May 20, 2018

Registration Still Open at Ride Start for Today’s ‘Tour de Lyme’ Cycling Fundraiser

Ready to ride!

Join the sixth annual Tour de Lyme on Sunday, May 20.  For competitive riders, this is a chance to warm up for the cycling season ahead. For others, it provides a wonderful occasion to pedal through Lyme and enjoy the surrounding countryside.  If you are a mountain biker, this is an opportunity to ride through private lands open only for this event.

Everyone — riders, sponsors, and volunteers — will enjoy a fabulous post-ride picnic at Ashlawn Farm with popular food trucks, local vendors and live music.  This year there will be physical therapists to help with any injuries, the ever-popular massage therapists to loosen tight muscles, and a plant sale to stock up on herbs for the season ahead.

For complete information and online registration, visit www.tourdelyme.org

And away they go …

It’s not a race but a carefully planned series of rides designed to suit every level of skill and endurance. There are four road rides of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty:

  • The CHALLENGE — the name says it all — is 60 miles, a real workout
  • The CLASSIC — shorter at 25 miles, but still a challenge
  • The VALLEY Rides — pleasant, easier rides with fewer hills, 26 miles or 35 miles
  • The FAMILY at just 8 miles designed for riding with children. 

There are also two mountain bike options; the RIDER’S TEST — a 26.5 mile ride for serious enthusiasts and a shorter, less challenging option.

The Tour de Lyme is hosted by the Lyme Land Conservation Trust.  Since 1966, the Lyme Land Trust has been conserving the unique and historic landscapes of Lyme, Conn. During those years, this rural community has shown that a small population can have a giant impact and protect almost 3000 acres of woodlands, working farm fields, and bird-filled marshes. The result is an outdoor paradise, open to all. 

Funds raised at this event will create added opportunities for public enjoyment of the preserves in Lyme while protecting and maintaining land, which has already been conserved for generations to come. 

The Lyme Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization — registration and donations are tax deductible.

For more information, contact Kristina White at kristina.white@lymelandtrust.org or 860-434-5051

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Old Lyme to Hold Annual Budget Meeting Tomorrow

The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen will host the Annual Budget Meeting on Monday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium at 18, Lyme Street in Old Lyme.  Agenda items, which may be voted on at the meeting, include:

  • The adoption of the budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, as recommended by the Old Lyme Board of Finance.
  • A proposal that taxes in the Town of Old Lyme on Real Property and Personal Property will be paid in two equal semi-annual installments with the first payment due on July 1, of this year and the second payment due on Jan. 1, 2019.  Any taxes of less than $100 for the year will be due in one payment on July 1, of this year and any taxes in any amount owed for vehicles will be due in one payment on Jan. 1, 2019.
  • A proposal that the Old Lyme First Selectwoman is authorized to execute the “Old Lyme Fire Department, Inc. And Old Lyme South End Volunteer Ambulance Association, Inc. Retirement Plan,” amended and restated effective Jan. 1, 2018 (“Plan”), and the “Amended And Restated Trust Agreement For The Old Lyme Fire Department Inc. And Old Lyme South End Volunteer Ambulance Association, Inc. Retirement Plan” (“Trust”). This proposal also authorizes the First Selectwoman, the Board of Selectmen and the Town of Old Lyme and/or their respective designees, without need for additional approval by the Town Meeting, to exercise all rights and perform all duties given them by the Plan and the Trust, including:
    • appointment of a Pension Committee and of a Trustee(s),
    • making of agreements with the trustee(s),
    • making of amendments to the Plan and/or to the Trust and any agreements made in relation thereto.
  • A proposal that the sum of $80,000 should be appropriated for use by the board of selectmen to pay expenses incurred by the Town as a result of the need to amend and restate the Plan and create the Trust (as defined above.)
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Old Lyme Library Presents Program Today on Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’

‘Starry Night’ by Vincent van Gogh.

The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library hosts a program presented by Robert Baldwin titled, ‘Van Gogh’s Starry Night: From Spiritualized Nature to Higher Abstraction,’ on Saturday, May 19, at 1 p.m. 

