April 19, 2018

Walk Our Glacial Past: Join an Earth Day Celebratory Talk-and-Walk with Lyme Land Trust, Saturday

On Saturday, April 21, Anthony Irving, Lyme Land Trust board member, Chairman of the Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Coordinating Committee, and well-known ecologist, will lead a talk-and-walk at the new 125-acre parcel on Keeney Road in Lyme that was acquired by the State of Connecticut in 2017.  The preserved land has been incorporated into the existing 1,925-acre Nehantic State Forest to the south.

The property has a unique topography, a product of glacial retreat from about 15,000 years ago. Some of the walk will be off-trail.

The walk, which starts at 9:30 a.m., is family-friendly and will take about two hours. Check lymelandtrust.org for updates.

The rain date is Saturday, April 28, at 9:30 am

Register to learn parking locationat openspace@townlyme.org.

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Lyme Land Trust Celebrates Earth Day with Family Fun Day in Banningwood Preserve, Sunday

The Banningwood Preserve is the site of the Lyme Land Trust’s ‘Family Fun Day’ on Sunday.

Come celebrate Earth Day during this community event on Sunday, April 22, from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. at Banningwood Preserve at 19 Town St. in Lyme. Just a short half-mile walk from the parking area will bring you to Diana’s Field and a host of family-friendly activities.

At 11:15 a.m. A Place Called Hope raptor rescue will present a “Birds of Prey” live bird presentation.

Beginning at 12:30 p.m., local biologist Jim Arrigoni will lead an ecology walk from the field, and Pat Young of the Eight Mile River Wild and Scenic Coordinating Committee will host a Bug Discovery down at Roaring Brook.

Lyme Park and Recreation will be in the field all day with arts and crafts, and games in the field.

Pack a picnic and bring a blanket. Follow the Lyme Land Trust’s Facebook and Instagram for updates and cancellations.  For further information, visit Lymelandtrust.org or email stewardship@lymelandtrust.org.

The rain date for this event is Sunday, April 29, at 11 a.m.

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9 Town Transit Faces Bus Cuts, Fare Increases; First Public Hearings to be Held May 1 in Deep River

9 Town Transit (9TT) is preparing for a 15 percent reduction of state funding beginning July 1, 2018 with a proposal of service cuts and fare increases.  The agency says the reductions are due to the failure of revenue into the state’s Special Transportation Fund to keep up with expenses.

Under the proposal, bus fares would rise from $1.75 to $2 on bus routes and to $4 on Dial-A-Ride.  This would be the second fare increase in 18 months.

The agency is also proposing multiple service reductions.  They include:

  • Elimination of the senior fare subsidy, which would result in seniors paying a fare on all services for the first time in 37 years.
  • Reducing service on Rte. 2 Riverside, which provides service between Chester and Old Saybrook, by eight hours per weekday.
  • Elimination of all Saturday service.
  • Reducing service on Rte. 1 Shoreline Shuttle by three hours per day (7:30 a.m. trip leaving Old Saybrook, 9 a.m. leaving Madison).

9TT is holding the following hearings:

May 1, at 2 p.m. at Deep River Town Hall, 174 Main St, Deep River, CT;
May 2, at 9 a.m. at Clinton Town Hall Green Room, 54 E Main St, Clinton, CT;
May 3, at 5 p.m. at Mulvey Municipal Center (Multi-Media Room), 866 Boston Post Rd, Westbrook, CT regarding the proposed service changes.

Written statements concerning the proposal may be submitted either at the hearing, by email to info@estuarytransit.org or mail.

9 Town Transit is encouraging transit users and supporters to let their state representative and senator know how important 9 Town Transit, Shoreline East or other public transit services are to them.

More information about the possible service reductions and ways to help prevent the funding cuts can be found at www.9towntransit.com/fundtransit.

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Community Barn Raising Planned Today in Lyme


There will be a community barn raising from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today (Saturday) at the corner of Burr Rd. and Bill Hill Rd. in Lyme, on the site where a previous older barn was demolished this past week.

The new barn’s foundations are taking shape.

Willing hands of all ages are welcome.

We do not have much information on the event at this time.If you do, please send it along to ediotr@lymeline.com asap!

Thanks!

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AAUW Hosts Fundraising Luncheon Today Featuring Best-Selling Authors Brunonia Barry, Randy Susan Meyers

The Lower Connecticut Valley branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will sponsor a luncheon at the Saybrook Point Inn on Saturday, April 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Randy Susan Meyers, author of the bestseller, The Widow of Wall Street, and Brunonia Barry, author of the novels The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal, will discuss their books and their writing process.

