of Old Lyme for his work in building and maintaining walking trails in the Hatchett’s Hill Preserve. Evans’ work included construction of two bridges in the preserve.

The featured guest speaker at the meeting will be Dr. R. Scott Warren, an internationally recognized authority on the ecology of tidal wetlands. Dr. Warren recently retired from a distinguished career at Connecticut College and stays active in the field. He is currently serving as Sr. Scientific Adviser to the Coastal Waters Consortium of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. His current focus is research on the effects of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill.

In 1971 representatives of seven nations met in Ramsar, Iran, to sign the first-ever intergovernmental treaty for global conservation.  Its purpose was, and is, the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. Sites selected for their critical importance are designated “Wetlands of International Importance”.

Today 90 percent of the United Nations member states, 169 countries, have signed the Ramsar Convention, and there are 2,231 Ramsar Wetlands worldwide.  Only 38 are in the United States, and only one is in New England – the “Connecticut River Estuary and Tidal Wetlands Complex”, most of which is in Old Lyme.

Dr. Warren’s talk, “Connecticut River Tidal Marshes: Ecology and Significance,” will cover their basic ecology, how sea level is affecting marshes, and why they are such important ecosystems. An engaging and animated speaker, Dr. Warren will use photographs, maps, and other props to illustrate his points.  This is a great opportunity to come learn about these vitally important and very delicate natural systems.

The John Lohmann Connecticut River Preserve is one of the 13 preserves in Old Lyme owned and managed by the Old Lyme Land Trust.

The OLLT is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization and several hundred of the acres it protects are wetlands, both tidal and freshwater.   All 14 OLLT preserves are open to the public, with walking trails that lead to wonderful places. 

You can gaze across the Connecticut River, including some of those Ramsar Wetlands, from the shore at Whaleback Rock, or climb rocky ridges covered with Mountain Laurel and tall pines.  There are trails through large, unbroken tracts where rare birds hide, and a guided trail for children at the Mile Creek Preserve. 

Chances are that if you live in Old Lyme, you’re not far from an OLLT preserve.  The Trust will also announce the recent acquisition of additional acreage and plans for continuing to grow preserved lands in Old Lyme.

The OLLT is a private nonprofit corporation not affiliated with the town government. Membership is open to all.

Join the OLTT for an entertaining and informative afternoon on March 19, and learn more about your local land trust.  The meeting is from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 126 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme.  All are welcome and admission is free.

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Celebrating her 99th, Mary Vidbergs is Justifiably ‘Queen for a Day’

Happy 99th birthday, Mary !

It may have been one of the coldest days of the year last Sunday, March 12, but nothing was going to stop Mary Vidbergs’ family — one branch of whom lives in Old Lyme , namely the Pfeiffers — from celebrating the long-time Essex resident’s 99th birthday in style.

Mary arrived around 11 a.m. at the top of Main Street and was promptly presented with a large bouquet and ‘crowned’ with a tiara.

The family — some of whom braved the bone-chilling temperatures in lederhosen — had planned a surprise for Mary, which involved driving her from the top of Main Street in a horse-drawn carriage down to the Griswold Inn.

Dr. John Pfeiffer of Old Lyme (third from right, front row, in the photo above), who is Mary’s son-in-law as well as Old Lyme’s Town Historian, is well-known for his penchant for wearing shorts in all weathers around town!

She may be 99, but Mary was determined to enjoy the view from her carriage!

Despite the sub-zero temperatures, Mary smiled continuously through the whole adventure and insisted at the end of her ride on thanking the horses for their labors.

An ever-cheerful Mary waved goodbye to the crowd before entering the Griswold Inn where all her family joined her for what we’re sure was a wonderful family party.

Happy 99th, Mary, from all your friends at ValleyNewsNow.com — we’re looking forward to your 100th already!

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‘The Sommers Rosenthal Family Band’ Play at Saint Ann’s This Afternoon

The Sommers Rosenthal Family Band performs at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme welcomes The Sommers Rosenthal Family Band – New England’s finest bluegrass/folk/jazz family band on the scene today — in concert this afternoon at 5 p.m.

Connecticut native, Phil Rosenthal, is known to audiences world-wide as the former lead singer of the seminal bluegrass band The Seldom Scene. He is also highly regarded as a songwriter whose works have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Nick Cave and many others. Phil’s wife Beth Sommers plays acoustic bass in the band, was a founding member of the groups Old Dog and Bluegrass Reunion, and is also a successful songwriter.

Their son Daniel Rosenthal (trumpet and banjo) tours and records with the Either Orchestras and the Daniel Rosenthal Quintet, and has developed a unique trumpet style that adds to the Americana/roots sound of the family. His sister Naomi Sommers is a wonderfully gifted vocalist, guitarist and songwriter whose solo albums have won her much acclaim.

The Sommers Rosenthal Family Band draw their repertoire from songs written by all members of the group, as well as new arrangements of traditional and contemporary folk and bluegrass tunes. Their recently-released album Down the Road has won much praise, and radio airplay.

For more about the group, visit www.sommersrosenthalfamilyband.com

A suggested donation of $10 will support Saint Ann’s concert programs. The performance will begin at 5 p.m.; doors open at 4:30 p.m. Audience members are invited to meet performing artists at a reception following the concert. This concert is the latest in a series of live musical performances presented by Live@Saint Ann’s, an outreach effort of Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church designed to enrich the cultural life of the Shoreline community.

Saint Ann’s is an Episcopal parish in Old Lyme, CT, where the rector The Reverend Canon Mark K. J. Robinson welcomes all visitors to this family-friendly event. Saint Ann’s is located at 82 Shore Road (Rte. 156), two miles off I-95, Exit 70. Parking is adjacent to the church. For information, contact Kathy Rowe at 860-434-1621, via email at office@saintannsoldlyme.org, or visit Saint Ann’s online

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Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women Announce ‘Juleps & Jockeys’ Fundraiser, May 6

Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC) has announced its major fundraiser for 2017.

Come place your bets and watch the Kentucky Derby with the LOLJWC at Juleps & Jockeys, which will be held at the Lyme Art Association on Saturday May 6, from 5:30 p.m.

Drink, eat, dance and, of course, bid on some great silent auction items.  All proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the Lyme-Old Lyme Love Your Playground Project. Tickets are now available at this link.

Silent auction items are starting to arrive — check out the Juleps & Jockeys page to see all the great items already donated.

Do you have any goods that you would be willing to donate to the silent auction or would you care to be a sponsor?  There is a wide array of sponsorship levels.

Contact LOLJWC at loljrwomensclub@gmail.com for more information.

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