June 24, 2017

Lyme-Old Lyme Youth Wrestlers Bring Home Handfuls of Trophies

Wrestling champions! From left to right, Taiyo Gemme, Hoshena Gemme, Jonathan Toriello, Edward Fiske, Mason Catalano and Chase Catalano stand proudly with their trophies and coach TJ MarcAurele.

Back in April, a number of members of the MarcAurele Wrestling Club located in Niantic, Conn., traveled to Syracuse, N.Y. to compete in the Gene Mills Eastern Nationals. The team was led by Coach TJ MarcAurele, a local wrestling standout. The Gene Mills Eastern Nationals brought together over 270 wrestling teams from more than 14 states.

The tournament hosts a team competition where 10 wrestlers are selected to compete for points based on how they place in the tournament. MarcAurele Wrestling entered two teams in the team contest and finished in 1st and 2nd place out all the teams that attended.

On top of that remarkable team placements, MarcAurele Wrestling had 34 wrestlers stand on the podium meaning the wrestler had placed in the top six thus earning the individual All-American status. MarcAurele Wrestling also had 10 tournament champions.

The wrestlers in the photo above are all from Lyme or Old Lyme. Each one placed in the state tournament and is therefore has earned All-American honors.

Edward Fiske, Jr.  is a Gene Mills Eastern National All-American, MAWA (Mid Atlantic Wrestling Association) All American and  took 2nd at the States.

Chase Catalano is a Gene Mills Eastern National All-American and took 4th at the States.

Mason Catalano is Gene Mills Eastern National All-American and took 1st at States.

Hoshena Gemme is a Gene Mills Eastern National All-American and took 2nd at the Girls States.

Taiyo Gemme is a Gene Mills Eastern National All-American and MAWA All American and took 1st at States.

Jonathan Toriello is a Gene Mills Eastern National All-American and MAWA All American  and took 1st at States.

Congratulations to all these outstanding athletes!


No Parade (Again) for Old Lyme but Indoor Ceremony Still Exudes Memorial Day Spirit

Despite the wet weather causing the cancellation of Old Lyme’s traditional Memorial Day parade for the second year in a row, more than 100 people still turned out for the Memorial Day ceremony held in Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School’s auditorium Monday morning.

From left to right, Commander Bill Appleby, American Legion Post 41’s Veteran of the Year Mervin Roberts and the Rev. Mark Robinson of Saint Ann’s in Old Lyme.

William Appleby (pictured above), Commander of American Legion Post 41, was Master of Ceremonies.  The ceremony began with the Invocation given by the Reverend Joseph C. Ashe, pastor of Christ The King Roman Catholic Church in Old Lyme, which was then followed by the arrival of colors into the auditorium.  All serving and former members of the armed forces, including the Lyme-Old Lyme veterans assembled on the stage, saluted the colors as they were marched down the stairs of the auditorium.

Under the leadership of Choral Director Kristine Pekar, Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s Select Singers followed with a stirring rendition of the national anthem.

The winners of the American Legion/VFW Essay Contest for fifth graders in Lyme and Old Lyme read their essays titled, “What Memorial Day Means to Me.” Appleby told the winners that although the rain had denied them the chance to be driven Lyme Street in an vintage Mustang in the Memorial Day parade, they would have a second opportunity during the Sound View Independence Day parade on Saturday, July  3.

Abby Hale, who attends Mile Creek School was awarded the bronze medal as Second Runner-up, while Jack Porter, who also attends Mile Creek, was the First Runner-up and received the silver medal from Commander Appleby.

Emma Baehr, a Lyme Consolidated School student, was the gold medal winner.  Her essay ended with the poignant reminder that all those who had given the ultimate sacrifice had done so in order that, “We may continue to enjoy our lives and enjoy our freedom that they fought so hard to keep.”  Each of these students received a medal, a proclamation from the American Legion, a monetary award and, “most significantly,” in Appleby’s words, will also have a flag flown in their honor over the US Capitol in Washington DC.

Performing again and displaying extraordinary talent, the Select Singers then sang “America The Beautiful.”

The Reverend Mark Robinson of Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme gave the Benediction remembering those, “for whom the trumpets have sounded on the other side,” and urging that “Their sacrifices here help to establish the freedom for which they died.”

Mervin Roberts, Chaplain of the Fire Department, then gave the homily, which he explained is something defined as “a philosophical dissertation grounded on a Biblical or ethical subject.”

He commented that during the traditional parade and post-parade ceremony, “We celebrate our heroic military, mourn our departed, offer prayers, honor our ancestors, award prizes and enjoy a parade.”

He asked a little later in his homily, “So what did I neglect to mention?” and answered his own question with the words, “Plenty. Lives cut short, sometimes needlessly, heroes forgotten, relatives and friends gone.”  Roberts went on to explain the history of Memorial Day, which used to be called “Decoration Day” at that time when July 4 was known as “Declaration Day.” The former “got started around 1863 during the Civil War.’ and, “… began, get this, in the Confederate States to honor rebel soldiers who had died in battle.”

A smiling Mervin Roberts (left), Chaplain of Old Lyme’s Fire Department and American Legion Post 41’s Veteran of the Year 2016-17, stands with the Reverend Mark Robinson of Saint Ann’s.

