December 15, 2017

Heard on The Street …

We just heard …

The best lit holiday tree in Old Lyme is on the corner of Hefflon Farm Rd. and Strawberry Ln. This tree is decorated each year for the benefit of the community and children by Mr. and Mrs. E. Fiske and Mr. and Mrs. R. Whisker.

Come after dark and enjoy!

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Old Lyme’s Donovan Takes Title Role in ‘Scrooged..with a Twist,’ Friday Through Sunday

Galen Donovan of Old Lyme plays the title role in ‘Scrooged — with a Twist.’

Madhatters Theatre Company presents ‘Scrooged …with a Twist’ at Chester Meeting House, 4 Liberty Street Chester.  Performances are Friday, Dec. 15, at 6 p.mSaturday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m.

Galen Donovan of Old Lyme plays the title role in the play.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under.  To reserve tickets, email: madhattersctc@aol.com or call (860) 395-1861.

This production is a benefit for Old Lyme Animal Control.

For more information, visit www.ctkidsonstage.com/madhatterstheatrecompany

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‘Light Up Old Lyme’ Continues with Old Lyme Historical Society Sale Tomorrow

Light Up Old Lyme, sponsored by the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce, continues over the next two weeks with many more events leading up to Christmas Day.

Here’s a detailed listing of events for the remaining weeks of December:

Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS)
Saturdays, Dec. 9 & 16: 10am-2pm Holiday Sale of OLHS Books & Gifts at Old Lyme Post Office
Sale of books, calendars, household items and other Society merchandise.

Florence Griswold Museum
Ongoing through Dec. 31, 2017: Magic of Christmas exhibition of beautifully decorated trees. Sleigh Days at The Museum Shop through Dec. 24. Open Tuesday through Sat. 10am-5pm, Sunday: 1-5pm. Tickets: $10 (adult), $9 (senior), $8 (student) at door.

Lyme Art Association
Ongoing through Jan. 5, 2018. Deck the Walls exhibition features more than 200 original works of art by member artists on display and priced to sell as holiday gifts. Free admission. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am-5pm, and by appointment.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven
2017 Juried Alumni Exhibition  Juried by Jeff and Betsey Cooley. Exhibition on view through Jan. 20, 2018. Free admission. Gallery Hours: Monday through Saturday10 am – 4 pm.

This information is published by the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce to support our members, but we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information it contains. For more information about the Chamber and the benefits of membership, go to visitoldlyme.com or call Chamber President, Olwen Logan at 860.460.4176.

The Chamber has also listed these events in this year’s Light Up Old Lyme flyer, which you can read at this link  and find in paper form at many of these organizations, stores and galleries around town.

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Join a ‘Messiah’ Sing or Listen, Christmas Section, at the Kate on Sunday

A ‘Messiah’ Sing or Listen, Christmas Section, will be sponsored by Cappella Cantorum on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, (The Kate), 300 Main St., Old Saybrook 06475. There will be a short rehearsal for singers at 3:30 p.m.

Soloists will be Soprano Danielle Munsell Howard, Mezzo-Soprano Rachel Abrams, Tenor David Finley and Baritone Christopher Grundy. The Sing is open to all, under the direction of Barry Asch and accompanied by Deborah Lyon.

Bring ‘Messiah’ scores if you have them or they will be provided. There is a $10 fee for singers and audience. Singers will sit in sections, the audience is invited to sit in the back, witness the short rehearsal, and then the Sing will begin at 4 p.m.

Tickets will be available online at www.thekate.org and through the Box Office, 877-503-1286, open Tues–Fri 10 a.m. –2 p.m., no reserved seats.

For information call Barry Asch at 860-388-2871. The Sing ends at 5:15 p.m.

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Old Lyme Town Band Gives ‘Holiday Pops Concert’ Tonight at ‘the Kate’

The Old Lyme Town Band will perform their ‘Holiday Pops Concert’ at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, ‘The Kate,’ in Old Saybrook on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7 p.m.

‘The Kate’s’ program information states, “Nothing says the holidays like the Old Lyme Town Band playing some festive selections for the season.”

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children and available at this link.

Visit OldLymeTownBand.org or thekate.org for more details.

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Blood Drive Planned Next Wednesday in Old Lyme

Give-Blood-Give-LifeThe American Red Cross is hosting a Blood Drive Wednesday, Dec. 20, at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A critical shortage of blood donations may lead to delays in urgent medical care to vulnerable patients. You can help make sure that doesn’t happen.

Remember the “The need is constant.  The gratification instant.” Walk-in’s are welcome.