Tickets are $50 and help to provide scholarships for local women pursuing higher education. There will also be silent and chance auctions.

For more information, visit http://lowerctvalley-ct.aauw.net.

If interested in attending, call Sara Keaney at 860-395-4298.

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SECWAC Hosts Presentation in Old Lyme This Evening on ‘Northeast Asia at the Crossroads?’

Prof. Alexis Dudden, PhD

On Thursday, April 12, the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council presents Professor of History at the University of Connecticut Alexis Dudden, PhD, and who will speak on Northeast Asia at the Crossroads?  

A reception starts at 5:30 p.m.in Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School and the presentation begins at 6 p.m.

Dudden’s topic will consider today’s fluid and complex situation in Northeast Asia with a special emphasis on Korea.

Following the presentation, join the speaker, guests, and fellow members for a meal at Old Lyme Country Club. The cost is $35 per person.

Call 860-912-5718 or email info@secwac.org to make your reservation (vegetarian option available if reserved in advance). Checks payable to SECWAC or credit card payment are accepted before the meeting by Courtney Assad.

Alexis Dudden is a Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. She holds a BA (magna cum laude) from Columbia University, and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago. She is the author of several books and academic articles on Japan and Korea. She is currently writing a book about Japan’s territorial disputes and the changing meaning of islands in international law.

In a WNPR interview in 2017, Dr. Dudden commented that part of the North Korean leadership’s strategy for survival goes back to the end of the Soviet Union, and, specifically to the execution of the Romanian leader Nicolau Ceaucescu, as well as to the Bush “Axis of Evil” speech in 2002, which prompted the Kim regime to accelerate the development of nuclear technology.

How this meshes with the rise of China and the status of Japan is captured in her interview in The Diplomat in 2015, when she commented, “Today we see the return of the more traditional world order in East Asia, one that is increasingly focused around China. The dominance of Japan that shaped the 20th century is fading and the impact of the ‘Western powers’ is less critical, at least in the popular imagination.”

The presentation is a part of the SECWAC Speaker Series. SECWAC meetings are free to members (half-year membership February-June is $37.50/year; $12.50/year for young professionals under 35). Walk-ins are $20 for the general public (non-members; the $20 cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership). SECWAC membership is free for area college and high school students.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond. SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, nonadvocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.

Learn more at secwac.org.

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Bill to Study State Employee Compensation Moves to Senate

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares announced that the legislature’s Appropriations Committee has approved a bill he requested to study the long-term financial impact of state employees’ and elected officials’ pay and benefit compensation on the state. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“Connecticut has been in a state of fiscal crisis for the last several years with budget deficit after budget deficit. This is despite the two largest tax increases in the state’s history,” Sen. Linares said. “We have to look at the state’s fixed costs and why they have gotten so far out of control.”

Sen. Linares said a review of state employee and elected officials compensation could examine ways to save money when the current state employee contract ends in 2027.

“I believe one area that should be considered is capping pension payout at $100,000 a year. The number of retirees receiving pension payments in excess of $100,000 has been growing at an unsustainable rate,” he said. “What do we tell the rank-and-file employees receiving smaller pensions when the pension fund is drained by retirees receiving six-figure payments? We have to make sure the pension plan stays solvent for all retirees.”

Currently, more than 1,400 retirees collect annual pensions in excess of $100,000, Sen. Linares said. The highest paid retiree received more than $300,000 a year.

“Retirement payouts like this were unheard of in the private sector even before most businesses moved away from pensions. Now employees and employers contribute to 401K-type plans,” he said. “We also have to remember that pensions are not the only form of retirement income state retirees receive. They contributed to and can collect Social Security.”

Sen. Linares said he also believes the lowering the expected return on investment in the fund from 8percent to 6 percent should be considered. The 10-year return for the 41 largest state pension funds was 6.59 percent.

“State employees, like their private sector counterparts, work hard to earn the paychecks they receive. We need to ensure that each of them receives the retirement funding they earn, by making sure the pension fund does not run dry due to the excessive pensions of a few,” he said. “I believe a comprehensive review of benefits that includes a $100,000 cap on pensions after 2027 will do that.”

Sen. Linares represents the community of Lyme as well as those of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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HOPE Partnership Hosts FRIENDraiser Tomorrow at Old Lyme Country Club, All Welcome

On Wednesday, April 11, HOPE Partnership will be hosting their annual “FRIEND raiser” at the Old Lyme Country Club in Old Lyme, CT.  This event will be held from 5 until 7 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and wine, and is free to all who wish to attend.