Noting, “Freedom in principle is great but in practice it’s certainly elusive and it’s certainly not cheap,” Roberts added, “The dozen cemeteries of Old Lyme serve to remind all of us of the price that has been paid to keep us free.”

Roberts concluded, “There were some who gave their lives for causes no longer popular, for wars unnecessarily fought or poorly led. Wars were also fought for a concept now often swept under the carpet, the concept that freedom is worth fighting for, actually giving one’s life to preserve, and the corollary to that is that freedom without justice is not true freedom.”

Veteran of the Year Mervin Roberts is seated  second from left while everyone in the auditorium honors him with a standing ovation.

Commander Appleby then introduced the 2016-17 Veteran of the Year, which was none other than Mr. Roberts! Appleby quoted Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who had said at the dinner when the award was made, “Can anyone think of Old Lyme and not think of Mervin Roberts?” Following Appleby’s words, Roberts was given a warm and extended standing ovation by the audience

Wrapping up the proceedings, the traditional three-shot-volley was fired outside — but within earshot — of the auditorium, ‘Taps’ (with an echo) was played, and then the flag-bearers solemnly filed out of the auditorium while salutes were made.


Sen. Formica Applauds Senate’s Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Close 2017 State Budget Shortfall

Keeps approximately $30 million in the state’s rainy day fund,
Restores millions of dollars to municipalities, state parks and programs for those with intellectual disabilities 

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

Yesterday Senate Republicans and Democrats passed a bipartisan deficit mitigation plan to address the $317 million shortfall in the state budget for the current year which ends on June 30, 2017.

“I thank my Senate colleagues for coming together to pass these two important measures with bipartisan support,” said State Senator Paul Formica (R- 20th, whose District also includes Old Lyme), Co-Chair of the Appropriations Committee. “This is an important first step in getting the state’s finances in order so we can tackle the significant budgetary problems on the horizon.” 

The plan passed by the Senate protects the $19.4 million June Pequot Payment, $1 million in privately raised monies for state parks and $1 million in funding for employment opportunities and day services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Hospitals will also be held harmless to cuts.

The state’s budget reserve fund maintains a balance of approximately $30 million under the Senate’s plan. 

The bipartisan deficit mitigation bill transfers funds from other accounts to restore the funds identified.

Following the passage of the deficit mitigation plan, the Senate also passed a deficiency bill passed in the House of Representatives last week to allow the state to continue paying for core services in the final weeks of the fiscal year. This includes funding for the Birth-to-Three program, Department of Developmental Services, Office of the Public Defender Services Commission, Department of Public Safety and Emergency Services, and Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. 

“It’s important that we came to a bipartisan consensus this evening to address the fiscal condition we have encountered so late in the year,” said Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague), who is Co-Chair of the Appropriations Committee. “Tonight’s action sets us on a stronger fiscal footing to close out the year and allows us to focus on the much larger challenge ahead of crafting a biennial state budget.” 

“Any cuts so late in the fiscal year are difficult to absorb. But together, lawmakers were able to revise the governor’s proposed budget changes to protect towns and cities, privately raised funds contributed to state parks, and programs for individuals with disabilities,” said Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven). “To cut this funding so late in the fiscal year would have led to significant shortfalls in funding for core services. I hope that this bipartisan effort to make difficult decisions together will propel lawmakers forward as we take on the much more challenging task of finalizing a state budget for the next two fiscal years.”

“Today’s bipartisan vote in the Senate will ensure that Connecticut will end the fiscal year with a balanced budget despite the challenges presented by a deficit that emerged with only two months left in the fiscal year,” said Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “Much difficult work remains, and tough choices lie ahead as we craft a state budget for the next biennium.” 

The deficit mitigation bill now moves to the House of Representatives.


Lyme-Old Lyme Lions’ Antique Car Show Rescheduled to July 29


Lyme-Old Lyme Lions will host their 12th Annual Antique Car Show in a new location in Old Lyme on Saturday, July 29. The popular event, which should have been held on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, will now become part of Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival on the July date.Timing for the rescheduled event will remain 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  There is a 250 car maximum.  The awards will be presented at 2 p.m.

All proceeds will benefit Lion charities.

-To register online for the Car Show, click here.
(Note: All online registrations must be in by TBA.)
-If you do not wish to register online, you may fill out the registration form and present it upon arrival.  Download the registration form here.
You may also register at All-Pro Automotive, 147 Boston Post Rd., Old Lyme, CT
– Registration cost is $10 (Payable upon arrival)
– Checks to be made out to Lyme-Old Lyme Charities, Inc.

– All winning cars are voted on by car show attendees.
– Dash Plaques will be awarded to the first 150 cars that register.
– Trophies will be awarded to the best cars in their class.  The various car classes are listed at the bottom of this page.
– Specialty trophies will also be awarded.

Schedule of Events:
9am – 2pm – Antique Car Show and Flea Market.
9am – 10am – Plaques will be given out to the first 150 cars.
12:30pm – All ballots are due at the registration booth.
1pm – Awards.