To make an appointment to donate your blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org

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Enjoy an ‘Ivoryton Playhouse Christmas Radio Hour’ with David Pittsinger & Friends, Dec. 21-22

David Pittsinger performs in ‘The Man of La Mancha.’ File photo.

World-renowned artist David Pittsinger will be performing a holiday show on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 22, at 7 p.m.

An old fashioned Christmas celebration of holiday standards and sacred songs featuring David with his wife, Patricia Schuman and Carly Callahan, Katie Weiser and Charlie Widmer.

Set in a 1940s radio station, the show will take you back to the days when the radio had pride of place in the living room and the family gathered round in the evening to listen to their favorite shows.

Since it’s going to be cold outside, come on down to the Ivoryton Playhouse to warm your heart with music we all know and love.

This concert is a benefit for the 106-year-old Playhouse to further its mission to provide theatre of the highest quality to the residents and visitors of our community.

Tickets for this special event are $50. Seating is limited; call the theatre box office at 860.767.7318 to reserve your seat for these two special events.

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

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Shoreline Club of Soroptimist International Hosts Holiday Dinner & Fundraiser Tonight

The Connecticut Shoreline Club of Soroptimist International has announced that Jonna Gerken, President of the Society of Women Engineers, will be its guest speaker at the new chapter’s first Holiday Dinner and Fundraiser. The event, open to the public, will take place on Dec. 13, at 6 p.m. at Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant, 22 Chesterfield Rd, East Lyme. Buffet Dinner is $40 and for Students it is $30. There will be a Silent Auction.

For tickets or to donate an item, contact Deb Moshier-Dunn atDebM0727@sbcglobal.net or 860-444-9247

Gerken will address STEM (Science, Technology Engineering Math) and how young girls and women can achieve economic independence by pursuing careers in those fields. Jonna Gerken is a manager in manufacturing engineering for Pratt & Whitney. She oversees the program chief manufacturing engineers in their work to ensure all engine components meet manufacturing readiness levels appropriate to their life-cycle stage.

Gerken holds a B.S. in industrial and management engineering and an MBA in technology development, both from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a life member of SWE, a senior member of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, and an associate value specialist with SAVE International. She received the 2016 Petit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award from the Connecticut Science Center, the 2014 STEP Award from the Manufacturing Institute, the 2011 Pratt & Whitney Diversity and Inclusion Award, the 2006 SWE Distinguished New Engineer Award, and was a 2004 New Faces of Engineering Finalist for IIE. The Society of Women Engineers has nearly 40,000 members worldwide.

The Connecticut Shoreline Club of Soroptimist International was chartered in February 2017. Soroptimist is an international volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. CT Shoreline members join with almost 80,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories to contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls.

Soroptimist, a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on charitable donations to support its programs, such as the Live Your Dream award to support women who are supporting their families and the Dream It, Be It program to empower middle and high school girls. For more information about how Soroptimist improves the lives of women and girls, visit www.soroptimist.org or www.liveyourdream.org.

The Dec. 13 event will feature a silent auction with gift certificates, baskets and artwork. Funds raised will support the club’s programs and scholarships. The chapter welcomes new members. To learn more, ‘like’ Soroptimist International Connecticut Shoreline on Facebook or visit www.soroptimistner.org.

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CT River Museum Offers Range of Winter Wildlife Programs, Activities

Eagles on Ice: White-headed adult eagles can be seen in numbers along the lower Connecticut River. Photo by Mark Yuknat.

Winter along the Connecticut River brings many things – including cold winds and grey skies.  But the change in seasons also signals a shift in the ecology of New England’s Great River.  The osprey, the swallows and the egrets may be gone, but in their place now are mergansers, goldeneyes, and the highlight – bald eagles.  These once rare, majestic birds can be seen fishing along the unfrozen lower Connecticut River, a testament to one of the greatest environmental recoveries of the last half century.  To highlight these winter wonders, Connecticut River Museum (CRM) has planned a range of programs and activities.

Connecticut River Museum is happy to again partner with Connecticut River Expeditions to offer Winter Wildlife Eagle Cruises in February and March.  These popular trips offer visitors a chance to get out on the River in winter to see eagles, as well as other winter species that visit the estuary such as harbor seals.

This seal is relaxing on the Connecticut River ice. Photo by Bill Yule.

Cruises aboard the environmentally friendly R/V RiverQuest provide passengers with a comfortable, heated cabin supplied with hot coffee and tea, as well as binoculars to aid in spotting and narration from a staff naturalist.  These cruises depart Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at various times in the morning and early afternoon, and are $42 per passenger.  Museum members get 10 percent off and group rates are available.

