June 21, 2018

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Graduates “A Difficult Class” to Become “A Force of Change for the Future”

The Class of 2018 toss their hats high into the air to celebrate their graduation from Lyme-Old Lyme High School last night.

Under clear blue skies and a shining sun, the 110 members of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2018 were sent off into the world Tuesday evening with pomp, ceremony, hugs, applause, and plenty of good advice to see them through the rest of their lives.

High School Principal James Wygonik focused in his speech on confidence and motivation, giving what he described as, “the top ten keys to building your self-worth.”  Numbers two on his list was, “Don’t go it alone.  Find someone to share in your success.  Accept the help and insight from those around you.  This is especially true when it comes to your parents.” He then quipped, “Other than serving as the ultimate ATM machine, they also have life experience.”

Top of his list centered on being a, “Wildcat for life,” as Wygonik explained to the students, “You are now a member of a large great family.  The people on this stage, your teachers, your classmates, and this community are all Wildcats.”  He told them, “Regardless where your journey takes you, you can count on a one or all of us. We want to celebrate your successes with you.  We also want to pick you up and dust you off after a fall,” concluding, “Remember that you will always have a home at 69 Lyme Street.”

Commencement Speaker Louis Zubek commented that he had written his speech with his 18-month-old son Jackson very much on his mind because, when he plays with Jackson, he finds himself constantly wondering, “What is he going to be like when he grows up?”  Zubek declared that he always ended up hoping that, “17 years from now, he (Jackson) will display all of the characteristics of the Class of 2018,” which included kindheartedness, humor, perseverance, compassion and that, “he’s happy and has a smile on his face,” and is “eager to take on the world.”  Instructing the class of which he has been Class Adviser for four years to, “Laugh, be positive and have fun,” he then asked, “If you’re not having fun, then what’s the point?”

Honor Essayist Hannah Wisner, pictured above, noted, “We have acquired a reputation as a bit of a difficult class,” but added that brought with it a desire, “to challenge the status quo.” She said emphatically, “In today’s world, it’s important to be difficult. Being difficult means not settling for less, and not always just accepting what’s given to you. It means countering the situations you’re presented with. In a world where people struggle to be heard, it means raising your voice and fighting to be heard.”

Wisner concluded, “It is for these reasons that I am proud to be part of a difficult class … Class of 2018, we’ve shown Lyme-Old Lyme High School what a force for change we can be, and now, it’s time to show the rest of the world.”

The Lyme-Old Lyme Combined Choirs under the direction of Kristine Pekar sang an upbeat version of “Lean on me,” which drew hearty applause.

Salutatorian Reed Spitzer reminded his class, “Life is not a straightforward path,” asking rhetorically, “Isn’t it crazy how you start off thinking you will go in one direction and then you end up going in another?” He advised his peers, “When things do not go your way just remember the saying, ‘When one door closes, another one opens.’ Find that new door. I know it can be hard, but you must allow yourself to do it because that is how you fulfill your dreams.”

Spitzer also spoke of the need to seize opportunities, citing his grandfather and Auntie Mame, who used to say, “Life is a buffet, but most people are starving.”  Spitzer admonished his class “not to be like most people,” but rather to “stuff yourself silly at the buffet,” as his grandfather and Auntie Mame would recommend.

Valedictorian Gabriel Stephens-Zumbaum, pictured above, who will be attending Yale University in the fall, described his class as “a group of changers and leaders, who will stop at nothing to ensure that every school system has a safe learning environment for everyone, even if our political views differ,” noting, “This unique sense of community ensures that our school understands the importance of safety and inclusion.”

Stephens-Zumbaum spoke of the need for his classmates to “find your passion,” which in his case, was music to which he had been guided by the school’s band director, Jacob Wilson.  Apart from developing Stephens-Zumbaum’s love of music, Wilson had taught him, “to enjoy life, to take every opportunity present to make your dreams turn into reality, and to someday find that dream job which you will enjoy the rest of your life.”  The valedictorian urged the Class of 2018 to, “Always be ready for new opportunities. Always be ready to take chances. Always be ready to take a risk in life.”

After the speeches, the graduates stood in line to receive their degrees.

Bianca Tinnerrello smiles broadly as Principal Wygonik prepares to hand her High School Diploma.

And there they go … caps fly high as the graduates celebrate.

Veteran physical education teacher William (Bill) Rayder was named the Mildred Sanford Outstanding Educator Award.

Two smiling graduates.

The Fusari family stands together proudly after son Robbie’s graduation.