HOPE is inviting all interested members of the community to join them and learn about HOPE’s mission to develop affordable housing options along the shoreline.

Executive Director, Lauren Ashe noted, ”We are very excited to host this event at the Old Lyme Country Club and share HOPE’s progress in making affordable housing options a reality for members of our community.   The need for affordable homes has impacted many of neighbors who may be working full time but unable to make ends meet or they may be young adults who wish to stay or return to the area where they grew up.  This evening is about friendship, partnership and community, while enjoying a glass of wine and refreshments.”

Anyone interested in attending can RSVP to Loretta@HOPE-CT.org or by calling 860-388-9513.

Founded in April 2004, HOPE Partnership is a non-profit organization committed to advocating and developing affordable housing opportunities to support families living and working in southern Middlesex County and surrounding towns.  HOPE’s purpose is to advocate for and create high-quality rental housing targeted to people earning between 50 and 80 percent of the local median income.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber Hosts Dinner Meeting at Stella’s Tonight, MCCD Members are Guest Speakers

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce holds its next Monthly Business Meeting on Tuesday, April 10, with cocktails and appetizers starting at 6 p.m. at Stella’s on Boston Post Rd. in Old Lyme. A three-course meal will begin at 7 p.m

It is expected to be a great evening allowing members and friends of the Chamber to network with business friends and colleagues, as well as hear the latest Chamber news.

Guest speakers will be members of the Mentoring Corps of Community Development (MCCD), who will give an overview of their work to date and plans for the future.  This is an important and influential group in The Lymes — come and find out what they do!

All are welcome. The cost for dinner per person is $25.00 and reservations are required by noon on Tuesday.

For more information, visit the Chamber’s website at VisitOldLyme.com

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Prep Your Mind, Body for Springtime This Afternoon at Lyme Public Hall

Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash

On Sunday, April 8, at 2 p.m., the Lyme Public Hall Association will host Maryla Radziszewski for a program on changing lifestyles for the changing season.  Learn how to prepare yourself for garden chores with simple exercises, how to detox your body with a delicious diet, and how to practice mindfulness in nature.

Radziszewski is a licensed massage therapist, personal trainer and health coach. She is a faculty member at the CT School of Massage Therapy and the owner of MoreFit, a boutique health center in East Haddam.

The program is free and open to the public.

The Lyme Public Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Road (Route 156) in Lyme, Conn.  For  more information, visit www.lymepublichall.org or call 860 526-8886.

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Quodlibet Ensemble Plays Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ This Afternoon in Final Essex Winter Series of Season

The Quodlibet Ensemble who will play the final Essex Winter Series concert for 2018.

ESSEX — Essex Winter Series closes its 2018 season on Sunday, April 8, with the Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert featuring a 10-member string chamber orchestra, the Quodlibet Ensemble, performing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, among other works.

The concert takes place on April 8, at 3 p.m. at Valley Regional High School, 256 Kelsey Hill Road, Deep River. Tickets are $35 and $5 for students and may be purchased by visiting www.essexwinterseries.com or calling 860-272-4572.

The New York City-based Quodlibet Ensemble is comprised of young, dynamic artists who present a range of music from the Baroque to the modern day. The players hold degrees from the Yale School of Music, Curtis Institute, Juilliard, New England Conservatory, and Harvard University, among others.

Currently they pursue careers as performing artists in both solo and prominent chamber ensembles ranging from early music group The Sebastians, to contemporary ensemble New Morse Code, to the Amphion String Quartet. A few of the players also serve as faculty at universities such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Yale School of Music, and Connecticut College.

In addition to The Four Seasons, the April 8 program will include music by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and an original piece by Nathan Schram, one of the Ensemble’s members.

Three of the players will take part in Essex Winter Series’ outreach residency and will travel throughout the area conducting workshops, master classes, and special performances in schools and community settings from April 9 through 11.

Essex Winter Series is not-for-profit arts organization and is generously sponsored by The Clark Group, Essex Meadows, Essex Savings Bank, Guilford Savings Bank, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP LLC, Tower Laboratories, and BrandTech Scientific.

Media sponsor is WSHU Public Radio and outreach activities are supported by the Community Foundation of Middlesex County and donors to the Fenton Brown Circle.

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CANCELLED: A Night of Community Music at Lyme Public Hall, April 13

Co-founder of MusicNow Foundation Ramblin’ Dan Stevens will likely be playing some tunes at the Community Music event at Lyme Public Hall.