Car Classes:
Class A: Pre 1930
Class B: 1931 – 1942
Class C: 1945 – 1954
Class D: 1955 – 1962
Class E: 1963 – 1972
Class F: 1973 – 1987
Class G: Imports through 1987
Class H: Exotics (All years are valid)
Class I: Mustang & Thunderbirds through 1987
Class J: Corvettes through 1987
Class K: Hot Rods & Modified (All years are valid)
Class L: Others / Trucks / Specialty Vehicles through 1987
Class M: Tuners (All years are valid)

For more information about the car show, contact Phil Parcak at 860.434. 9044 or Jim Graybill at 860-434-3530.


Old Lyme’s Lacrosse Girls Are Shoreline Champions … Again!

The Lyme-Old LymeHigh School’s girls’ lacrosse celebrates their Shoreline Conference victory with smiles … and the trophy.  Photo by Nancy Mesham.

Emily Macione’s girls held out in a thrilling Shoreline Conference final yesterday evening at the Indian River Sports Complex in Clinton to claim their second championship in as many years, this time defeating North Branford 11-9.  The Thunderbirds made a late run for the title cutting the Wildcats lead to a single goal at 10-9, but in the final minutes Old Lyme prevailed with an additional goal by Anna Mesham.

Seniors Sydney Cowell and Anna Mesham respectively had five and three goals while fellow senior Laura Quaratella added two goals and Abby Berger, also a senior, had a goal and an assist. Mesham notched up two assists and Hannah Guenther in goal made a staggering 13 saves.

Congratulations, Wildcats!  Now onto states …


Welcome to Our Summer Intern, Jacob Ballachino

Jacob Ballachino

We are delighted to introduce our newest intern, Jacob Ballachino, to our readers.  Jacob, who lives with his family in Old Lyme, has completed two years at UMass Amherst where he is a communications and journalism major. He is going to be working for LymeLine.com throughout the summer covering news and events in Lyme and Old Lyme.

Jacob is especially interested in sports and entertainment and so hopes to be writing some stories for us focused on those areas.  He’s already written a couple of great pieces for us, one about the Tour de Lyme and the other about A Woman’s Exchange, and we think he’s off to a flying start!

Asked why he wanted to intern for LymeLine.com, Jacob responded, “I hope to gain first-hand experience in reporting and also to build personal connections with a diverse group of local community members.”

If you have any news tips or story suggestions for Jacob, you can contact him directly at jballachino@umass.edu and if you see him around town, make sure to say hi to him.

Finally,  welcome on board, Jacob — we’re so pleased you’ve joined our team!


Wildcats Look to Bring Home Shoreline Conference Championship This Afternoon … Again

Reigning Shoreline Conference girls lacrosse champions and top seeds Old Lyme defend their title against North Branford this afternoon at 5 p.m. in Clinton.  The Wildcats reached today’s final after defeating fourth-seeded Haddam-Killingworth in Tuesday’s semifinal.



SECWAC Presentation Tonight Explores Unexpected Partnership Between US, Russia in Arctic

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) hosts its next meeting Thursday, May 25, at 6 p.m. at the Crozier Hall (Student Center, second floor) at Connecticut College, Mohegan Ave, New London.  A reception at 5:30 p.m. will precede the 6 p.m. presentation.

Lieutenant Commander Jeremy McKenzie, United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), will give a presentation at 6 p.m. titled, The Bering Strait: Reducing Risk Through International Cooperation and Capability Improvements, about unexpected partnerships and how the U.S. Coast Guard cooperates with Russia in the Arctic.  McKenzie is the Public Policy Instructor – Department of Humanities, and Researcher – Center for Arctic Study and Policy, at the USCGA.

Following the presentation, join McKenzie, guests, and fellow members for a meal at Connecticut College. Tickets for the meal are $35/person.

A reservation is required to attend the dinner; 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.

Serving as the sole connection between the Pacific and Arctic Oceans, the Bering Strait is seeing increased maritime activity and risk due to environmental changes that are opening the Arctic. The increased activity in the Bering Strait region poses cross-border management challenges that are complicated by diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Russia. McKenzie will explore these management challenges through the following questions:

  1. How effectively are international and bilateral agreements governing maritime activity in the Bering Strait region being implemented at the “street level” by responsible agencies on either side of the border?
  2. Are there gaps in existing agreements that prevent effective bilateral collaboration?

The recommendations from research (interviews and other data) include decoupling the Arctic from other aspects of the U.S. and Russian bilateral relationship, the immediate resumption of bilateral oil spill and search, and search and rescue (SAR) exercises, and the establishment of a joint maritime domain awareness center (MDAC) to maintain situational awareness and implement maritime traffic control measures.

Join SECWAC on June 6 for their final meeting of the season, “A Turbulent China Takes on the World,” with author and The Daily Beast columnist Gordon G. Chang. This presentation will be held at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School in Old Lyme.

Learn more about SECWAC’s 2017 season programs at secwac.org


Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Science Olympiad Team Sets New State Record at National Contest in Ohio

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ Science Olympiad team has just returned from the 2017 National Science Olympiad held at Wright State University in Fairborn, Ohio, after breaking the Connecticut state record for their final position in the B Division (Grades 6 through 9)

The Lyme-Old Lyme team broke the Connecticut state record at last year’s tournament when they came in as the top-placed team from Connecticut and in 33rd place overall.