Friends forever …

From left to right, Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, whose daughter Shannon is a member of the Class of 2018, stands with Region 18 Board of Education Members Jean Wilczynski and Diane Linderman.

 

 

 

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Lyme-Old Lyme HS Graduation is Tonight! Celebrate a Senior … or the Whole Class of 2018 With a Lawn Sign

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2018 will celebrate their graduation in the same manner as the Class of 2017 in the photo above with the traditional hat toss at the end of their Commencement ceremony this evening.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s (LOLHS) Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for this evening, Tuesday, June 19, at 6 p.m.  It will be held on the field between the middle and high schools starting at 6 p.m.

Entry to the field is open and the public is welcome to attend the event.

Congratulations to the Class of 2018!

The LOLHS Class of 2019 is running a fundraiser to involve the community in saying goodbye to the Class of 2018. The Class is selling lawn signs for $15 that say “Congratulations LOLHS Class of 2018.”

Whether you know a senior or just want to support the students in their future endeavors, these lawn signs are an excellent way to congratulate the seniors on all the hard work they have done in their high school years and wish them luck in the future.

For more information on ordering and picking up signs, email Caroline Sagristano at sagristanoc@region18.org

The Class of 2019 has solicited the help of LymeLine.com to try and find a way to reach community members, who aren’t directly connected to our school … and of course, we’re glad to assist!

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Lyme Land Trust Hosts Stewardship Trails Boot Camp Today

Tools of the Trail Volunteer / Land Steward’s trade.

Join Lyme Land Trust on Sunday, June 17, (rain date June 24) from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. for a trail maintenance boot camp at Hartman Park in Lyme.

Do you love Lyme’s preserves and want to help maintain them? Come learn how you can help by becoming a trail volunteer or property steward. 

At the Boot Camp, you will learn basic trail maintenance and property stewardship tips, including what to bring with you on the trail, how to identify the most common invasive plant species, and what requires reporting back to the town or Land Trust.

You will also be introduced to the free smart phone app TrackKit. Using GPS, the app tracks your path and allows you to mark location on trails to best report a problem or downed tree. Strategies for preventing tick bites will be discussed as well.

Preserve stewards have a little more responsibility than trail volunteers: they adopt a preserve as their own and conduct regular visits to check boundaries, communicate with landowners, and submit online monitoring reports. The event is presented by the Lyme Land Trust and the Town of Lyme.

Bring along water, heavy-duty gloves, and light-weight tools: clippers, pruners, and/or loppers. Snacks will be provided.

Meet at the Main Parking Lot of Hartman Park on Gungy Rd., about one mile north of the four-way stop signs at the intersection with Beaver Brook Rd. and Grassy Hill Rd.

Registration is required at Openspace@townlyme.org

Instructions to download the app TrackKit will be forwarded to you at registration.

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Death Announced of Anthony V. Lynch III

Anthony V Lynch III

Anthony V. Lynch, III, age 94, passed away peacefully on June 8, 2018 in Winston-Salem, NC.  Known as Tony by friends and family, he was predeceased by his beloved wife Jane (Wischmeyer) Lynch and his parents, Anthony V. Lynch, Jr. and Gertrude (Momand) Lynch of Greenwich, CT.  He leaves behind a sister, Keiron Lynch Jesup of Dorset, VT; two sons, Anthony V. Lynch, IV of Lyme, CT and Keiron G. Lynch, II of Melvin Village, NH; three step-daughters, Emily A. Arents of Arcata, CA, Dorothy (Arents) Caudill of Winston-Salem, NC, and Gina Arents of Nottingham, MD.  Tony had seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren.

Tony was born and raised in Greenwich, CT.  He attended Greenwich Country Day School and Phillips Academy Andover, where he was a friend and classmate of future President George H.W. Bush.  Tony then went on to Princeton University.  His time at Princeton (Class of 1945) was interrupted by World War II.  At age 18 he volunteered to serve as a U.S. Navy pilot, flying combat missions in Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber fighters and the like from aircraft carriers in the Pacific.  Tony returned from the war and, in 1947, finished his college education at Princeton and began his career as a stockbroker on Wall Street.  He married the love of his life, Jane, in 1953 and raised his family in Mt. Kisco, NY, and then Southport and Greenwich, CT.  He and Jane retired in 1982 to Shushan, NY and in 1991 moved to warmer climes in Clemmons, NC.

