April 28, 2017

Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation Hosts Trivia Bee Tonight; Free Entry for Spectators

Photos courtesy of S.Crisp, LOL Education Foundation. David Rau of the Flo-Bees holds his correct answer high to the delight of his teammates.

David Rau of the ‘Flo-Bees’ holds his correct answer high to the delight of his teammates during the 2013 contest.

Trivia Bee logo

The Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation’s (LOLEF) 5th Annual Trivia Bee will be held Friday, April 28, at 7 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium.  This is a not-to-be-missed night of fun, frivolity and intellectual challenge!

Eric Parker of WFSB Eyewitness News will emcee, and Superintendent Ian Neviaser will head the judging team. Engaging questions will cover science, sports, popular culture, geography, and local history.

Local businesses, community organizations and neighborhoods are invited to enter teams of four into this adult trivia contest. Team registrations are now being accepted. Each four-member team registration costs $200.  For registration information, visit www.lolef.orgClick here for the registration form.

Admission to the contest spectators is free and all are welcome.

Questions are chosen from categories including science, sports, history, popular culture, current events, and geography, to engage participants and audience members. Teams are encouraged (but not required) to choose a fun team name and dress in costume.

The Lyme Public Library Bees' name went to their heads in last year's contest!

Photos courtesy of LOL Education Foundation.
The Lyme Public Library Bees’ name went to their heads in the 2013 contest!

The winning team from each round will participate in a championship round. Teams will compete for the coveted “Honey Pot” trophy, a perpetual trophy, as well as the honor of being crowned Lyme-Old Lyme’s Trivia Bee Champion. Prizes will also be awarded for the best team name and best team costume.

Spectators are encouraged to cheer on their favorite teams in person. Contests will be held during the event for the audience.

Snacks and beverages will be available for purchase.

Trophy

The ‘Honey Pot’ trophy awarded to the Trivia Bee champions.

The Lyme–Old Lyme Education Foundation’s mission is to foster individual growth that comes from continuous lifelong learning. It funds innovative pilot enrichment programs throughout the community, from early childhood through adult education at the Lymes Senior Center.

In 2017, the Foundation has funded the “Science in Nature” program by the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center. Third, Fourth and Fifth-graders at Mile Creek and Lyme Consolidated Schools experience science class in the nearby Mile Creek and Eight Mile River Preserves. They are taught to actual scientific equipment to measure temperature, soil moisture, and make observations about environmental factors and wildlife habitation. This program also introduces students and their teachers to Next Generation science standards.

The Foundation also just funded programming for the 2018 Spring Into Arts program, conducted once every three years for Lyme–Old Lyme Middle School students.

The Foundation’s 12-member all-volunteer board reviews grant applications from the Lyme-Old Lyme school district and local non-profits. Fundraising also includes the “Bound for the Sound” 5K-10K road race in September, and an annual fundraising appeal on its website, LOLEF.org.

Businesses and organizations are invited to enter a team of their own or, if they prefer, to sponsor a team made up of teachers and or students from our local schools.

If you would like to participate in the Bee or become a corporate sponsor, contact Mary Stone at stonehawkins@aol.com or 860-434-7754

Click here to visit the LOLEF Facebook page.

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Old Lyme Library Hosts Half Price BookCellar Sale Tomorrow, Also Local Author Discussion

The Old Lyme Library’s BookCellar is a treasure trove of books, all competitively priced — and every single one will be half that price on Saturday, April 29!

There are two exciting events being held at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library on Saturday, April 29.  Kicking things off from10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the Phoebe’s BookCellar Half-Price Sale and then at 1 p.m., join a book discussion with a local author.

If you have never been to the BookCellar — or haven’t been recently — now is your chance to get some incredible bargains on books, DVDs, CDs and audio books.  The BookCellar is a volunteer-run, used bookstore operating on the lower level of the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.  With over 10,000 books in all genres, including History & Biography, Fiction & Mystery, Children’s, Fine Art and Rare & Collectible books.  All proceeds from the BookCellar benefit the Library.

Plan your visit to the BookCellar so that you can enjoy the local author book discussion, which the library is hosting at 1 p.m.  Cynthia Parzych presents a program in which she will discuss her latest book titled, “Connecticut Made”, which is a new guidebook extolling the virtues of homegrown products by Connecticut craftsmen, artisans and purveyors.