In addition, the Museum will offer its annual Eagles of Essex exhibit, which offers a wealth of information about bald eagles and their return to the lower Connecticut River.  Patrons can try their hand at building an eagle nest, and marvel at life size silhouettes of Eagles and other large raptors, a map showing good shore viewing locations, and other displays.  On the opening day of the season, Saturday, Feb. 3, the exhibit will host Family Activities related to the return of the Eagles from 1 to 4 p.m., free with Museum admission.

On Saturday, Feb. 17 and March 17, award-winning photographer Stanley Kolber returns to CRM to offer his annual Bird Photography Workshop.  Kolber has been photographing birds for years, and takes great pleasure in sharing his experience with aspiring photographers of all levels, through anecdotes, slides, and question and answer.  In addition to helping skills development, his greatest pleasure in giving workshops is the opportunity to kindle and encourage his audience’s interest in the natural world.  He hopes that young people as well as adults will attend the workshops, so that he can impart some of his own enthusiasm to the next generation.  These popular programs are also free with Museum admission.

Species other than Eagles visit our River during the winter months. Photo by Joan Meek.

A Live Birds of Prey Show will be offered on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 4:30 p.m.  CRM will partner with Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation Organization for this annual show, which features a bald eagle and several other species of raptors.  Visitors will be able to get an up close look at the birds while learning more about the lifecycle and ecology of these magnificent animals.  This event will be held at the Centerbrook Meeting House and is free to the public.

For a full listing of event details, visit www.ctrivermuseum.org or call 860-767-8269.  The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is open Tuesday – Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Connecticut River Museum, located in the historic Steamboat Dock building, offers exhibits and programs about the history and environment of the Connecticut River.

For more information, call CRM at 860.767.8269 or RiverQuest at 860.662.0577.

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Join Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber’s Holiday Party Tomorrow

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber hosts its Holiday Party on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Old Lyme Inn.  Join members for a thoroughly festive evening when you will enjoy passed appetizers followed by a three-course dinner and be entertained by the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Select Singers.

The event starts with assorted passed appetizers of Stuffed Mushrooms, Bruschetta, and Cheese and Crackers, accompanied by a cash bar. After a starter of House Salad, the entrées on offer are Statler Chicken, Hanger Steak or Seared Salmon (select one.) All the entrees are served with potatoes, vegetable, rolls and butter. A dessert of Apple Cranberry Crisp with vanilla ice cream followed by coffee or tea, rounds off the meal.

The price is $50 per person. The Chamber is expecting a sold-out event, so reserve your seat(s) promptly.  All reservations with payment must be made by Friday, Dec. 8.

Click on this link to read more and make your reservation.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Named to College Board’s AP Honor Roll; One of Only 447 Districts in US, Canada to Earn Accolade

Access to Advanced Placement (AP) courses and AP exam results at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, pictured above, have earned Lyme-Old Lyme Schools a place on the College Board’s 8th Annual AP Honor Roll.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools are one of only 447 school districts in the U.S. and Canada placed on the 8th Annual Advanced Placement (AP®) District Honor Roll by the College Board.

To be included on the Honor Roll, Lyme-Old Lyme High School was required to increase the number of students participating in AP courses between 2015 and 2017, while also increasing or maintaining the percentage of students earning AP exam scores of 3 or higher. Reaching these goals demonstrates that the district is successfully identifying motivated, academically-prepared students, who are ready for the AP regimen.

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work of our students, staff, and community in making this recognition a reality. This continues to support our strong reputation as a premier school district in Connecticut and the nation as a whole” said Superintendent Ian Neviaser. “The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools are committed to expanding the availability of AP courses among prepared and motivated students of all backgrounds.”

In 2017, more than 4,000 colleges and universities around the world received AP scores for college credit, advanced placement, or both, and/or consideration in the admissions process. Inclusion in the 8th Annual AP District Honor Roll is based on a review of three years of AP data, from 2015 to 2017, looking across 38 AP Exams, including world language and culture. The following criteria were used.

Districts must:

  • Increase participation/access to AP by at least 4 percent in large districts, at least 6 percent in medium districts, and at least 11 percent in small districts;
  • Increase or maintain the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students taking exams and increased or maintained the percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students scoring 3+ on at least one AP Exam; and
  • Improve or maintain performance levels when comparing the 2017 percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher to the 2015 percentage, unless the district has already attained a performance level at which more than 70 percent of its AP students earn a 3 or higher.

The complete 8th Annual AP District Honor Roll can be found at this link. 