Tony was known for his warm and welcoming smile, his dry wit and keen intellect right up to the end of his life.  He had a real passion for the outdoors as a hiker, sailor, RV’er, and gardener.  He loved people, wanting to hear their stories before telling his own.  He was a Boy Scout leader with his sons and, later in life, volunteered at several state parks in the far west doing whatever was needed – from docent work to grounds keeping.  He was dedicated to his family and had a strong moral compass which he did his level best to pass on to those he loved.

We are especially grateful to the compassionate staff at Arbor Acres Assisted Living in Winston-Salem for the care and friendship they provided in the final years of his life.

A memorial service celebrating Tony’s life will be held for family and friends at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Old Lyme, CT on August 11th at 11:00 AM.  His ashes will be interred next to his beloved Jane’s in St. Ann’s Memorial Garden.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nature Conservancy, Habitat for Humanity, or to the charity of your choice.

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Carney, Formica Hold Office Hours in Old Lyme This Morning

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) will hold office hours at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, located at 2 Library Lane in Old Lyme on Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This session will provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions or share their ideas and concerns about state government, the state budget as well as the 2018 Legislative Session, which concluded in May.

For more information, contact Carney’s office at 800-842-1423 or by email at devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov and Formica at 860-842-1421 or by email at Paul.Formica@cga.ct.gov.

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Healthy Food, Farming is Focus of Today’s Child & Family’s ‘Farm to Fork’ Benefit Event

Traditional plowing methods are used at New Mercies Farm where the June 16 ‘Farm to Fork’ event will be held.

How much do you know about the food you eat? Do you know where it was grown, or how was it planted, cultivated, and harvested? Were any harmful chemicals used? How healthy was the soil it grew in? Or the water that nourished it?

Farm to Fork: The Sustainable Life is a day spent at a local, family-owned farm learning about sustainable farming, organic practices, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and how all of this works together to provide healthy, clean, and locally grown food to our families, restaurants, schools, markets, and shops. It takes place on Saturday, June 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at New Mercies Farm in Lyme.

Baylee Drown and Ryan Quinn, the owner/operators of New Mercies Farm and the farmers at Upper Pond Farm in Old Lyme, are opening New Mercies Farm to us for this one-of-a-kind experience. Baylee and Quinn are both educated farmers, with degrees in biology, education, and sustainable food systems, and apply that knowledge to their farming practices. But farming is more than a job for them; it’s a way of life.

Drown was raised on a dairy farm in Michigan; and Quinn, a Lyme native, grew up surrounded by farmland. Their goal is to feed their community with healthy, beautiful, and tasty produce and to do this in the most ecologically sustainable way. Baylee and Quinn will share with us how they do this and why, while they discuss such topics as the importance of soil health, natural ways to fight pests, how to combat erosion, and more.

Farm to Fork attendees will tour the farm fields and hoop houses where produce is growing at various stages of development. You’ll see the farm in action — and may even get your hands dirty! Presentations on CSAs, displays on nutrition and organic foods, and planting demonstrations will offer valuable information that you can take with you to use in your own garden or to inform the food choices you make and improve the quality of the food your family consumes.

And for a true “farm to table” experience, attendees at Farm to Fork will also enjoy (included with their ticket) a delicious boxed lunch, creatively catered by Coffee’s Country Market of Old Lyme, which will incorporate ingredients grown at this very farm.

Farm to Fork: The Sustainable Life takes place on Saturday, June 16, from 11am to 3pm, rain or shine. Advance tickets for Farm to Fork are $45, which includes tours, talks, presentations, and a boxed lunch.

NOTE: Tickets are limited to 200, and advance purchases are strongly encouraged. Ticket availability cannot be guaranteed on June 16. (Tickets purchased on June 16, IF AVAILABLE, will be priced at $50. Tickets are available now online by visiting this link and clicking on the Eventbrite link; or download an order form and send a check (made out to Child & Family Agency) to P.O. Box 324, Old Lyme, CT 06371.

Questions?  Email cfa.lolauxiliary@gmail.com.  Follow Child & Family on Facebook at this link.

Proceeds from Farm to Fork will benefit the programs and projects of Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture children and families to develop their strengths through service, partnership, and advocacy. With offices in New London, Essex, and Groton, and a professional staff of 170, Child & Family Agency is the largest nonprofit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut.
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Lyme Farmers Market Open Saturdays for the Season with New Hours

Fresh vegetables galore will be on sale again at Lyme Farmers Market on June 4.

Fresh vegetables galore will be on sale at Lyme Farmers Market  this Saturday.