04/07: We have been asked to advise our readers that this event has been cancelled.

The Lyme Public Hall Association in conjunction with the MusicNow Foundation invites you to join them on Friday, April 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Lyme Public Hall for a night of music performed by our friends, family and neighbors in celebration of our community and all it has to offer.

This is a wonderful opportunity to perform in an inviting, friendly and supportive environment while having the opportunity to meet other performers and even form collaborative relationships. If you are not a performer it will simply be a great night of local talent playing great music.

Participants of all ages are encouraged to sign-up by contacting David Gregoire of the MusicNow Foundation at davidbgregoire@outlook.com  or Leslie Lewis at llewis81051@gmail.com so we can accommodate everyone and have the night run as smoothly as possible.

This event is free and complementary refreshments will be served.

The Lyme Public Hall Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation of Lyme’s history, culture, and community through the preservation and use of the historic hall, its archives and historical programs.

The MusicNow Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Old Lyme, CT dedicated to the support of music to engage, enrich, and inspire emerging artists through workshop programming, performance opportunities and musical mentorships nurturing creative and artistic growth in our communities and making music accessible to all.

The Lyme Public Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Road (Route 156) in Lyme, Conn.  For more information, visit www.lymepublichall.org or call 860-526-8886.

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Lyme-Old Lyme HS Class of 2021 Hosts Bulb Fundraiser, Open to the Community

Order this beautiful freesia mix and support thr LOLHS Class of 2021.

The Freshman Class of Lyme-Old Lyme High School is fundraising with Dutch Mill Bulbs this spring. All items are guaranteed to grow and bloom, and the Class earns 50 percent profit on every sale.

Readers can order from one of the members of the freshmen class or make their selections online.

To order online, visit https://groups.dutchmillbulbs.com/shop/?affiliates=lolhs2021springbulbs 

Include your payment billing and shipping information, and enter Class of 2021 at Lyme-Old Lyme High School in the Group Name.

Items you select will be sent directly to the shipping address you provide. All orders are shipped after April 1, and can only be shipped to the contiguous United States.

Share this link with friends and family, and on social media.

Place your order by April 13 for check or in person orders, and April 30 for online orders.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools BOE Hosts Public Hearing on 2018-19 Budget

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser

The Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education hosts a public hearing on the 2018-19 proposed schools budget at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 2, in the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School oat 49, Lyme St.

The proposed budget for the 2018-19 school year, which the board of education approved in February, is $34,298,528 representing a 1.97 percent increase over the current year.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser and LOL Schools Board of Education Chair Mimi Roche stated in the March Focus on Education newsletter to the community that, “The majority of this budget increase is being driven by the cost of employee health insurance,” adding, ” Unfortunately, our renewal rates for this year are expected to be between 15-18 percent,” but noting, “Accordingly, we have developed a budget that will allow for this increase 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 explained, “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 detailed in the newsletter, namely, gaining commission approvals for an artificial turf field, replacing the Center School gymnasium floor and Mile Creek fuel oil tank.  Similarly, two program improvements are noted as follows: Next Generation Science Standards curricular support/training and technology infrastructure advancements.

All members of the public are invited to attend this forum; there will be a Q & A session after the presentation.

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

The expected date for the budget referendum is Tuesday, May 8, with voting taking place in Lyme and Old Lyme from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lyme Town Hall and Cross Lane Firehouse respectively.

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Lyme Public Hall, Town of Lyme Celebrate Earth Day with Town-wide Clean Up Through April 22

The Lyme Public Hall Association and the Town of Lyme are sponsoring a town-wide roadside clean-up April 1 through 22 in celebration of Earth Day.  Plastic trash bags will be available free to the public at the Hadlyme Country Store at the corner of Ferry Road and Rte. 82.  Bags can also be obtained at the Reynolds Store at 254 Hamburg Road (Route 156) in Lyme, the Lyme Public Library, and the Lyme Town Hall.

Residents are invited to collect litter that has accumulated along the roads over the winter months. The Town of Lyme will pick up bags left along the road side. Trash bags will be available after April 1.

For more information visit lymepublichall.org or email wdenow@comcast.com.

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Tickets on Sale Now for Community Music School’s 35th Anniversary Gala, April 27

Making plans for this year’s 35th anniversary CMS gala are, from left to right, CMS Music Director Tom Briggs, CMS Trustee and Gala Sponsor Bruce Lawrence of Bogaert Construction, CMS Trustee and Gala Sponsor Jennifer Bauman of The Bauman Family Foundation, and CMS Executive Director Abigail Nickell.