At this year’s event, Lyme-Old Lyme placed 28th overall beating their previous year’s record.

Lyme-Old Lyme debuted in the National Science Olympiad tournament in 2012 placing 51st nationally. The competition includes over 60 teams representing the United States as well as a dignitary team representing Japan.

Nick Fava’s and Regan Kaye’s “Wright Stuff” placed 8th nationally thanks to their tremendous effort and the strong support they received from community member and event coach John Koptonak. 

Head coaches Shannon Glorioso and Elizabeth Dushin credit their ongoing success to the talent and commitment of both the students and volunteers involved in this community effort.


Sun Shines Brightly on Another Highly Successful ‘Tour de Lyme’ Cycling Event

Off they go! Bike riders start their choice of Tour de Lyme route.

Nine hundred and fifty cyclists from all around the area woke up on Sunday morning to the early spring sun shining down on the registration tables of the 5th annual Tour de Lyme. The event started and finished at the beautiful Ashlawn Farm on Bill Hill Rd. in Lyme, Conn., for the third consecutive year. Participants could choose between a myriad of different rides both through the trails of Nehantic Forest, Beckett Forest, and Mount Archer or through the winding roads of Lyme.  The event even offered an eight-mile family ride.

First started by John Pritchard five years ago, this year’s Tour de Lyme hosted by the Lyme Land Conservation Trust was a huge success and through registration fees and charitable donations, the land trust is able to maintain and expand the beauty of Lyme’s forestry and wildlife. In an effort to keep the town of Lyme as rural and well-maintained as possible, the Tour de Lyme is clear proof that a small organization can have a big impact.

Musicians entertain during the post-ride picnic at Ashlawn Farm.

The start times of each individual ride were staggered with the intention that all riders arrive back at the picnic around the same time to enjoy live music, several unique food trucks, and even physical therapy free for anyone who participated in the ride.

The 950 riders had a choice of four different routes on the road, and two routes through the woods. Brian Greenho, Tour de Lyme Mountain Bike Director and course designer, took time out from his busy schedule on Sunday to talk more with me about the event. He explained that has been heavily involved with the mountain bike aspect of the tour since its commencement, helping adapt the routes in order to make it more attractive to the riders.

Riders set off enthusiastically from Ashlawn Farm in Lyme on the mountain bike route.

Greenho noted that by obtaining one-day permission to use land from six private land owners, “The Tour de Lyme provides an opportunity for riders to get out into the trails and explore all three forests [Nehantic, Beckett, and Mount Archer] with hundreds of other riders,” adding that this is, “… something that would be inconceivable any other day of the year. Plus it gives the riders a chance to see the land that [Lyme Land Conservation Trust President] John Pritchard and the Trust itself work so hard to protect.”

Year-on-year participant growth in the Tour de Lyme can be seen through each of its first five occurrences. The Lyme Land Conservation Trust intends to keep the event going — and growing — in years to come and in a clear validation of that goal, it certainly seemed that all this year’s riders left the 2017 event enthusiastic for the next.


Lyme Land Trust Hosts 5th ‘Tour de Lyme’ Today; Collects Bikes for ‘Bikes for Kids’ Thru May 31

Cyclists pass Grassy Hill Church during last year's Tour de Lyme.

Cyclists pass Grassy Hill Church during last year’s Tour de Lyme.

The Lyme Land Trust inaugurated Tour de Lyme in 2013 as an annual bike ride to raise funds to support its mission of preserving and protecting environmentally important land in Lyme.  More than 725 riders participated last year and it will be held again this year on Sunday, May 21.

The Tour de Lyme is intended for all to enjoy. It is not competitive (there are no “races” or timed finishes), but rather is designed as a way to showcase and celebrate the preservation of Lyme’s spectacular natural beauty. While some of the courses will be challenging, there are others intended for casual cyclists, and there is even a family ride.

Departure times are designed so that all riders will return to Ashlawn Farm for lunch at about the same time.

Details of the ride options are as follows:

The Challenge– 59 miles – The name says it all.  Changes made are sure to please returning riders. A few more beautiful miles, a hill or two eliminated but still a challenge. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Challenge Ride 2017. Ride departs at 8 a.m. Follow red arrows.

The Valley35 – 35 miles –The popular Valley rides are less hilly than the Classic. The Valley35 is a longer version of the original with the northern loop of 9 added miles along beautiful roads. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the  Valley 26&35 Rides. Ride departs at 8:45am. Follow green arrows.

The Valley26 – 26 miles – A scenic fun ride. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Valley 26&35 Rides. Ride departs at 9:30am. Follow green arrows.

The Classic – 26 miles – Shorter than The Challenge but still challenging. Ride departs at 9:15am. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Classic Ride 2016. Follow blue arrows.

SiloSmile Small Web view

The Family – 8 miles – ideal for families riding with children.  Ride departs at 10:15am. The Family Ride cue sheet here and a map of the Family Ride. Follow purple arrows.

The Church Goers Ride – 7.6 to 8.8 miles – After services, approximately 11:45am riders leave Old Lyme Congregational and Christ the King and meet up with other riders at Saint Ann’s and then ride to Ashlawn Farm. Follow purple arrows.  Detailed cue sheet and map coming soon.