The Lyme Farmers Market will re-open for the 2018 season on Saturday, June 16, from 9:30 a.m. through 1 p.m. at Ashlawn Farm in Lyme. It is the only market in New London County to be held on a working farm and its mission is to promote sustainable agriculture with locally-grown and -produced food, crafts, and specialty products.

New_logoOnce again, vendors from the past 15 years will be present, along with several new ones. Market-goers will enjoy high quality organic produce, along with baked goods, seafood, meats, wine, and handcrafts.

There will be toe-tapping, live music by the Clayton Allen Band on Saturday.

Guest vendors this Saturday include Farm True Ghee with organic butter, SkySpyders with their pottery. Melissa Punzalan, Betsy Beads and Chive Flower will be showing off their handmade, original jewelry. Vera Halina brings her massage chair and tinctures back to the market.

Herbal Deva joins the market for the first time. Treefort Naturals will be at the market with her handcrafted soaps and herbal delights. Mark Evankow will bring his bird baths.

Lyme Garden Club, Lyme Public Hall and Boy Scout Troop 26 will also all have a presence in the field.

The Clayton Allen Band will play at Lyme Farmers Market on Opening Day.

This year’s seasonal vendors include:

Dondero Orchards
Meadowstone Farm
Burgis Brook Farm
Vic’s Guac Shop
Howards Bread
Cold Spring Farm
Pursuit of Pastry
Maple Breeze Farm
Mystery Farms
Peter Giamo Olive Oil
Charter Oak Scanning
Upper Pond Farm
Best of Everything Gourmet
Sunset Hill Vineyard
The Chicken Lady

The market is a non-profit entity, able to accept contributions and apply for grants to promote sustainable agriculture.

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Lyme Public Hall Annual Meeting This Evening Features Songs of World War I

The Lyme Public Hall Association and Local History Archives will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, June 14, at 6 p.m.

Following a potluck dinner and business meeting, Rick Spencer and Dawn Indermuehle will present a program “To End All Wars: Songs of the First World War” for the Lyme Public Hall Association and Local History Archives beginning at approximately 7 p.m.

The popular and folk songs of the First World War were patriotic and inspiring. Some were filled with pathos, describing tragedy, loss, fear and hope.  A surprising number were humorous.  Music tied the men on the battlefield to their families at home.  It united people in their beliefs, and inspired those who left home and family to fight.

To listen to the songs of the First World War is to hear the cultural history of the period brought vividly to life.  “To End All Wars: Songs of the First World War” is a presentation of period songs, some well-known, others more obscure, along with a discussion of the issues, events and personalities of the War.

The program is free and open to the public, but attendees are requested to bring a dish if planning to attend the dinner portion of the meeting.

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

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Anyone for Bocce? St. Louis Renovates Lymes’s Senior Center Courts for Eagle Scout Service Project

Evan St. Louis’s volunteer crew stain the frame of the bocce courts before a new surface of stone dust was applied.

On Saturday, June 2, Evan St. Louis, Life Scout of Boy Scout Troop 26, completed his Eagle Scout Service project at the Lymes’ Senior Center on Townwoods Rd.  St. Louis’s project focused on refurbishing the bocce courts at the Lymes’ Senior Center – this included tree, brush, and weed removal, reconditioning the bocce court surface, cleaning and staining of the court frame structure, and installation of 2 wooden benches for viewing.  

Evan St. Louis (in orange hat) instructs some of his volunteer crew about the day’s activities.

The project benefits the Lymes’ Senior Center and community members, who can now utilize the courts again after they had fallen into disrepair over the years. 

This photo shows the state of the bocce courts prior to St. Louis’s project. Overgrown trees hang over the courts, which are full of weeds.

St. Louis gathered more than 30 volunteers for the event, who contributed an estimated 150 man hours to help accomplish this task.  His project involved some April and May pre-work with chainsaws, clippers, and a power washer by family members to address the impinging tree line, weed growth and mildew on the frame lumber.

Bocce in action by members of Troop 26 after completion of St. Louis’s project.

St. Louis said the most difficult task of the Eagle Service Project was the preparatory work leading up to the actual project day on June 2, and engaging area community businesses for donations or discounts of materials.    He is grateful for the following donations:

  • surface aggregate (stone dust) for courts from Adelman’s Sand and Gravel in Bozrah
  • transportation of the stone dust by Al Bond of Old Lyme
  • discounted lumber for his benches by Shagbark East Haddam
  • assistance with final tree removal by the Town of Old Lyme Department of Public Works
  • discounted food for lunch provisions by Big Y Old Lyme
  • a generous monetary donation to the project from VFW Post 1457
  • financial donations from several private individuals. 