Inspired by Gauguin’s artistic group in Brittany, Vincent van Gogh traveled to the south of France to revitalize his art by returning to his early subject matter – pre-modern landscapes and peasants – now painted with a Post-Impressionist abstraction grounded in the artist’s imagination.

This talk examines Starry Night in the broad picture of larger artistic trends since Romanticism (1790-1850) and the rise of Symbolism as an artistic movement (1888-1915). With its peaceful village, starry skies, and visionary abstraction, Starry Night moved from traditional community to Romantic celestial community to a distinctly modern community of kindred spirits born from shared artistic experience.
Like the mid-19th-century inscription chiseled on the façade of two slightly later art museums, Starry Night goes beyond sublime nature in proclaiming: “Art still has truth, Take refuge there.”
Robert Baldwin is an Associate Professor of Art History at Connecticut College.
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Florence Griswold Museum Hosts Plant Sale Today

Today, Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., join the Florence Griswold Museum’s Garden Gang at the Museum for a sale of beautiful plants and garden specimens, featuring heirloom perennials, roses, herbs, and succulents.

Purchase lovely plants and support the Museum’s garden projects.

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“Follow the Fibers” to Bushnell Farm Today, 11am to 4pm

‘Follow the Fibers’ at Bushnell Farm, May 19, in Old Saybrook.

The family that occupied the 1678 Bushnell House in Old Saybrook were weavers as well as farmers. Each spring Bushnell Farm hosts activities that that allow visitors to step back to a time when hand-woven cloth was derived from the family’s own plants and animals.

On Saturday, May 19, visitors to this privately-owned 22 acre farm site can witness Warner Lord demonstrate the difficult, multi-step process that turned the flax plan into a  thread that could then be woven into linen on the family loom.  The Loom House, with weaver Bev Lewis, is one of the six original buildings on the property that will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., free to the public, on May 19.

Sheep owned by Herb and Sherry Clark of Essex, who own the property, will be shorn of their winter wool by Lara Sullivan of East Haddam, Conn. Sullivan has a busy shearing schedule and she hopes to be at Bushnell Farm  around 11:30 a.m.

Westbrook’s Gary Noth, a life-long archaeologist and primitive technologist, will be at the wigwam in the Grove at the Farm talking about Indian tool technology and their preparations for spring.

In the Bushnell Farm House, one of the five oldest houses in Connecticut, they’ll be turning out the bedbugs from the mattresses; ironing without electricity; and taking advantage of the early fish run. In the Barn, we’ll be sharpening the tools for haying and looking over the seeds saved from last year’s crops and getting ready to plant.

Bushnell Farm is an educational site that provides school and public programs devoted to preserving the agricultural and enterprising past in Connecticut through seasonal events and hands-on activities.

If you have questions, call the Curator at (860) 767-0674.

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Shred Unwanted Documents During Lyme-Old Lyme HS Class of 2018 Fundraiser, May 26

On Saturday, May 26, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2018 will shred documents for businesses and individuals. Anyone can bring their papers to the Lyme-OId Lyme High School parking lot from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to shred for a donation.

Many people have unwanted papers sitting in boxes or on desks around their house.  All documents will be shred immediately at the high school  The papers could be old tax returns, bank statements, bills, credit card statements, newspapers or school ditto sheets.  This fundraiser provides the community an opportunity to securely discard unwanted papers from houses or businesses.

“We are excited to hold this Shred-it Fundraiser because the demand for secure document shredding services is growing.  This fundraiser provides a low cost way to accomplish this community service,” said Louis Zubek, a high school math teacher and adviser to the Class of 2018.

Last year, this high school class conducted this same fundraiser.  It collected over 120 bags of unwanted papers and generated over $1,200.

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OLRA/Blood Street Sculls Hosts National ‘Learn to Row Day’ in Old Lyme, June 2

Looking for an excuse to escape the gym and spend time outdoors? Head to Rogers Lake in Old Lyme on Saturday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., when the Old Lyme Rowing Association/Blood Street Sculls will be hosting National Learn to Row Day at their new boathouse at Hains Park.