For registration information, visit http://www.tourdelyme.org/register/

For additional information about the Tour de Lyme, visit http://www.tourdelyme.org/

Registration for all of the rides will be open on the day of the ride at Ashlawn Farm.

Lyme Land Trust Organizes Collection of Bikes for ‘Bikes for Kids’

The Lyme Land Conservation Trust is pleased to again host used bike drop-offs along with Reynolds Subaru for Bikes for Kids, Old Saybrook, CT.  Any sized donated bike is welcome.

Reynolds Subaru, 286 Hamburg Road (Rte. 156), Lyme, Conn., is accepting used bike donations from May 1 to May 31.

Registered riders for the Tour de Lyme can drop off used bikes for donation on May 21, on arrival at Ashlawn Farm’s parking lot prior to signing in for their cycling event.

Bikes for Kids is a charity organization that collects, refurbishes and distributes bikes primarily to kids, teenagers and some adults to CT families in need.  All refurbished bikes are distributed with new cycling helmets.

Bikes for Kids since its founding in 1989 has collected, refurbished and distributed 18,000 bikes to  families primarily in the inner cities of New Haven, New London, Middletown and Hartford.  Bikes for Kids efforts extend beyond CT and include deliveries to Bell Harbor, New York, Haiti and 30 mountain bikes to Tanzania.

John Pritchard, President of the Lyme Land Trust the organizer of the Tour de Lyme, said “Bikes for Kids is one of our area’s outstanding outreach organizations.  We’re delighted again to serve as a host site along with Reynolds Subaru for  used bike donations.”

David Fowler, President of Bikes for Kids, and a former science teacher in Lyme-Old Lyme’s Middle School, indicated Bikes for Kids puts people on wheels who would either be walking or not really going anywhere at all.  “Last year we delivered almost 1,400 bikes and with the help of the Tour de Lyme collected 150 bikes in the last two years.  We hope to deliver and collect more this year.”

The motivating factor of Bikes for Kids’ Founder was “every kid needs a bike”.

For Early Bird home pick-up contact: Dave Fowler, 860-388-2453 or davefowler05@gmail.com

For additional information on Bikes for Kids, visit www.bikesforkidsct.org



Learn how to ‘De-clutter to De-stress’ Today with Lifestyle Coach Lisa Lelas at Lyme Library

Lisa Lelas will speak at Lyme Public Library on Saturday morning.

Lisa Lelas will speak at Lyme Public Library on Saturday morning, May 20.

The Friends of the Lyme Public Library are hosting a presentation Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m.by Lisa Lelas titled, De-clutter to De-stress.

Lelas is a nationally recognized productivity director, lifestyle coach and bestselling author who helps businesses and entrepreneurs achieve success by implementing a clear plan of action. She is an expert on time management, work/life balance and living joyfully every day.

Her tips and advice on organizing your life can be heard regularly in newspapers, magazines, on TV and radio. She has appeared on Oprah Winfrey, the Today Show and more. A former NY film and TV casting director, Lelas knows the importance of captivating the audience and editing your life ‘script’ through prioritizing, simplifying and strategizing.

To register, call the Library at 860-434-2272 or email programreg@lymepl.org

The library is located at 482 Hamburg Rd./Rt. 156, Lyme, CT 06371.


Two Organizations Working for Middle East Peace Co-Sponsor Film Series; Next Screening is ‘An Oasis on the Hill,’ Tonight

Members of the Tree of Life group that traveled to Israel-Palestine in March 2017 stand on the front steps of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme’s Meetinghouse on the day of their departure. Others would join the travelers from Ohio, Washington DC, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Hawaii.

Film Series Aims to Educate, Inspire Dialogue About Peace, Justice in Middle East and Beyond

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)-New Haven and the Tree of Life Educational Fund (TOLEF) are jointly sponsoring a film series titled, ‘From the Jordan to the Sea: Israel-Palestine in Film’ at Westbrook Public Library. The series comprises three feature-length films on successive Thursdays, April 27, May 4 and May 11, and a short film on May 18, which will be followed by a “talk-back” with young people recently returned from TOLEF’s  2017 trip to Israel/Palestine and Bosnia.  

All four films will have a start time of 7 p.m. in the Community Room at Westbrook Library. The public is welcome to attend these events.

Tree of Life travelers stand on the roof of the Austrian Hospice in the Old City of Jerusalem as Dr. Reza Mansoor offered an introduction to Islam to the group of 37 travelers, who incorporated Muslim, Jewish and Christian representation.

The film series strives to educate and inspire dialogue by offering diverse perspectives with dramatic heartfelt storytelling. The selected films offer a human face to the relationship between Israelis and Palestinians in the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. It is  hoped the series raises questions, challenges some common myths and jumpstarts candid discussion about the complexities of working for peace and justice in the Middle East and in the US as well. 