Community Music School’s (CMS) largest annual fundraiser is the CMS Gala and this year the organization is  celebrating its 35th anniversary with For the Love of Music! The event takes place on Friday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m. in Deep River at The Lace Factory and includes fabulous musical entertainment provided by CMS faculty and students. Enjoy cocktail jazz and an exquisite dinner show, as well as gourmet food, dancing, silent auction, fine wines and more.

Featured faculty and student performers include Music Director Tom Briggs, Noelle Avena, John Birt, Amy Buckley, Luana Calisman-Yuri, Audrey Estelle, Joni Gage, Silvia Gopalakrishnan, Martha Herrle, Ling-Fei Kang, Barbara Malinsky, Matt McCauley, Kevin O’Neil, Andy Sherwood, and Marty Wirt.

Support of the Community Music School gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with financial need, as well as weekly music education and music therapy services for students with special needs.

For The Love of Music sponsors include The Bauman Family Foundation, Bob’s Discount Furniture, Bogaert Construction, Clark Group, Essex Savings Bank, Essex Financial Services, Grossman Chevrolet Nissan, Guilford Savings Bank, Jackson Lewis, Kitchings & Potter, Maple Lane Farms, Reynold’s Subaru, Ring’s End, Shore Publishing, Thomas Alexa Wealth Management, Tidal Counseling LLC, and Tower Labs LTD.

Early bird tickets for the evening are $125 per person ($65 is tax deductible) by April 13 and $135 thereafter. Event tickets include hors d’oeuvres, gourmet food stations, wine and beer, live music, and dancing. Tickets may be purchased online at community-music-school.org/gala, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling 860-767-0026.

Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 35 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. The CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.  To learn more, visit www.community-music-school.org or call (860)-767-0026.

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LYSB Hosts Summer Camp Fair Today

Kids_from_Camp_FlyerLymes’ Youth Service Bureau presents a Summer Camp and Activities Fair in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Commons, Wednesday, March 28, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

All are welcome and admission is free.

More than 30 local camps will be at the Fair.  There will be opportunities to pick up brochures, meet camp representatives and also, to register for a variety of camps.

Pizza will be available for sale.

Click here to view a full listing of the participating organizations.

For more information, call 860.434.7208 or visit www.lysb.org

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘Mountains of the Mind’ by Robert Macfarlane

Have you ever been mesmerized by a mountain?

I have … Mount Fuji, from the waters of Suruga Wan, Mounts Rainier and Baker from Puget Sound on a cloudless day, and even Mount Kearsarge in central New Hampshire when I actually climbed it with some of our family.

What is it about mountains that seem to entrance our minds?
Robert Macfarlane, a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, gives us a meditation on these heights, an enthralling “mental stimulation that explores why “the unknown is so inflammatory to the imagination.”  And why is it that almost every “prophet” of all our religions has ‘habitually been up mountains … to receive divine counsel”?
What is ‘”the mesmerism of high places”?  He explains: “ … the urge to explore space – to go higher – is innate in the human mind” and “ … the visionary amplitudes of altitude felt like the approximations of divine sight  … the spell of altitude.”
He writes “when we look at a landscape, we do not see what is there, but largely what we think is there … We read landscapes” as interpreted “in the light of our own experience and memory, and that of our shared cultural memory.”  In other words, landscapes are “romanticized into being,” mountains most of all.
“Contemplating the immensities of deep time, you face in a way that is both exquisite and horrifying, the total collapse of your present, compacted to nothingness by the pressures of pasts and futures too extensive to envisage … [plus] the appalling transience of the human body.”
Macfarlane’s chapters explore geology, fear, glaciers, heights, maps, theology, and conclude, inevitably, with Mount Everest and the attempt of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine in 1924. The author himself is also a climber as well as a student of mountains.
He cites John Ruskin with the idea that “risk-taking – scaring yourself – was, provided you survived, a potent means of self-improvement.”
“This is the great shift which has taken place in the history of risk.  Risk has always been taken, but for a long time it was taken with some ulterior purpose in mind: scientific advancement, personnel glory, financial gain.  About two and a half centuries ago, however, fear started to become fashionable for its own sake.  Risk, it was realized, brought its own reward: the sense of physical exhilaration and elation which we would now attribute to the effects of adrenaline.  And so risk-taking – the deliberate inducement of fear — became desirable; became a commodity.”
Macfarlane concludes, “mountains return to us the priceless capacity for wonder.”  He continues, “In ways that are for the most part imperceptible to us, we all bend our lives to fit the templates with which myths and archetypes provide us. We all tell ourselves stories, and bring our futures into line with these stories, however much we cherish the sense of newness, or originality, about our lives.”
Finally, “at bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent convictions – so easy to lapse into – that the world has been made for humans by humans.”
So, encourage your doubts and go climb a hill!