On this day, more than 75 rowing clubs around the country will open their doors to the public and offer an introduction to the sport of rowing. Learn to Row Day events are not only an ideal opportunity for someone who’s curious about the sport to give it a try, but this regional event is also a chance to build friendships and social networks. Activities vary from club to club, but the day generally includes introductory coaching of the fundamentals of the stroke and basic drills used to coordinate movement.

Organized by USRowing, the national governing body for the sport, National Learn to Row Day is a chance to meet people that will serve as mentors in a fun, pressure-free environment.

Getting in shape, trying something new, enjoying the outdoors or meeting new people in the community – whatever the reason, learning about the sport of rowing can be an unforgettable experience and have the potential to be a life-long endeavor. The organizers note, “Learn to Row Day is a wonderful opportunity to see first-hand what rowing is all about. It’s a great low-impact sport for people of all ages, and all abilities, from those rowing for the first time, to highly skilled rowers.”

For more information, visit www.usrowing.org and/or www.oldlymerowing.org or email mmrowing2004@gmail.com

Register online for Learn to Row Day at this link.

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Lyme Land Trust Hosts CT Trails Day Walk, June 2

This photo shows an example of young successional forest in Lyme. Photo by Wendy Hill.

The Lyme Land Trust will host a walk to celebrate CT Trails Day on Saturday, June 2, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The location will be Lyme Land Trust’s Slawson Preserve, Nehantic State Forest and adjacent properties in Lyme, Conn.  The focus of the walk will be the Bunny Habitat Restoration Project Phase 2.

Lisa Wahle, the “Bunny Lady” and young forest habitat restoration specialist; Mark LaCasse, Master Wildlife Conservationist; and Emery Gluck, CT DEEP Division of Forestry, will lead a walk to explore Phase 2 of the ongoing process to improve the land for the benefit of the threatened New England cottontail rabbit and other species that depend upon young forests.

On last year’s walk, the results of Phase 1 were seen:- the vegetation regrowth on 25 acres of private property adjacent to the preserve that had been cleared of mature trees several years ago.

In the fall of 2017, the Land Trust began Phase 2: the harvest of trees from the Slawson Preserve.

The Land Trust, private landowners, and the State have agreed to harvest mature trees over a 6- to 10-year period to create an environment that is suitable for species that live in a young forest environment. As the cleared areas grow back, it will create the desirable brushy environment where the bunnies find food and protection from predators.

Staggering the treatments will ensure that this successional habitat is available for a longer time. This process is beneficial to more than 50 species of greatest conservation need including prairie warbler, ruffed grouse, indigo bunting, American woodcock, wood turtle, and blue spotted salamander.

Reservations are recommended though not required.  For further information or to reserve your place, email openspace@lymelandtrust.org

Rain cancels.

Parking is available at 435 Hamburg Rd (Rte 156), Lyme, CT. Follow the dirt driveway to the parking area. Permission has been given to park at the end of this long, private driveway for this special event only. No dogs please.

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Lyme Holds Annual Budget Meeting Tonight

9:28am Update: Meeting Date Corrected — The Town of Lyme will hold its Annual Budget Meeting tomorrow evening, Thursday, May 17, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Lyme Town Hall at 480 Hamburg Rd.  The agenda includes the following items:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of the Town of Lyme Annual report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2017.
  2. Acceptance of the Emerson Cemetery property from the Jewett family to the Town of Lyme.
  3. Consider and approve the Town joining an approved Connecticut Health Department or approved Connecticut Health District.
  4. Consider and repeal of the 1968 ordinance relating to Public Health in the Town of Lyme.
  5. Consider and act on estimates and recommendations of the Board of Finance for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2019.

There are expected to be several votes during the meeting.  All residents and citizens qualified to vote in a Town Meeting must be present if they wish to vote.

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RTP Estuary Center Hosts Final Spring Lecture This Evening at LAA on “Genius” Roger Tory Peterson

The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is hosting a three-part Spring Lecture Series through May 17.

The third and final lecture in the series will be held Thursday, May 17, at 5 p.m. at Lyme Art Association and is titled Creation of a Genius: Roger Tory Peterson.

Roger Tory Peterson made his home and, as an adult, found inspiration for his monumental work on the banks of the Connecticut River Estuary. But the seeds of his passion for art and conservation were sown in his youth.