Evan St. Louis and his project mentor Skip Beebe of Old Lyme. Beebe earned his Eagle Scout honor with Troop 26 earned in 1962.

He also benefited significantly from the guidance provided by his service project mentor, Arthur “Skip” Beebe, who earned his Eagle Scout rank with Troop 26 in 1962.

Evan St. Louis with Lymes’ Senior Center Director Stephanie Lyon-Gould holds two new bocce ball sets in bags monogrammed ‘LOL Seniors’ that St. Louis presented to the senior center.

Drawing off his fundraising efforts, St. Louis purchased and presented two quality bocce ball sets from LL Bean to Lymes’ Senior Center Director Stephanie Lyon-Gould for the members of the Senior Center to use on their revitalized courts.    

Our hearty congratulations to Evan on completing such a challenging and worthwhile project!

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‘The Carousel Shop’ Hosts Chamber’s ‘Business After Hours’ This Evening; All Welcome

The famous carousel awaits its next customers.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce holds its next ‘Business After Hours’ on Wednesday, June 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at The Carousel Shop, 79 Hartford Ave., in the Sound View section of Old Lyme.

Come and network with business colleagues and friends over cocktails and appetizers. Hear the latest news from both the Chamber and our host.

At this event, Dee and Jerry Vowles — owners of The Carousel Shop — will discuss the history of the shop and its famous Carousel, and mention all the events happening in Sound View over the summer.  There will be refreshments, ice cream and even the chance to ride the carousel!

Copies of the Chamber’s recently published Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber’s Member Directory and Visitors Guide will be available at the meeting.  All businesses which advertised in the directory are invited to come and pick up their allocation of copies.
Also, if you’re thinking of joining the Chamber, now is the time!  If you’re a new member or a previous member that has let membership lapse for more than year, you are invited to join/re-join.  We’d love to welcome you aboard!

All are welcome and there is no admission charge, but RSVP’s to email@lolcc.com are requested for catering purposes.

For more information, visit the Chamber’s website.

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Greenho, Danes are Class S State Tennis Doubles Champions

From left to right, Morgan Greenho celebrates his Class S state doubles tennis victory with coach John Pfeiffer and partner George Danes.

Last Thursday, Lyme-Old Lyme High School senior Morgan Greenho and freshman George Danes won the CIAC Class S boys’ tennis doubles championship at Yale. The pair, who were top seeds, defeated Patrick Markovics and Matthew Newfield of Morgan High School 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Moment of victory! Morgan Greenho raises his arms in celebration while his doubles partner George Danes gives a thumbs-up sign.

Old Lyme has not won the Class S doubles championship since Dane Pfeiffer and David Neaton’s success in 2003. Dane is the son of the current coach, John Pfeiffer.

Reaching for the sky … or rather the ball!

Sadly, Greenho and Danes lost on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the CIAC State Open at Amity, but despite that, the pair still enjoyed an extraordinarily successful season.

Many congratulations to Morgan and George!

 

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‘Run for Something’ Endorses Matt Pugliese for Connecticut General Assembly

Matt Pugliese

Matt Pugliese has received the endorsement of Run for Something (RfS), the groundbreaking organization that recruits and supports strong voices in the next generation of progressive leadership.

“I am excited and honored to be endorsed by Run for Something. Hearing about the work that was being done by this organization to help encourage candidates to step forward was a motivating force in my own decision to run for office. I want to work to make a difference in our community.  This is a crucial moment in our state and our nation. I’m proud to be among the candidates stepping forward,” said Pugliese.

“RFS endorses candidates on two major criteria: heart and hustle. That’s what defines viability to us,” said Ross Morales Rocketto, RFS co founder. “These are candidates who are going to work hard to run grassroots, community-led campaigns. We are a critical time in history and the momentum these candidates generate will have a lasting impact for years to come.”

A selection of statistics from RfS are:

  • 40 first or second time candidates endorsed this month
  • RFS has endorsed 409 candidates total, from 45 states. 256 candidates have upcoming elections.
  • Campaign budgets range from $3000 to $300,000
  • Win numbers range from 645 to 100,000 votes

The endorsement process includes an extensive internal review with background check, staff interview and insight from local state experts.

Amanda Litman and Ross Morales Rocketto launched RfS on Jan. 20, 2017 with a premise to help young diverse progressives to run for down-ballot races in order to build a bench for the future. RfS aims to lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and access to trainings needed to be successful. So far, about 18,000 young people from across the country have signed up as candidates and gained access to RfS resources.