The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools provide a private school experience in a public school setting and accept resident students from both Lyme and Old Lyme as well as non-resident students on a tuition basis.  For more information, call 860-434-7238 or visit www.region18.org

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Enjoy ‘The Magic of Christmas’ at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme Through Dec. 31

Father and son enjoy the beautiful Palette Christmas Trees at the ‘Magic of Christmas’ exhibition

The holiday season is always something to celebrate at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn. Visitors of all ages can enjoy The Magic of Christmas from Dec. 1 – 31. For over 10 years, visitors from across the region have admired the painted palettes on Miss Florence’s Artist Trees.

The idea of contemporary artists creating paintings on artists’ palettes is a nod to the Museum’s history as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, and alludes to the door and wall panels the artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago. The palette artists’ styles and subject matter are as varied as the individuals. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, glass, and collage are used to transform the palettes into traditional holiday scenes, delightful landscapes, and more than a few surprises!

This beautiful palette titled Road Less Traveled, 2017 was painted by Beverly Schirmeir of Westbrook, Conn.

Nearly 200 noted artists from across the country have donated works to this one-of-a-kind holiday icon.  “My first visit to the Florence Griswold Museum was profound and literally changed the course of my work, explains artist Stephanie Marzella from Johns Island, SC.  “It was my first awareness of the American tonalist movement. I began to paint what I feel, not what I see. I am forever grateful for the day I walked into that museum. When asked to contribute a palette I was truly honored.”

This design titled My New Christmas Bonnet, 2017 by Denise Flynn of Great Barrington, Mass., is one of this year’s new palettes.

Artist Denise Flynn, who lives in Great Barrington, MA says, “I was born and raised in Connecticut and still retain a great love for my state.  After a trip to Old Sturbridge Village as a ten-year-old child, I was completely taken by New England in its early days. I envision that ‘my lady’ felt very much at home in any Connecticut town in the Victorian era.”

The palettes will be displayed on three trees in the Krieble gallery, along with the current exhibitions,

In the historic rooms of the Griswold House, visitors can see how families celebrated Christmas in 1910, as historically accurate decorations reveal homespun creativity and the use of surprising materials. The 1910 time period was an important era for the Griswold House. It was the heyday of its use as boardinghouse for the artists of the Lyme Art Colony. Christmas was also Miss Florence’s birthday! She was 60 years old in 1910. Three designers will create elaborate Fantasy Trees in the Florence Griswold House.

Many special events and programs are held in conjunction with the Magic of Christmas. Christmastime Teas are among the most popular events. Delectable scones with clotted cream, assorted tea sandwiches, and cookies prepared by Gourmet Gallery, a caterer known for their delicious flavors and impeccable presentations, are accompanied by “Miss Florence’s Tea,” a special blend from Sundial Gardens in Higginum. Miss Florence’s Tea is a special blend of superior Ceylon and China black tea enhanced with a touch of delicate spices. The tea celebrates the camaraderie and creativity of the Lyme Art Colony with each cup. Teas are held December 5 through 23 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3 to 5pm. New this year – two seating on Saturday, 12 to 2pm and 3 to 5pm.

Other events and programs include special events for families, including a visit from Periwinkle the faerie and hands-on crafts for children and adults.

Unique gifts from The Shop and memberships to the Museum make thoughtful holiday and hostess gifts.

The town of Old Lyme and its merchants continue the merriment with “Light Up Old Lyme,” with a schedule of holiday activities in the historic town. Learn more about specials from local shops and restaurants at the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce website, VisitOldLyme.com.

Located on a 13-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year-round Tuesday through Saturday from10am to 5pm and Sunday 1 to 5pm. The Museum is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under. For more information, visit the Museum’s website www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.

Magic of Christmas Activities

New this year, Museum Store Sunday Nov. 26 from 1 to 5pm.
Similar to Small Business Saturdaythis celebration puts the spotlight on mission-related products found in museum stores. On this day, all items are 15 percent off (25 percent for museum members).

Dec.1-24
Daily Specials in the Museum Shop
One day you might save on all books or art supplies, the next, maybe everything sparkly or all snowmen. Check FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for a calendar of items and days.

Dec. 5 – 23
Christmastime Teas
Tuesday through Saturday enjoy an elegant tea of savories and sweets overlooking the wintery splendor of the Lieutenant River. Catered by Gourmet Galley. Guests enjoy a 10 percent discount in The Shop. Reservations required, call 860-434-5542 x 111 for information and reservations.