Twan Leenders, President of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, N.Y., will focus on Peterson’s early years, his youthful explorations, and how the hidden treasures of his hometown, were to become a passion and eventually lead to inspiring amateur and professional naturalists through generations and throughout the world.  RSVP here.

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University of New Haven Announces $1.1 Million Bequest from Diana Atwood Johnson to Lyme Academy

The late Diana Atwood Johnson.

The University of New Haven announced yesterday that Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, one of the University’s six colleges, has received a $1.1 million bequest from the estate of Diana Atwood Johnson, a longtime benefactor.

The gift will support three initiatives:

  • The Sill House, a historic building encompassing studio space, the Lyme archives, and the Sill House Gallery, will receive $500,000.
  • An additional $500,000 will go toward scholarships that benefit minority students.
  • The remaining $100,000 will support the Diana Atwood Johnson Leadership Award, presented annually to a senior at Lyme who shows great promise and exemplifies the values of the institution.

Atwood Johnson, who died in January, served on Lyme’s Board of Trustees. As chair, she was the driving force in helping Lyme earn its initial accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and she played a key role in initiating the affiliation that made Lyme the University of New Haven’s fifth college.

“Diana Atwood Johnson was a pillar in our community and involved in every element of Lyme over the past three decades,” said Todd Jokl, dean of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. “Her generosity over those decades in both her leadership and her generous financial contributions will enable us to provide support for our diverse student body, attract the strongest art students to Lyme, and continue to support our campus buildings. Most of all, Diana leaves a legacy that will remain a strong part of this institution in perpetuity.”

In addition to this donation, Lyme has received nearly $3 million in gifts in the past five months as part of its capital campaign.

Founded in 1976 in scenic Old Lyme, Conn., Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is a community of emerging and established artists.

Its Bachelor of Fine Arts program offers drawing, illustration, painting, and sculpture, attracting some of the brightest and most talented artists from around the world. Offering one of the most immersive fine arts educations available, Lyme students grow individually through intensive engagement with their craft and lively, profound exchanges of ideas and work.

For more information, visit www.newhaven.edu/lyme.

The University of New Haven, founded on the Yale campus in 1920, is a private, coeducational university situated on the coast of southern New England. It’s a diverse and vibrant community of more than 7,000 students, with campuses around the country and around the world.

Within its five colleges, students immerse themselves in a transformative, career-focused education across the liberal arts and sciences, fine arts, business, engineering, and public safety and public service. More than 100 academic programs are offered, all grounded in a long-standing commitment to collaborative, interdisciplinary, project-based learning.

For more information, visit www.newhaven.edu.

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Affordable Housing Application Hearings Postponed to June 5

At the request of the applicant, the Public Hearings originally scheduled for Monday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m. in Old Lyme Town Hall for the Affordable Housing Applications for 18-1 and 18-2 Neck Road for 23 and 14 units respectively (both formerly known as 16 Neck Rd. and now known respectively as River Oak Commons I and II) have been postponed to Tuesday, June 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.

The applicants are Graybill Properties, LLC, and Neck Road HOPE Housing, LLC.

Visit this link to read a related Op-Ed on this topic.

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!

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Duck River Garden Club’s Plant Sale Continues in Old Lyme Opens Today Through 1pm

Geraniums and more will be on sale tomorrow and Saturday at the Duck River Garden Club's Annual Plant Sale.

Geraniums and more will be on sale Friday and Saturday at the Duck River Garden Club’s Annual Plant Sale.

Enjoy a weekend of flowers, plants and more!

The annual fundraising plant sale, sponsored by the Duck River Garden Club of Old Lyme, will be held Friday, May 11, from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Old Lyme Shopping Center on Hall’s Road (near The Hideaway Restaurant.)

Pick out that special gift for Mom. Or browse the club’s selection of heirloom tomatoes, annuals, and vegetables, herbs, hanging baskets, geraniums, perennials and shrubs that will be available.

If you are a gardening bargain hunter, check out the 600+ Member’s Plants from member’s own gardens and “The Garden Shed” filled with great Tag Sale items.  There are also new shrubs, trees and rose tables this year.