Details of the program are as follows:

When I Saw You (2012)  93 minutes
Thursday, April 27     

It is 1967. The world is alive with change: brimming with reawakened energy, new styles, music and an infectious sense of hope. In Jordan, a different kind of change is underway as tens of thousands of refugees pour across the border from Palestine. Having been separated from his father in the chaos of war, Tarek, 11, and his mother Ghaydaa, are amongst this latest wave of refugees. Placed in “temporary” refugee camps made up of tents and prefab houses until they would be able to return, they wait, like the generation before them who arrived in 1948. With difficulties adjusting to life in Harir camp and a longing to be reunited with his father, Tarek searches a way out, and discovers a new hope emerging with the times. When I Saw You is the story of people affected by the times around them, in search of something more in their lives. A journey full of adventure, love and the desire to be free. A story of the human spirit that knows no borders. 

Five Broken Cameras (2011)  94 minutes
Thursday,  May 4 

 A documentary film co-directed by Palestinian Emad Burnat and Israeli Guy Davidii.  It is a first-hand account of protests in Bil’in, a West Bank village affected by the Israel West Bank barrier. The documentary was shot almost entirely by the Palestinian farmer who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son. Structured around the destruction of Burnat’s cameras, it follows one family’s evolution over five years of turmoil. The film won a 2012 Sundance Film Festival award and was nominated for a 2013 Academy Award.         

A Bottle in the Gaza Sea (2013)  100 minutes
Thursday  May 11

Tal (Agathe Bonitzer) is the 17-year-old daughter of recent French immigrants to Israel who live in Jerusalem. Following a bomb attack on a local café, she throws a bottle into the sea near Gaza with a message asking for an explanation. Naïm (Mahmoud Shalaby), a sensitive but aimless 20-year-old Palestinian living in Gaza, discovers the bottle and tries to answer Tal’s question by initiating an email correspondence. Their mutual suspicion soon develops into a tender friendship.

An Oasis on the Hill (2013)  10 minutes
Thursday May 18  

This inspiring documentary follows Omer and Rami, who grew up in Neve Shalom / Wahat al Salam, an Israeli village where Jews and Arabs have peacefully coexisted for over 40 years. Included with this film will be a “talk back” by young people recently returned from TOLEF’s  2017 trip to Israel/Palestine and Bosnia.  

For more information about the film series, contact TOLEF Coordinator Mary Tomasetti at mary@tolef.org or 860-391-5384 or call Westbrook Library at (860) 399-6422

Directions to Westbrook Library: I-95 to Exit 65. South on Rte. 153 to center of Westbrook, left onto Boston Post Rd (Rte. 1), then left onto Burdick Dr.  Look for the entrance sign to Daniel R. Wren Park. The library will be on your right. The Community Room is located at the back of the Library. Entrance is next to Literacy Volunteers.          

About Jewish Voice for Peace: Jewish Voice for Peace is a national organization with over 65 chapter across the United States, including a chapter in the Greater New Haven area.  JVP supports the end of the Israeli occupation of Palestine; self-determination for Israelis and Palestinians; a just solution for Palestinians refugees based on principles established in international law; and peace and justice for all peoples of the Middle East.

About Tree of Life Educational Fund: Tree of Life Educational Fund is a non-profit organization that provides travel experience, conferences and educational opportunities to help participants to become more enlightened and engaged in making this a more just and peaceful world. The TOLEF’s latest trip to Israel/Palestine and Bosnia took place March 8-24, 2017.


‘J.J. Audubon, The Nature of the American Woodsman’ is Final Topic Today in Estuary Center’s Spring Lecture Series

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) Spring 2017 Lecture Series presents three powerful lectures during early May. The final one will be held Tuesday, May 16, at 5 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association.
Dr. Gregory Nobles is a historian and author of the new biography, John Jay Audubon, The Nature of the American Woodsman. This lecture discusses J.J. Audubon, the naturalist and painter, as well as the rise of citizen science.

These lectures continue RTPEC’s tradition of  attracting leading scientists, artists and authors to lecture on interesting vital topics and critical issues on the Connecticut River Estuary and its watershed. Members of RTPEC are also working with Kimberly Damon-Randall to have a “Meet a Scientist event at the Lyme Consolidated School with the 5th grade class.

Piping Plover by John J. Audubon.

The RTPEC also plans to meet the explosive demand for their Science in Nature Education Programs in Middlesex County (Essex Elementary School) and New London County (Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, New London Harbor Elementary School, and East Lyme Elementary School). These are provided with the assistance of numerous private donors, the Kitchings Family Fund at The Community Foundation for Middlesex County, The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut,, and the Rockfall Foundation.

To date, the” outdoor classrooms” have included Hammonasset State Park, Old Lyme Land Trust’s Mile Creek Preserve and Lyme Land Conservation Trust’s Jewett and Pleasant Valley Preserve. In the Spring, RTPEC will also access natural areas of the City of New London.

This  Spring, RTPEC thanks the following partners for their support:
(a) Connecticut River Museum

(b) Town of Old Lyme

(c) Essex Meadows

(d) Lyme Art Association

(e) National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

(f) Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection


Local Artist Paints Mural in Lyme Public Library Children’s Room

Local artist Kristen Thornton has painted a mural in the children’s room of the  two-year-old Lyme Public Library building. The mural is a woodland scene that reflects the rural nature of the town and features birch trees along with a raccoon, deer, bird, squirrel, bear, and an owl. The mural is located in the small story hour nook.