Felix Kloman

About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year-resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction that explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farms Coffee. His wife, Ann, is also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a bubbling village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visit every summer.

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Madison Senior Men’s Tennis Club Welcomes New Members of Any Skill Level From All Along Shoreline

Dan Janiak and Will Tuthill confirm it was a pleasure to play.   All photos by Peter Pearce.

“Sometimes you’re looking to play perfect tennis but it’s not going to happen all the time and you have to accept it.”   Andy Murray, professional tennis champion

For the men of the Madison Senior Men’s Tennis Organization, the tennis is far from perfect – but that’s not the point. Oh, they may step onto the court feeling sure that today, for just once, it’s all going to come together. But the reality of slower reflexes and an aging body’s aches and pains quickly snaps them back to reality.  The players all accept their shortcomings and can even joke about them; it’s the camaraderie that matters.

For men 60 years or older, the Madison Senior Men’s Tennis group is a great retirement activity and a perfect way to spend two to three mornings a week.  You’ll get exercise, competition, laughter, friendship, caring, and more.

Dave Cassano puts away a volley.

But you don’t have to be retired …

Some players adjust their work schedules to fit in tennis. Along the way, you just may be stimulated by seeing guys in their 80s who can still get around the court and hit winners. As player Greg Fahey said, “I happen to be one of the younger members of the group … all of the members are an inspiration in both physical and mental condition … in the spirit they demonstrate and the example they provide.”

The league is now recruiting new players for both the upcoming summer season as well as next winter’s. There’s no need to worry about your skill level. As octogenarian Tom Dolan told one player who was feeling dejected by his poor play, “Don’t worry about it. Think about the alternative; you could be horizontal.”

Art Paquette hits a forehand while his partner John Kraska watches the play closely.

Players range from beginners to seasoned veterans and span in age from 60 to 88. The league’s steering committee divides them into three groups based on ability, the goal being to slot players into the level in which they are likely to find comfortable, enjoyable play. A wide geographic area is represented, stretching from Hamden and New Haven up to Cromwell and down to Old Lyme.

Matches are all doubles, with partners being agreed upon by the foursome at the start of the match. You will be in a different foursome every match. With the emphasis on recreation and friendship, no standings are kept.

Matches are scheduled year-round, with the summer season running from May through early October and the winter season from October through April. Summer season is outdoors at public and private courts in the Madison/Guilford area; winter season is played indoors at the Madison Racquet and Swim Club. You may choose to play one, two or three days a week.

Article author Tom Soboleski runs down a forehand.

Madison Seniors Tennis is now in its 21st year. It began when a small group of friends, led by John Sadek and Joe Pegnataro of Madison, began playing at Pegnataro’s home court. It now includes more than 70 men and all scheduling is administered through a web-based program.

Whether you’re a high-skilled player or just a beginner, Madison Senior Mens Tennis will happily and comfortably welcome you. “Best thing I’ve ever done,” said Peter Lemley. “I find more often than not, when a player scores a great point, not only his partner, but his opponents will cheer.”  Besides the aforementioned benefits, your ego may get a boost as well. As tennis great John McEnroe has said, “The older I get, the better I used to be.”

If interested in joining, or if you have any questions, the organization can be contacted:

  • By text message or call to: Chris Hill at 203.641.7100, or John Sadek at 203.245.1261

More information is also available on the league’s website at https://sites.google.com/site/mseniortennis/home

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Local AAUW Hosts Luncheon with Nationally-Acclaimed Authors at Saybrook Point Inn, April 14

The Lower Connecticut Valley branch of AAUW (American Association of University Women) will sponsor a luncheon at the Saybrook Point Inn on Saturday, April 14, from 11:30 am to 3 pm. Randy Susan Meyers, author of the bestseller, The Widow of Wall Street, and Brunonia Barry, author of the novels The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal, will discuss their books and their writing process.

Tickets are $50 and help to provide scholarships for local women pursuing higher education. There will also be silent and chance auctions. Reservation forms may be downloaded at http://lowerctvalley-ct.aauw.net. The deadline is April 5.

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