There will be more than 600 member’s plants as well as heirloom tomatoes, annuals, vegetables, herbs, hanging baskets, shrubs geraniums and a an area of the member’s homemade pastries and hot coffee called,“Delectable Edibles,” to make your shopping  more enjoyable.

Pre-order beautiful geraniums at $5 each in the following colors: red, white, pink, magenta or corral. Call by Thursday, May 10, for pick up Friday, May 11.

All proceeds from the sale go to ongoing civic projects, which include scholarships, senior’s garden therapy program, holiday wreaths for public buildings, baskets for families in need, and maintenance of plants at town locations. The Duck River Garden Club members look forward to seeing you and can help with any questions.

For more information about membership in Duck River Garden Club, call Kathy Burton at 860-434-8024 or president, Barbara Rayel at 860-434-2354.

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Op-Ed: SECoast Questions Proposed HOPE Development in Old Lyme

Organization Stresses Support of Affordable Housing

This Op-Ed was written by Gregory Stroud, Executive Director, SECoast

This photograph shows a representation of Hope Partnership’s ‘model’ Ferry Road development six years after completion.  Photo by Gregory Stroud.

No doubt by now, most of you have heard of the Hope Partnership housing development planned for 16 Neck Road. It’s a subdivided property tucked in beside the northbound I-95 exit 70 into Old Lyme, a wooded 12.5 acre lot with a steep entrance road, and a long stretch of deep-water access to the Long Island Sound. The property once assessed for $1.2 million, was purchased by a local developer on December 31, 2015 for a relative song—$455,500.

As things stand today, our expectation is that the purchaser, Graybill Properties, will keep and develop the back two lots for private houses, with river views and water access, and will sell the front two lots facing Neck Road for development as “affordable housing,” all told perhaps 37 or 41 two- three- and four-bedroom units, twelve buildings, and 113 parking spaces.

The development falls under a state law, commonly known as 8-30g, which doesn’t exactly give for-profit and non-profit developers carte blanche, but it does place a heavy burden of proof on local government to stop them, if a town fails to meet a very narrowly-tailored threshold of 10 percent deed-restricted affordable housing stock. Old Lyme currently stands at 1.56 percent, and by this method of counting, it’s not at all clear that the town can or will ever meet or sustain the minimum threshold of affordability.

To be sure, affordable housing has a checkered 30-year history in Connecticut, with often wealthy enclaves successfully gaming the system to shirk their statutory responsibilities, and sometimes unscrupulous developers gaming the system to build luxury apartment complexes, and harvest tax advantages, wherever profitable. In our particular case, we feel confident in saying that neither is the case, but that does not mean our current debate has not been colored on various sides by these broader frictions and frustrations.

Proponents of the project have at times avoided a serious discussion of the project by out-of-hand dismissing legitimate local concerns as NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)—a form of name-calling rather than logical argument. Opponents of the project have frequently suggested darker motives for the development, without evidence. Town leaders have pitched the project as an effective defense against less scrupulous developers, despite the obvious truth that this project will not nearly allow Old Lyme to meet its near-impossible 10 percent obligation. There has no doubt been anger and ugliness, and more than a few transitory facts and figures in and around the project. We can do better.

Although we have significant and still unaddressed questions concerning the genesis of this project, the methods for choosing and advancing this project, how it fits into broader unstated plans of profit, funding, and development for Old Lyme, nevertheless we are confident that the two primary organizations behind it—Old-Saybrook-based Hope Partnership, and their statewide partner The Women’s Institute—are motived not by profit, but by a genuine, if perhaps overriding, philanthropic mission.

Nor does Old Lyme—despite its reputation among some as a haven of wealth and privilege—have a history of skirting the law or blocking affordable housing projects. In fact, in this case First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, have invited and actively encouraged the development of this project in Old Lyme. We have little doubt that many in Old Lyme will bend over backwards to help see this project to completion.

But now putting all that aside, we are left with two basic questions: Is this a ‘good’ project? And do our concerns about health, safety, or other legally reviewable matters, clearly outweigh a need for affordable housing?