Library Director Theresa Conley says, “The new library already had a bright and cheery children’s room, but we wanted something special to make it a little more comfortable and homey.  Our Children’s Librarian Barbara Carlson and Kristen Thornton came up with the idea of the woodland mural, which is just perfect.”

According to Carlson, “The mural reflects the landscape of the community, and it will prompt a natural interest for discussion or research of the animals, trees and more.  It also provides a natural gathering place for all the children.

The young children easily access picture books or play with the many educational toys the library has, and the older children can gather in small groups.”

Thornton is based in Old Lyme. She studied at Moore College of Art & Design and earned her BFA from the University of Connecticut.

She has exhibited her work in local galleries and on permanent murals in public and residential spaces, and she teaches art in schools and other educational organizations.

She currently teaches a weekly Open Studio class for students in grades 6-12 at the Lyme Library, as well as a monthly after-school Art & Books class for children in grades K-5.

The Lyme Public Library is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Library is closed Sundays and Mondays.


Free Event Offered in East Lyme to Introduce Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, May 15

A complimentary lunch and learn event will be held, Monday, May 15, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Shoreline Physical Therapy to introduce a new exercise program for people with arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, is designed to encourage individuals to enjoy an active lifestyle. The six week program will be offered twice a week from 12 to 1 p.m. and is suitable for all ages and levels of ability.

“Since we have a physical therapy setting, the program can be modified for just about anyone,” said program leader, Alison Stewart. “During the program we will be focusing on muscle strength, range of motion and flexibility, cardio respiratory endurance, balance and coordination, and stretch and relaxation techniques.”

Stewart is a certified Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) and Arthritis Foundation Program leader, and a physical therapy assistant at Shoreline Physical Therapy. The program is made up of two parts, the Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program (AFAP) and the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program (AFEP), which will be the initial offering. According to the AEA website, there are only five other sites in Conn. listed to teach this program, and none of those are on the immediate shoreline, which prompted Stewart to offer this program.

“It turns out there is quite a need for this in our community,” says Stewart. Arthritis is the nation’s number one cause of disability with 50 million people having been diagnosed with the disease, according to www.Arthritis.org. The most common of which is osteoarthritis, affecting 31 million Americans. “Regular physical activity is an important strategy for relieving pain and maintaining or improving function for people with arthritis.”

“With such wide spread diagnosis in our community, effecting a wide age range, we feel it is an important thing for us to do,” says Stewart. “The program should be covered by most insurances and Medicare with direction from a physician.”

To attend the complimentary lunch and informational event, RSVP by calling (860)739-4497. Shoreline Physical Therapy is located at 131 Boston Post Road, East Lyme, CT. Visit www.shoreline-pt.com.


SECWAC Presents Expert Panel Today in Old Lyme to Discuss Future of Korea, Reservations Essential

Special Event Open to the Public to Hear Experts Discuss North Korea. Advance Reservations are a Must

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) has announced that The World Affairs Councils of America has selected SECWAC as one of only six councils nationwide to host The Future of Korea – 2017 panel.  This panel discussion comes at a pivotal time for both the USA and its long-term ally, the Republic of Korea.

Saber rattling by North Korea, administrative issues confronting Korea’s To-be-elected President, and possible trade issues will be key challenges facing South Korea.  This panel discussion to be followed by Q&A will be held at the Lyme Old Lyme Middle School on Tuesday, May 9, at 5:30 pm.

The three panelists represent independent organizations and could have differing  perspectives on the overriding issues.

  • Will Cobb is with the US Department of State and will discuss US/Korean relations under the Trump Administration and the Issues facing Korea’s newly elected President.
  • Jang Hyun Kim is with the Embassy of Republic of Korea in the United States; with a background in trade, Kim will discuss ongoing  trade relations with the US, and Korean medical delivery advances.
  • Mark Tokola is with the Korea Economic Institute of America.  He’ll share his views on ongoing threats from North Korea and challenges facing the new South Korean administration.

This special event is open to the general public but reservations are required. Call 860-912-5718 or email info@secwac.org to reserve a seat.  The panel discussion takes place at 5:30 pm, Tuesday, May 9, at the Lyme Old Lyme Middle School, and will be preceded by a 5 p.m. reception.

The moderator for the discussion will be Andreas (Andy) Mink, a SECWAC Director and journalist. More information on the panelists, who are all experts on Korea, follows:

Will Cobb is the Chief of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Office in the Office of Korean Affairs at the US Department of State.  Prior to taking this assignment, Mr. Cobb served as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State John Kerry.  His overseas assignments include Mexico (2008-2010), Nicaragua (2010-2012), and Colombia (2013-2015).  In addition, his Washington assignments have included Watch Officer at the Operations Center.  Mr. Cobb has also spent 7 years as a business consultant with Deloitte and Booz Allen Hamilton.  He attended the US Coast Guard Academy, and obtained an MBA degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jang Hyun Kim is a Counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the United States.  Prior to that, he was Counselor at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Egypt, and Director in the Multilateral Trade Cooperation Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ROK; he has also served in the North American and European Union Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  He holds a BA degree in Anthropology from Seoul National University