Sundays, Dec. 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 from 1 to 5pm
Joy in the Making
Each Sunday visitors can experience the joy of making a hand-made card or ornament during the weekly drop-in creative programs. Fun for all ages. This event is free with Museum admission and children 12 and under are free.

Periwinkle will entertain all ages in three shows on Saturday, Dec. 9.

Saturday, Dec. 9, shows at 11:30am12:30pm, and 1:30pm
Periwinkle the Faerie
Join Periwinkle, Peri to her friends, for an afternoon of story and song, with fun hands-on craft in-between shows. A sister to Tinkerbell, Peri is a frost-talent faerie who thrives in the cold of the winter woods. Crafts will have a snowy and frosty theme, perfect-for-gift-giving.

Sunday, Dec. 10 at 2pm
Old Christmas and Winter Traditions of Long Ago
 Join musician Thomas Hooker Hanford for songs and stories.

Thursday, Dec.14, 5:30 to 7pm
Art•Bar Happy Hour

Combine creativity and cocktails! Enjoy an evening making winter paper lanterns. Get friends together or come make new ones! For adults 21+. $25. Register online at FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org

Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2pm
Gallery Talk
Director of Education and Outreach David D.J. Rau speaks about Miss Florence’s Artist Trees in the Gallery. This event is free with Museum admission.

Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 11am to 3pm
Miss Florence’s Birthday Party
Visitors share in this hands-on-creative celebration of Miss Florence’s Christmas Day birthday. Birthday cake and fun celebratory activities to honor the woman who started it all.

Faith Leitner will play her harp in the afternoon on Dec. 31.

Sunday, Dec. 31, from 1 to 5pm
Ode to the New Year: Harp Music by Faith Leitner
The harp was Miss Florence’s favorite instrument. Visitors can see the one her father brought back for her from England in the Florence Griswold House. Accomplished harpist Faith Leitner will perform in the gallery. A beautiful way to end the year! This event is free with Museum admission.

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Letter From Paris: A Six-Month Performance Review for Emmanuel Macron

Nicole Prévost Logan

Six months into his mandate, French President Emmanuel Macron has been working at a dizzying pace to fulfill his campaign promises.

Hubert Vedrine, former minister of foreign affairs and expert in international and strategic affairs, made the following comment : “Emmanuel Macron immediately embodied the stature of a chief of State. ”

“The French people are impossible to reform”, said Macron during his campaign.  This is why he set out not to reform but to transform France from top to bottom.  First he brought “parity” men/women into the government. 

The “moralization” of the two legislative chambers was his second objective, which meant bringing an end to the opaque system of financial privileges long enjoyed by the deputies.  Like a breath of fresh air, the professional politicians who, since the beginning of the fifth Republic, had been playing musical chairs, faded away .They were replaced by influential members of the civil society, without any political experience.

Emmanuel Macron

As a rule, the French do not really like to work during the summer.  Breaking with that tradition, Macron spent four months talking with the trade unions.  He invited – separately – the leaders of the different groups (CGT, FO, CFDT)  in order to hear their demands and make his own proposals.

The result was amazing.

The loud manifs (street demonstrations), which traditionally are the main tool of the trade unions, rapidly run out of steam.   On the basis of the summer negotiations, changes in the labor code were formulated into executive orders before becoming law.

Macron used the same strategy – divide and conquer – to defuse the revolt of the mayors. 

There are 36,000 municipalities in France.  Some of the communes are tiny with as few as 200 inhabitants, and feel unfairly treated as compared to the large and wealthy urban centers like Paris, Lyons or Marseille. When Macron announced he would drastically slash down the dotations (subsidies) made by the State, the local officials went up in arms. 

What did Macron do? 

He invited 1,500 mayors to the Elysée Palace and developed his plan to help the small communes .

Thanks to his work experience in the financial and business world, he focused on a crucial economic problem: the cost of French labor is not competitive enough. The main reason?  The cost of labor is bloated by the inclusion of “social charges.” Macron plans to have the entire population share the burden by paying a general tax.  The other pillar of his financial program is to stop demonizing capital income by reducing the tax to a flat rate of 30 percent  – a win-win system to encourage the French population to invest.

Emmanuel Macron has been described as having a velvet smile contrasting with the steely expression of his blue eyes. From the youthful, exuberant attitude he projected during the electoral campaign, he has evolved into the image of an authoritarian leader. He delegates the day-to-day running of the country to his prime minister Edouard Philippe, who is doing his job efficiently and with discretion.  This leaves Macron time to address the big picture, particularly regarding the new place of France on the world stage.