Run for Something recruits and supports talented, young people who advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench.

Matt Pugliese is running for State Representative in the 23rd District.  Pugliese is a non-profit theatre arts administrator and Chair of the Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission.  He holds his Masters in Public Administration from UCONN and lives in Old Saybrook with his wife and their two daughters. Learn more at mattpugliesect.com and at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at mattpugliesect.

For more information, visit www.runforsomething.net

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State Awards $1.25M to Valley Shore Emergency Communications for Upgrades

Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman stands with Paul Fazzino, President of Valley Shore Emergency Response after the announcement was made.

After years of planning and local town coordination, the Valley Shore Emergency Communications received critical state funding to upgrade emergency communications for numerous towns in the region. Valley Shore Emergency Communications serves the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme along with Chester, Deep River, Durham, East Haddam, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Middlefield, and Westbrook. 

The State Bond Commission approved $1.25 million in grant-in-aid to the Town of Essex on behalf of the Valley Shore Emergency Communications, Inc. The funding will be used for upgrades to the outdated emergency radio dispatch system serving 11 towns. The upgrades will interconnect all member towns and allow coordination with adjoining systems to allow for better communication for police, fire and ambulances.

“I want to thank the tremendous work of the various public safety departments to make today a reality,” said Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman. “Throughout this process we worked together to bring our local emergency communications into the 21st century. This new funding will strengthen the safety of our towns and allow our public safety employees to better serve our communities.”

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘Wicked, Weird & Wily Yankees’ by Stephen Gencarella

Editor’s Note: Stephen Gencarella, the author of ‘Wicked, Weird & Wily Yankees’ will be the guest speaker at the Lyme Public Library’s Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 26, at 7 p.m.

What a pleasure: to read an engaging book by a close neighbor (Steve and his family live just down Tinker Lane from me) and to encourage other Lymies to do the same!

Steve, a professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and the resident folklorist at the Connecticut River Museum, offers us a series of essays about unusual folk from New England, eccentric and out-of-the-ordinary men and women: hermits, healers, poets, mesmerists, fortune-tellers, prophets, reformers, bandits, visionaries, vagabonds, introverts, and misogynists.

In other words, most of us!

But what is eccentricity. The professor explains: “ … eccentricity is not an inherent quality but one always partially imposed from the outside, from the society that demarcates and gazes upon the eccentric … “[it] is always a matter of contested perspectives” and “ … tendencies to the reclusive or to the flamboyant quickly garner the label of eccentricity.”  He continues, “As tends to happen when history yields to folklore, this oddity began to grow in dimensions through the course of a century” of retelling stories of eccentrics.  And “the stories themselves are vagabonds.”

Among the locals described in these essays are a character at the Monkey Farm Café in Old Saybrook, William Gillette of Gillette’s Castle, that “Hadlyme stone heap,” and Elizabeth Tashjian, perhaps better known as “The Nut Lady” of Old Lyme.

Steve concludes with the counsel, “but that is precisely the challenge of eccentrics: to demand respect for the integrity and for the unique and unusual demands of every individual and to refuse to allow authority – however minor – to get away with discouraging people who hear a different drummer.”

We are all story-tellers!

But I was most impressed by the author’s continued use of the word “passing” as his euphemism for death: he uses it 31 times, by my count. It reminded me of that famous “Dead Parrot” skit from Monty Python, in which John Cleese presents an inert parrot nailed to a stick to Michael Palin, the man who had just sold it to him.

“E’s passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch, ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! This is an ex-parrot!”

Does this usage “passeth all understanding” (Philippians)?

I pass … but do read these entrancing stories of eccentric Yankees!

About this book: ‘Wicked, Weird & Wily Yankees’ by Stephen Gencarella was published in May 2018 by Globe Pequot, Guilford, CT 2018.

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, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. 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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Talking Transportation: Connecticut: Love It or Leave It

The recent debate over tolling our highways should remind us of just how divided our state has become.  Not red vs. blue and not even just upstate vs. downstate.  The real divide is between those who commute by car vs. those who take mass transit.

I’ve written for years about the fact that riders on Metro-North pay the highest commuter rail fares in the US, and those fares will only keep going up.  Most rail riders have little choice, especially if headed to New York City.  What are they going to do … drive?

Yet every time the fares go up … and they have increased 55 percent since 2002 … ridership goes up as well.  Why?  Because conditions on the highways keep getting worse and worse.

But those who chose to drive, or must because there’s no viable mass transit option, seem literally to hate rail commuters.  I think it’s jealousy.  During the tolls debate, the venom was dripping and one Tweet in particular hit home.