To the first question, we say largely not. To the second question, we say that it remains unresolved. For this reason, while we have decided to remain neutral at present on this project—we will neither promote, nor actively endeavor to block it—it is our view that the project leaves such substantial details and questions unresolved that it would constitute an act of negligence for zoning, planning, wetlands, or other town commissions to give this project approval, or even conditional approval, without significant additional scrutiny and assurances.

To this end, we spent more than two hours on May 2 with board and staff members of Hope Partnership, and The Women’s Institute, which was followed by numerous hours reviewing evident and serious issues of pedestrian and traffic safety, fire code, environmental, and other concerns. We followed up with an additional nearly hour-long conversation with Kristin Anderson, the development manager for the project, as part of The Women’s Institute. We remain deeply, and sincerely troubled by the project, and the feasibility of addressing these concerns.

We leave our detailed criticism to later public comment, but that said, it is telling we think, that the bulk of assurances which we did receive, regarding the goodness, the compliance with fire code, and the traffic and pedestrian safety of the project, are premised on a series of troubling and doubtful assumptions as follows:

  • that some un-proposed and unfunded redevelopment of Rte. 156 and Halls Road may in the future allow for safe pedestrian access between the development and the nearby Halls Road Shopping District;
  • that the 2018 State Building and Fire Safety Codes would drop a mandate for sprinklers by a vote in the legislature on July 1;
  • that CTDOT will alter the traffic signs and the terminus of Exit 70 in a manner, and time, which will allow for safe vehicle access to the site.

To be frank, all that we are really sure of here, is that this project has sailed through a number of planning, zoning, and wetlands meetings, with the strong backing of elected local officials, an array of ephemeral facts and arguments, an ever-growing scope, and a heck of a lot of good intentions.

But for all the good intent, the stubborn present reality of this project remains an essentially regressive model of suburban tract housing, with no clear safe access on foot, by bicycle, school bus, or public transit, awash in blacktop, skirting requirements of septic within the watershed and at the mouth of the Connecticut River, exempted from requirements of open space for land which will later be developed, and by an Old Lyme Plan of Conservation and Development, which is two sentences from nonexistent.

This is a project, as currently drawn, which reaches toward a lower common denominator of fire code. If requirements for sprinklers are dropped, should we cheer? It’s a plan at present, which encourages children to play inside, and burdens struggling families with the necessity of two cars.

Of course, no project can meet every ideal measure, and many families happily live out their days without sidewalks and within suburban tract housing. Should we hold affordable housing to a higher standard? Aren’t affordability and good intentions, reason enough? It’s an argument more often we’ve seen used for hot dogs and hamburgers in school lunches.

The reality is that 16 Neck Road is not just a housing development, it’s the entrance to the town. 16 Neck Road is the first step, a driving force, a funding source and point of leverage for a much larger unspoken and questionably-coordinated redevelopment of Old Lyme. Are we in such a rush, that without any real detail, this is how we choose to begin? 

Believe me, the public hearing on May 14 isn’t just another hoop, it’s the moment when Hope Partnership and the Town of Old Lyme decide whether to pull the trigger.

We say, yes to affordable housing in Old Lyme, but only with a better affordable plan.

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Musical Masterworks Modern Presents ‘The Percussion Collective’ This Evening at LAA


Experience contemporary chamber music featuring The Percussion Collective — Robert van Sice on Friday, May 11, at 5:30 p.m. at Lyme Art Association. Their distinctly insightful approach to the performance of percussion chamber music challenges the limits of excellence and delights audiences.

Enjoy the sounds – and sights – of Seaborne, The Percussion Collective’s new composition that includes cinematography of the ocean as an integral element of the performance.  A recent concertgoer who saw the world-premiere of Seaborne at Yale in March described her experience thus, “I was so moved by the performance that I left with tears in my eyes, it was very powerful and beautiful – I can’t wait to experience it again.”

The Percussion Collective was formed by Madison resident, Professor Robert van Sice, Chair of the Yale Percussion Department.  The program will begin with Seaborne, a piece by Emmy Award-winning composer Garth Neustadter. In addition to the compelling percussion work for six musicians, Seaborne also contains a video component by marine photographer Kjell van Sice, putting the piece “at the nexus of the percussive art soundscape and the visual celebration of our endangered oceans.”