On Sept. 26, in a major speech at the Sorbonne, Macron showed his unwavering ‘Europhile’ vision. He proposes a ‘re-invention’ of Europe with action led by countries willing to make changes. To ensure the future of the Eurozone, he proposes a single budget, a ‘Super Minister’ of economy and the creation of a European IMF. He wants a “protective Europe” in relation to workers and consumers. He believes strongly in giving a central role to culture in defining the European identity.

During his visit to Abu Dhabi for the inauguration of the new Louvre museum on Nov. 8, Macron met with “MBS” (Saudi Arabia prince Mohammed Ben Salmane ) and with “MBZ” (Abu Dhabi crown prince, Mohammed Bin Zayed)  A feverish round of diplomacy took place in which the president succeeded to  “exfiltrate” the Sunni Lebanese minister Saad Hariri from Saudi Arabia and acted as a mediator in the growing fracture of the Persian Gulf.

On Nov. 28,  after a two-hour speech to 800 students of the Ouagadougou University, in Burkina Faso, the Q and A session turned into an hilarious exchange. “Can you help us fix the frequent power outages on the campus?” asked a student. “But this is not my responsibility,” Macron answered, “Ask your president to deal with this problem.” The reaction of his audience – was at first a roar of laughter then deafening applause. A symbolic detail of the Macron’s visit to Africa was that he was accompanied on his trip by leaders of recent  start-ups instead of the CEOs of large companies such as Areva or Total.

The three-day visit to Africa in late November was an opportunity for the French president to break, not only with the colonial era, but also with the neo-colonial era of Françafrique launched by General de Gaulle in 1960.  At a summit meeting held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where the discussions at the summit meeting dealt mostly with the immigration crisis, Macron initiated a partnership whereby Europeans and Africans should share responsibilities.  Macron did not mince words when he told his audience : “The passeurs (smugglers) are not European, my friends , they are African.”

At a time when Angela Merkel is vacillating and Brexit is looming, the role of Emmanuel Macron in Europe is crucial. 

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

Nicole Prévost Logan

About 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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Inaugural Men’s Shopping Night to be Held Tonight in Chester

The first annual men’s shopping night when all the downtown businesses will be open until 8 p.m. offering refreshments, unique presents to give, wish lists and gift wrapping will be Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Participating merchants will have wish lists of gifts the special people on shoppers’ lists have already filled out on previous visits making selection a snap.

At Perfect Pear, homemade mini pretzels and beer will be served and a free wood-handled knife given with every purchase of $50 or more.

At Lori Warner’s, bourbon and caramels will be served and at French Hen, there will be a scotch tasting by Chester Package Store and pigs in the blanket served.

Meatballs, beer and wine will be offered at Maple and Main Gallery while Lark will have a beer tasting by Chester Bottle Shop, homemade salsa and chip and wrapped chocolates for stocking gifts.

Caryn Davis will sign copies of her book, “A Connecticut Christmas: Celebrating the Holiday in Classic New England Style,’’ at Leif Nilsson’s Gallery.

The Pattaconk is offering $1 off your first beverage and half price appetizers for all shoppers Wednesday night.

Also participating with refreshments, wish lists and gift wrapping: Black Kat, Ruba Ruba and Dina Varano.

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Old Lyme Fire Department Holds Toy & Giving Drive Today

The Old Lyme Fire Department (OLFD) is holding a Toy and Giving Drive on Sunday, Dec. 10, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Old Lyme firefighters will be collecting monetary donations, food and toys at both the Lyme St. Fire Department and on Halls Rd. near Big Y.

All donations will be distributed to Lyme and Old Lyme families in need.  This event is sponsored by OLFD with assistance from the Old Lyme Police Department and Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB.)

Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau wishes to thank their friends in the OLFD for supporting our youth and families during the holiday season and throughout the year.

To learn more about the Holiday Giving Program, visit the LYSB website at www.lysb.org

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‘Con Brio’ Presents its Christmas Concert in Old Lyme This Afternoon

Danielle Munsell Howard is the soprano at the Con Brio Christmas Concerts this weekend.

Con Brio presents two performances of its acclaimed Christmas Concert this weekend on Saturday evening, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m., both at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme.

Imagine sitting in the center of the bright, high-ceilinged space of Christ the King Church in Old Lyme. The music begins. First from behind you. Then to your left, your right, up in front. It is surround-sound live – provided by the voices of the Con Brio Choral Society arrayed around the great space.

As each of 19 – yes, nineteen! –  parts begin to sing, the sound moves from place to place, the voices echoing one another, harmonizing and weaving a musical fabric that envelopes you.