“Just because your commute (by train) is so expensive doesn’t mean mine (by car) should be too (because of tolling),” read the post.

The driver had clearly missed the point.  We aren’t looking for tolls to subsidize rail fares, just to get motorists to pay for the upkeep of their roads and bridges before we have another Mianus River Bridge collapse, which we will.

But it gets worse.

The anti-toll forces now sound like Howard Beale, the deranged newsman from the movie “Network” who was “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.”   Doubtless, much of this is directed at Governor Malloy who enjoys (suffers from?) the lowest popularity rating in the history of polling.  Sure, the economy of our state is in bad shape.   But Malloy didn’t create this economic mess.  He just inherited it and mishandled it.

And it will get far worse, whoever succeeds Malloy in the fall.  The solutions will be few and all will be painful.  Forestalling tolls and gasoline taxes today won’t stop the bridges from rotting.

But this opposition to tolls or modest gasoline tax increases to pay for roads has now been taken to a maniacal pitch predicting that “everyone is leaving the state,” conditions are so bad.   That’s fine with me.

I was recently at our town dump and saw a young man unloading a bunch of items.  “My parents are moving,” he told me.  “Everyone is leaving Connecticut!” he exclaimed.

“Really?”, I asked.

“It’s all Malloy’s fault,” he said, sounding like a Pied Piper leading a caravan down I-95 to some Promised Land.

I asked him one question:  “Did your parents sell their house?”   “Sure,” he said.  “And at a profit over what they paid for it.”

“Well,” I said, “I guess not everyone is leaving.  Your folks are moving out and someone else is moving in.”  Someone who wants to live here.

To those who hate it so much living in Connecticut, I extend an invitation:  please leave.  Enjoy your low-tax destination.  And don’t forget to pay those highway tolls as you drive down I-95 through NY, NJ, etc.

But enough already with the “I hate Connecticut” mantra.  Some of us actually like living here.  And losing ‘the haters” will only mean fewer cars on our roadways.

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media.

Jim Cameron

About the author: Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com

For a full collection of “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com

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Lyme Land Trust Celebrates CT Trails Day with Bunny Habitat Walk Starting 9:30am

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

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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Wayland’s Eagle Project to Construct Boxes for Retired US Flags in Lyme, Old Lyme Draws High Praise

Gathered for a photo after Theodore Wayland’s Eagle project presentation to the VFW Post 1467 last Monday are, from left to right, Post Commander David Griswold, Theodore, State Rep. Devin Carney and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder.

On Monday, May 29, Life Scout of Troop 26 Boy Scouts Theodore Wayland invited the local VFW Post 1467 to Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall immediately following the Memorial Day parade to present his Eagle project comprising three locally-placed flag repository boxes.

Edward Shyloski, a member of local VFW post 1467, which sponsored the project, congratulates Theodore Wayland on completion of the flag repository boxes,

Wayland’s project was generously sponsored by the VFW Post 1467. This allowed for Theodore and retiring Commander Edward Shyloski to develop a relationship through ongoing communication during the project. When Shyloski noted during the presentation, “He’s a boy raised right, ” it reflected the time and attention to the country’s history, veterans and the local community that Shyloski himself embodies.

From left to right, VFW Post 146 Commander David Griswold stands with Theodore Wayland, State Rep. Devin Carney and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder.

The young scouts often offer opportunities for VFW members to reflect on their own youth and scouting experiences by sharing experiences with the scouts. An example of this occurred recently when Troop 26 hosted a dinner for the local Post, which has now become an annual tradition for the troop.

Troop 26 Scoutmaster Mark Wayland stands in the foreground with Theodore while the boys of Troop 26 stand behind.

Wayland spoke during the presentation of his goal to continue educating townspeople to dispose properly of retired flags.

Theodore’s parents, Mark and Kathryn Wayland, stand proudly with their son and other dignitaries who attended the presentation.

The photo at left show Wayland standing behind one of the three boxes constructed in which local residents can dispose of retired flags. He worked with his local troop to design and build three boxes to be placed this week at the Lyme Town Hall, Old Lyme Town Hall and the Lymes’ Senior Center.

Wayland’s troop hosts an annual flag retirement ceremony at their local campsite, Camp Emerson each spring and Wayland, along with fellow scouts, will collect flags as the boxes fill.

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) both spoke in support of Wayland’s project and all the notable works local Boy and Girls Scouts accomplish in Lyme and Old Lyme.