Neustadter’s mastery of cinematic composition and van Sice’s poetic aquatic images prove to be a powerful collaboration in this new work for percussion sextet.  Seaborne aims to awaken sensibilities in the audience to both the importance and beauty that our oceans possess.

The ensemble will then perform the iconic Sextet by Steve Reich, one of the seminal pieces in the percussion repertoire.  The Percussion Collective — Robert van Sice performed the world-premiere of Seaborne at Yale in March. This concert in Old Lyme represents the continuation of their national tour. 

This special performance has been generously sponsored by The Howard Gilman Foundation.  Howard Gilman believed in the power of the arts to transform lives and the Foundation honoring his legacy supports the most robust, innovative, and promising performing arts organizations.

Admission is $35; Student admission is $10.  Admission includes a reception prior to the concert at 5:30pm; the concert begins at 6:30pm.  After the performance, continue your evening with 10 percent off dinner at Old Lyme Inn, only available to MMModern concertgoers. 

For full details and to purchase tickets, visit Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252. 

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A la Carte: Bake the Best Big, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

Big and chewy oatmeal raisin cookies

A few days after I made banana bread (about six overripe bananas I had, to which I added five overripe ones from Noank friends), I decided it was time to make cookies. (By the way, all four of the banana breads left my homes to friends’ kitchens, because I didn’t want to eat them.) Alter all, I had already thawed two pounds of unsalted butter and, while looking for the chocolate chips (wafers, actually), I saw an unopened package of cinnamon chips and an unopened package of candied ginger.

So I searched for my favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and could not find it under any headings—oatmeal, cookie, cinnamon, nothing. And it wasn’t in my paper file, either. Is it possible I never wrote about them? Anything is possible, I guess, so I found the same book I had used for the banana bread and didn’t even have to use the index; I just leafed through the nearly 600 pages and it opened to Big and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies. I have probably made that recipe so many times that it had three or four different stains on it and maybe some of the pages were damp too.

As with many recipes, I double this one. They freeze beautifully. I pay little attention to raisins (not crazy about raisins, anyway) and for this recipe I use those two ingredients I love: cinnamon chips and candied ginger. How much of each?  The recipe calls for one and a half cups of raisins, so I use 1 cup of cinnamon chips and half a cup of candied ginger; I chop the latter coarsely with a sharp knife. But you can use any combination for this recipe or none at all if you just want a delicious oatmeal cookie

Big and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

From The Best Recipe by editors of Cook’s Illustrated (Boston Common Press, 1999)

Yield: about 18 large cookies

1 and one-half cup all-purpose flour
One-half teaspoon salt
One-half teaspoon baking powder
One-quarter teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
One-half pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar*
1 cup granulated sugar*
2 large eggs
3 cups rolled oatmeal
1 and one-half cups raisins (optional)

Adjust oven racks to low and middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. (I use Silpat instead of parchment.)

Whisk flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg in medium bowl.

Either by hand or with electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugars, beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Stir dry ingredients into butter-sugar mixture with wooden spoon or large rubber spatula. Stir in oats and optional raisins (or chips or candied ginger or dried cranberries).

Working with generous 2 tablespoons of dough each time, roll dough into 2-inch balls. (I often make smaller cookies.) Place balls on parchment- lined cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each ball.

Bake until cookie edges turn golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes. (Halfway through baking, turn cookie sheet from front to back and also switch them from top to bottom.) Slide cookies, on parchment, to cooling rack. Let cool at least 30 minutes before peeling cookies from parchment.

*I have found that three-quarter cups of both sugars is plenty sweet enough

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Old Lyme Library Presents Program Tonight on Breast Cancer Risk Assessment, Lifestyle Choices

Dr. Kristen Zarfos

The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library hosts a program titled, ‘Risk Assessment and Lifestyle Choices – Breast Cancer’ this evening, Thursday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m.

Kristen Zarfos, MD, FACS, of Middlesex Hospital will present risk assessment tools and lifestyle choices that may help prevent breast cancer.