Mark Tokola is Vice President of the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington, DC.  He retired as a US Foreign Service Officer in 2014 with the rank of Minister-Counselor, his last post being at the US Embassy in London.  Previously he had served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassies in Republic of Korea, Mongolia, and Iceland.  Among his other postings were two tours at the US Mission to the European Union in Brussels, the US Embassy in London and The Hague.  He also served as Director of the Iraq Transition Assistance Office in Baghdad in 2007-2008.  He received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for his work on implementing the Dayton Peace Accord while serving as political Counselor in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovia, from 1997 to 1999.  Mr. Tokola holds a BA in International Relations from Pomona College, Claremont, CA, and an LLM in European Community Law from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Future of Korea 2017 presentation is a special event complementing the SECWAC Speaker Series and is offered in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut www.chamberect.com.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America.  Its mission is to foster an understanding of issues related to foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate and educational programming.  Through its annual Speaker Series, SECWAC arranges up to 10 presentations a year that provide a public forum for dialogue between its members and experts on foreign relations.  Membership information is available at www.secwac.org.


Dump Your Junk Today! Safe Grad Committee Hosts ‘Dumpster Day’


Got junk?  Bring it to the 2017 Safe Grad Dumpster Day this Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme High School! 
Make a donation to the 2017 Safe Graduation Party, and you can dump your junk* in one of the dumpsters that have been generously provided by Paul Burdick Oil Co, Janky’s Rubbish Removal, and Solari Brothers Carting.
*The following cannot be accepted: hazardous waste; mattresses/box springs;  propane tanks; couches/sofas; computer monitors; yard waste; liquid/paint solvents; motor oil; car batteries; antifreeze; fluorescent light bulbs; gasoline/kerosene.
The 2017 Safe Graduation Party is an all-night, substance-free party for Lyme–Old Lyme High School seniors, taking place on graduation night in a secret, secure location. The kids will have myriad activities to keep them busy — sports, movies, music, games, food, etc. But it’s also a chance for our graduates to enjoy their last night together as a class, a night they’ll remember for years to come.
The total cost, including bus transportation and dinner beforehand, is not paid for by the school or the school district.  The Safe Grad Committee raises funds from the class and through various fundraisers like Dumpster Day and Restaurant Nights. (Next week will be the final Restaurant Night, May 10 at The Public House!)
Lyme–Old Lyme Safe Graduation Party is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and as such may accept matching funds from employers.  Donations are tax-deductible.
For more information, visit Facebook (@lolsafegrad) or www.lolsafegrad.com.

Golf Tournament Today Swings With Opportunity for Lyme Consolidated School

Lyme Consolidated School will host its Second Annual Golf Tournament and 19th Hole Event on Saturday, May 6. The event is hosted by the Lyme Consolidated School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), a non-profit group that works to support the Lyme Consolidated Elementary School that serves students of Lyme and Old Lyme, Conn., through volunteerism, parent involvement and funding activities, programs and materials for the students and staff of the school. Net proceeds from the tournament will go to the school PTO.

The tournament will be hosted on the beautiful grounds of Fox Hop Yard Golf Course located in East Haddam, just minutes from the Lyme Consolidated School.

There will be a BBQ lunch and a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. The golf will include several contests on the greens including a $10,000 putting contest. The PTO is grateful to their sponsors: Reynolds Subaru, Mohegan Sun, Holth & Kollman LLC, Sapia Builders Corp., River Valley Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, Novak Brothers, Ashlawn Farm Coffee, All-Pro Automotive, Brown & Knapp Insurance, Benchmark Wealth Management and Julia Balfour LLC.

The festivities will continue after golf into the early evening at “On the Rocks” at the Fox Hop Yard Golf Course where golf awards, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails (cash bar) will be enjoyed.  Non-golfers are invited to join in the fun as well from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wonderful silent auction items will be available such as original jewelry by Ann Lightfoot, Lady Gaga tickets, Yankee Tickets and more.

The Lyme PTO offers an array of special activities that help the children of our community flourish. Each year the PTO offers roughly 20 enriching programs for K to 5th grade, such as Curiosity Shop, where children can choose from a variety of specialty workshops held in an after school program or school assembly cultural events such as African American storytelling. PTO also hosts the Circle of Giving, in which families and students in need are helped during the holiday season and our hallmark Veteran’s Day Tea, Staff Appreciation Day and many field trips for all classes to name a few.

In order to have a successful tournament, sponsors are needed to offset the costs. The PTO is looking for local community members and businesses to support the event by being one of the Hole Sponsors, and, of course, golfing!

A single player registration is $150.00, which includes a BBQ lunch, 18 holes of golf, golf carts, use of the golfing facility and a ticket to the 19th Hole Event & Silent Auction. Non-golfing guests can also attend the 19th Hole Event & Silent Auction for $50.00 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. There are many other opportunities for local community members and businesses to support the event such as tee signs for $100.00.

The PTO is also looking for silent auction items and volunteers. Contact Josh Grenier at lymepto@gmail.com.


Celebrate Derby Day at LOL Junior Women’s ‘Juleps & Jockeys’ Fundraiser Tonight

Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC) hosts its major fundraiser for 2017 in a little over a week’s time.

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

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

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

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

LymeLine.com is proud to be a sponsor of this great event.

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