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‘A Night with Janis Joplin’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse

Paige MacNamara plays Janis Joplin in the production about the legendary singer’s life opening at Ivoryton Playhouse, May 30. Photos by Curtis Brown.

The Ivoryton Playhouse will present the 2014 Tony Award-nominated 2013 Broadway Musical A Night With Janis Joplin, written and directed by Randy Johnson, from May 30 to June 24.

Born in Port Arthur, Texas, in 1943, Janis Lyn Joplin challenged racial and sexual stereotypes, and created a sound and a style that has become legendary. She exploded onto the music scene in 1967 and, almost overnight, became the queen of rock and roll. The unmistakable voice, filled with raw emotion and tinged with more than a touch of Southern Comfort made her a must-see headliner from Monterey to Woodstock

Her unique sound, however, was originally created as a result of her love for some of the greatest African-American singers of all time. Now, theatergoers can share an evening with the Queen of Rock and Roll and her musical influences in A Night with Janis Joplin

On Jan. 12, 1995, when she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, her profile proclaimed, “Janis Joplin’s star rose fast, burned bright and burned out too soon. The blues-influenced rocker had one of the most powerful voices of the Sixties. Her voice is equal parts tough and vulnerable, a shout into the void that resonated with a generation.” Joplin biographer Myra Friedman added, “It wasn’t only her voice that thrilled, with its amazing range and strength and awesome wails. To see her was to be sucked into a maelstrom of feeling that words can barely suggest.”

A Night with Janis Joplin made its Broadway debut, under the direction of Randy Johnson, on Oct. 10, 2013 at the Lyceum Theatre, where it played for 140 performances before closing on Feb. 9, 2014. Mary Bridget Davies, who made her Broadway debut in the title role, earned a 2014 Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, and won a 2014 Theatre World Award for her critically acclaimed performance.

Aurianna Tuttle plays Etta James in ‘A Night with Janis Joplin.’

Sharing the lead role of Janis Joplin in this production are Francesca Ferrari* and Paige McNamara*. The cast also includes Aurianna Angelique*, Jennifer Leigh Warren*, Tawny Dolley*, and Amma Osei* who take on the roles of the many women who influenced Janis – Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Bessie Smith, Nina Simone and many more.

A Night with Janis Joplin opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on May 30 and runs through June 24. Original direction by Randy Johnson, original set design by Brian Prather, original lighting design by Ryan O’Gara, original projections by Darrel Maloney, original costume designs by Amy Clark and original wig designs by Leah Loukas. This production is co-directed by Tyler Rhodes. Musical Director is Michael Morris.

Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets purchased before June 1 are $50 for adults, $45 for seniors, $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting the Playhouse’s website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. After June 1, tickets are $55 for adults and $50 for seniors. (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

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A Day, and a Parade, to Remember

It wasn’t the sunniest of days, but at least, for the first time in three years and to the delight of participants and onlookers, Old Lyme was able to hold its traditional Memorial Day parade yesterday.  The inclement weather for the past two years had forced the ceremony indoors.

Town and state dignitaries marched cheerfully …

… while the American Legion Post 41 Lyme Essay Contest winners rode in style …

Photo by James Meehan.

… as did the esteemed members of the Old Lyme Historical Society!

Local veterans of Foreign Wars marched behind their appropriately decorated car …

… proudly carrying their flags.

Old Lyme Library’s Phoebe Griffin Noyes, aka Mary Dangremond, smiled delightfully and waved at the crowds ..

… while library trustees Ned Perkins and Lynn Fairfield-Sonn followed close behind.

Big tanks lumbered down McCurdy Rd …

… but this vintage car was simply full of smiles!

A thoughtful Fire Chief, Tom Risom, took it all in …

… while this EMT driver was clearly having a wonderful day!

Pipers played …

… as did the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School band.

The Techno-Ticks strutted their stuff …

… and in a different way, so did these junior firefighters.

This fine fire engine was a special sight …

… and the Fife and Drum Corps, as always, were a welcome addition to the parade.

Lyme Fire Department marched in single file …

… before everyone gathered at the Duck River Cemetery.

Essays titled,”What Memorial Day Means to Me,” were read by the second runner-up, Hannah Johnston from Lyme Consolidated School …

… the first runner-up, Justin Bonatti from Mile Creek School …

… and the winner, Max Novak from Lyme Consolidated School.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Select Singers sang …

VFW members fired the traditional three-round volley of shots …

Taps were played …

Everyone saluted …

… and the flag was raised, signifying the end of the parade and ceremony … until next year.

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