It’s not like any other Christmas concert you have ever attended … unless you have been to one of Con Brio’s Christmas Concerts before. Attend one of this year’s concerts and experience a musical treat to calm your mind and move you into the Christmas spirit.

Under the baton of Dr. Stephen D. Bruce, Con Brio will perform with the professional 31-piece Con Brio Festival Orchestra, and soprano soloist Danielle Munsell Howard, acclaimed by Opera News Online for her “bright, pretty timbre and remarkable facility.”

Con Brio has sung many Magnificats over the years but Rutter’s setting manages to maintain the traditional approach to the well-known text while infusing it with lush contemporary harmonies and textures. Soloist Danielle Munsell Howard, has a voice well-suited to expressing the wonderment of Mary. The choral movements range from the delicacy of Esurientes (The poor) through the power of Fecit potentiam (He has shown strength) to the thrill of the Gloria Patri.

Stunning is the word often used to describe Morten Lauridsen’s Sure on This Shining Night. Its glistening harmonies and melodies so clearly express poet James Agee’s text and the magic of a December night. In 2007, two years after this piece was composed, President George W. Bush awarded Dr. Lauridsen the National Medal of the Arts, the highest artistic award in the United States.

Two pieces will be sung in the round—now a Con Brio tradition. The chorus loves to take advantage of the spacious and acoustically exceptional sanctuary of Christ the King Church. First will be the a cappella, eight-part, antiphonal motet, In Dulci Jubilo, by 15th century composer Michael Praetorious. That will be followed by the 19-voice Buccinate (Blow the trumpet), by Giovanni Gabrieli.

Other pieces include Fum Fum Fum in a playful arrangement by Mack Wilberg; Pietro Yon’s familiar Gesu Bambino which will feature the soprano soloist; Still, Still, Still in a special arrangement for chorus and harp; perennial favorite Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose); Hodie Christus natus est (Today Christ is born) is one of the greatest renaissance motets; and Claude Debussy’s spritely and expressive Yver, vous n’estes qu’un villain (Winter, you are nothing but a villain).

Also, Con Brio will perform a rousing arrangement of the famous spiritual, Go Where I Send Thee. The concert will close with Stephen Mager’s wonderful arrangement of Ding Dong Merrily on High, which starts with a simple rendition of the familiar melody, accompanied by winds, and slowly transforms it into a thrilling finale featuring the full orchestra.

As always, each Christmas concert will include carols for audience participation.

Con Brio, over 70 voices strong, is the Shoreline’s auditioned chorus, known for the variety of its repertoire, and the strength of its programming and musical skills. Since it was founded in 1997, Con Brio has performed regularly to a growing and loyal local audience. Singers hail from more than 15 towns: from East Haven to Mystic and from Old Saybrook to Moodus. The choir has made six overseas concert tours, with the most recent to Portugal and Spain in 2016. The seventh will be to Slovenia and Croatia in May/June 2018.

Follow Con Brio on Facebook @conbriochoral or visit www.conbrio.org

Tickets are $30 each, $15 for students. Purchase them in advance online; major credit cards are accepted.

For more information, call 860-526-5399.

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Join an Afternoon Hike in Hartman Park With Lyme Land Trust Today

Lyme Land Trust hosts a Sunday Afternoon Hike, Dec. 10, along the Orange Heritage Trail in Hartman Park, Lyme.

Join Trust members from 1:30 to 3:30-ish p.m. on a walk into the past to visit historical ruins, including the mysterious three chimneys. Learn about the community that lived there up until 150 years ago. Wendolyn Hill, Lyme Land Trust board member, and Lyme Open Space Coordinator, will lead the hike.

The Orange Trail is a beautiful path through the woods which leads to several remnants of historical structures. There are some rocky areas and moderate hill climbs. The entire walk is about three miles long with options for short cuts. There will be a snack break halfway through. Bring water or something to drink.

Meet at the Hartman Park Entrance Parking Lot on Gungy Road in Lyme.

Registration is appreciated at openspace@townlyme.org

Rain cancels. Check for updates at http://www.lymelandtrust.org/event/post-thanksgiving-hike-hartman-park-orange-heritagetrail/

The parking lot is on Gungy Road about 1.5 miles north of the four-way stop signs at the intersection of Beaverbrook Rd., Grassy Hill Rd., and Gungy Rd.

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Child & Family Hosts Essex Holiday House Tour Today

File photo of a beautifully decorated home from the 2015 tour.