Dr. Zarfos is a board certified, nationally-recognized breast surgeon. She began her career at Middlesex Hospital and returned in 2018 to help strengthen the Hospital’s breast surgery program.
Dr. Zarfos is also a strong patient advocate who enjoys teaching patients and their families.
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Own a House in the Old Lyme Historic District? Nominate it for “Homes for the Holidays” Tour, Raise Funds for OLCLC

Calling all homeowners in the Old Lyme Historic District: Does your home have historic significance? Is your home architecturally interesting?  Do you have a knack for interior design? Are you interested helping a valued community non-profit in raising funds?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions, then nominate your home to be featured in “Homes for The Holidays,” The Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center’s (OLCLC) biennial fundraiser on Dec. 8, 2018!

The OLCLC is now accepting applications from Old Lyme Village homeowners who are interested in learning more about this important fundraiser and would like their home to be considered for this year’s tour.

In order for the Home Tour to be a true walking tour, homes should be located on Lyme Street or on any of its side roads north of Rte. 156 between Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and Johnnycake Hill Road (including Elizabeth Lane, Library Lane, Dunns Lane, Elm Street, Lee Street, Beckwith Lane, Academy Lane, Ferry Road, Lieutenant River Lane, Bittersweet Lane, Duck River Lane, McCurdy Road, Lyme Street, and Johnny Cake Hill Road near McCurdy Road).

Additionally, OLCLC Home Tour search committee members will be visiting Village home owners in May to hand out applications and to solicited homes.

Share your community spirit and help make this year’s Home Tour the best ever by nominating your distinctive home today.

For more information, contact Alison Zanardi at (860) 434-1728, ext. 1 or email alison_baasp@comcast.net.

Editor’s Note: The Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center is a non-profit NAEYC-accredited early childhood school and child care center. OLCLC seeks to provide a secure, safe, and happy environment that fosters the natural development of the whole child from 6 weeks of age to grade five for families in the Lyme/Old Lyme and surrounding communities. For more information visit www.olclc.com.

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District 18 Budget Passes Easily in Both Towns

Voters approved the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools proposed $33.3 million budget by a substantial margin in both Lyme and Old Lyme.  In Lyme, there were 141 Yes votes and 21 No votes while in Old Lyme, 267 residents voted Yes and 90 voted NO.

The total number of votes across both towns supporting the budget was 408 while a total of 111 rejected it, which represents a 78.6 percent majority in favor of the budget and 21.4 percent voting against it.

Ian Neviaser, Superintendent of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, stated via e-mail, “We appreciate the continued support of both towns and will continue to work to provide a top notch educational experience for all the students in our district.”

Turnout was exceptionally low in both towns.  In Old Lyme, where there are 5,639 registered voters according to the Democrat Deputy Registrar of Voters Sylvia Peterson, a total of 6.33 percent of registered voters turned out to vote.

The now approved budget for the 2018-19 school year is $34,298,528 representing a 1.97 percent increase over the current year.

Neviaser and LOL Schools Board of Education Chair Mimi Roche stated in the March Focus on Education newsletter to the community that this budget allows for a significant increase in the cost of employee health insurance, “… yet continues to maintain all of our award-winning academic and extracurricular offerings, which are commensurate, and oftentimes superior, to both public and private schools throughout Connecticut.”

Neviaser and Roche said, “This budget supports our commitment to:

  • Continued adherence to class size guidelines. •
  • Reduction of staff to account for an enrollment decline at the elementary and middle school levels. •
  • Continuance of existing academic and extracurricular activities. •
  • Adjustments for anticipated changes in the special education population. •
  • Adequate funding for maintenance and repair of buildings and grounds. •
  • Scheduled replacement of technology and equipment. •
  • Program improvements that are consistent with high academic and operational standards.

Three facilities projects are included in the budget:

  • gaining commission approvals for an artificial turf field
  • replacing the Center School gymnasium floor
  • replacing the Mile Creek fuel oil tank.

Similarly, two program improvements are included:

  • Next Generation Science Standards curricular support/training
  • technology infrastructure advancements.

For further information on the proposed budget, visit this link for a copy of the 2018-19 budget.

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