This Saturday, Dec. 9, will highlight a memorable stroll through Essex, one of New England’s most picturesque towns, for its 14th biennial holiday house tour.  Created and organized by the Essex Auxiliary of the Child & Family Agency of Southeastern CT, the tour consists of seven distinctive private homes beautifully decorated for the holidays, the Essex Historical Society properties, and the Connecticut River Museum with Steve Cryan’s special holiday train show.  The Essex Art Association will also offer free chili.

Home base for the tour will be the Essex Town Hall at 29 West Avenue, where tickets may be purchased or picked up, and where there will be a large Boutique with vendors offering clothing, jewelry, gifts, home décor items, holiday arrangements and other alluring items.  Several drawings for donations by the vendors will be held here at the end of the day, and, during the day, Santa’s Café will offer snacks and refreshments.  The Boutique will be open from 9:30 to 5:00, and admission is free.

Tickets for the tour are $30 in advance, $35 the day of the tour.  Checks payable to Child & Family Agency may be sent to:  Essex Holiday House Tour, 168 River Road, Essex, CT 06426.

Tickets are also available in advance at www.childandfamilyagency.org; at the Griswold Inn Store, One North Main, and Walker Loden in Essex; Centerbrook Cheese Shop in Centerbrook; Saybrook Country Barn in Old Saybrook; Lark in Chester; Celebrations in Deep River; Bowerbird in Old Lyme; Walker Loden in Madison and New Haven; and the Child & Family Agency in New London, (806)443-2896, ext. 1403.

All proceeds from the tour go to funding Child & Family Agency’s programs addressing the mental health, educational, and healthcare needs of children and their families to promote the well-being and development of all children.

Services are offered from birth through high school in southeastern Connecticut and include child guidance, early childhood development, and after-school academic, recreational, and artistic activities.  Adult services include parenting education as well as prevention training for scholars and professional practitioners.  Healthcare services address both physical and mental health issues facing children.

Office-based, community-based, and home-based mental health services are available from New Haven to Stonington, and 14 school-based health centers provide healthcare options to children in Waterford, New London, Groton, Norwich, and Stonington. Child Guidance centers are based in Essex, New London, and Groton.

Last year, with a professional staff of more than 190, Child & Family provided services to over 18,000 children and their families in 79 towns in New Haven, Middlesex, and New London Counties.

In other words, your enjoyment of the Essex Holiday House Tour will benefit thousands of children in our neighborhoods, so come and help us celebrate the holidays by exploring lovely historic homes, including a mansion, in a picture-book setting!

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Partnership Co-Op Now Open Weekends at Old Saybrook Main St. Store

Gifts hand-crafted by the Lakota Indians will be on sale at the Partnership Cooperative.

The Partnership Co-Op hosts its Annual Holiday Sale from Thursday, Dec. 7, through Sunday, Dec. 17.  The Partnership Co-op features Native American crafts, Haitian art and Palestinian goods from respectively Tribal Crafts, Inc. featuring Lakota art and crafts, the Crosby Fund for Haitian Education and the Tree of Life Educational Fund.

Join the organizers for the Grand Opening Reception on Thursday, Dec. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. Wine, snacks and a raffle will be offered at the Co-op’s store in the former Southern Exposure building located between Cartier Optical and Nail Spa at 264 Main Street in Old Saybrook.

Assorted Lakota crafts and jewelry

Storefront hours are as follows:
Opening Reception Thursday, Dec. 7: 6 to 8 p.m.
Fridays, Dec.8 & 15: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturdays, Dec. 9 & 16: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sundays, Dec. 10 & 17: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Partnership Co-operative is a collection of several non-profit organizations based out of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. All proceeds are returned to the artisans of the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, participating Haitian artists and the Tree of Life Educational Fund.

To learn more about this collective of non-profits, visit these websites:

Tribal Crafts, Inc. featuring Lakota art and crafts: www.tribalcrafts.org
The Crosby Fund for Haitian Education: www.crosbyfund.org
Tree of Life Educational Fund: www.tolef.org

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Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation Hosts Screening of Warren Miller’s ‘Line of Descent’ Tonight


The Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation is hosting a viewing of the Warren Miller ski film, Line of Descent, on Thursday, Dec. 7,  at 7 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School auditorium. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at this link or on the Foundation’s website at lolef.org.

Local sponsors include: Action Sports of Old Saybrook, Black Hall Outfitters of Old Lyme, Denali of Old Saybrook and Morrissey Cycle of Old Lyme.

A free lift ticket to Sugarbush will be available with each ticket sold. Prize drawings will be held at intermission.

Come enjoy a fun winter evening with the family and at the same time support local educational opportunities for both students and adults in Lyme and Old Lyme.

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