Connecticut Made is a unique guidebook and local resource full of hundreds of things to find and buy, crafts to discover, factories to explore, and history to uncover––all made in Connecticut. Organized by product type, categories include ceramics/pottery, clothing/accessories, furnishings/furniture, glassware, home décor, jewelry, specialty foods, toys/games, and so much more. Together, these homegrown establishments help make up the identity of the Nutmeg State and are part of the larger fabric of what is distinctively New England.

Cynthia Parzych

Born and educated in Connecticut, Parzych is a writer, book publisher, editor and professional chef. She lives in Glastonbury where she runs her publishing company and a food business. She utilizes the produce grown on her property and sourced locally to make sauces, soups, pesto, pickles, vinegars, jams and marmalades all sold from her house and farm stand.

Autographed copies of Connecticut Made will be available for purchase at a discount following the talk.

About the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library: The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, off Lyme Street. Spring hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10 AM to 7 PM; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 AM to 6 PM; Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM, and Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM. For more information, call 860-434-1684 or visit www.oldlyme.lioninc.org

Parking at the Library: If the Library’s parking lot is full, additional spaces are available on Lyme Street. There is also a parking lot behind the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall across the street from the Library.

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LOL Chamber of Commerce Invites Applications from High School Seniors for Two Scholarships; Deadline is Tonight

One Scholarship Recognizes Business Leadership, Second is for Promise and Achievement in the Arts

The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Chamber of Commerce is offering two scholarships this year to high school seniors who are resident in Lyme or Old Lyme and either currently attending an accredited high school or pursuing a home school program. The two scholarships are the Business Leadership Senior Scholarship and the Senior Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts.  The Chamber’s intent is to present a single award of $1,000 for each scholarship. The Chamber, however, reserves the right to change the amount of the award and/or to make additional awards if deemed appropriate.

For both scholarships, the applicant must submit the appropriate application form, both of which are available in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Guidance Office or online on the Chamber’s website at www.visitoldlyme.com.

For the Business Leadership Senior Scholarship, the applicant must have demonstrated achievement in economics, business, technology, or a closely related area; be entering college in fall 2017 to pursue a career in a business-related field, and demonstrate the use of his/her skills in a community setting that requires an ability to balance and integrate academics with community service and/or paid employment: for example, in an internship, a part-time job, a business or a nonprofit organization.

For the Senior Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts, the applicant must have demonstrated achievement in the arts; be entering college in fall 2017 to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts or equivalent degree at a recognized art school or college, and demonstrate the use of his/her skills in a community setting that requires an ability to balance and integrate art and academics with community service and/or paid employment: for example, in an internship, a part-time job, a business or a non-profit organization.

The LOL Chamber of Commerce Scholarship program has awarded over $33,000 in scholarships and grants to local students since its inception. The Chamber Scholarship Fund is supported through donations to CMRK clothing donation bins located in Lyme and Old Lyme: at the Lyme Firehouse, behind The Bowerbird, at 151 Boston Post Rd., and on Rte. 156 at Shoreline Mowers.

For more information about the scholarship program, contact LOL Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Committee Co-Chairs Russ Gomes at russgo@2289@aol.com or  Olwen Logan at olwenlogan@gmail.com or 860.460.4176.

For more information about the LOL Chamber of Commerce, visit www.visitoldlyme.com.

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‘Non-Citizens’ Rights’ Workshop to be Held in Old Lyme Tomorrow to Help Refugees, Immigrants Understand Their Legal Rights,

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL), the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) and the Westbrook Early Childhood Council (WECC) will hold a joint workshop designed to help refugees, immigrants and other non-citizens understand their rights under state and federal laws on Saturday, April 29, at 9:30 a.m in FCCOL’s Sheffield Auditorium.

A “non-citizen” is any individual who does not currently possess U.S. citizenship – including legal permanent residents; refugees; asylum seekers; people who have permission to come here to work, study or travel; and people without legal immigration status of any kind.

The workshop is open and free to anyone who would like to attend.  A Spanish-speaking lawyer will be on hand to share legal expertise and answer questions.

In announcing the workshop, FCCOL Senior Minister Steve Jungkeit commented, “As a people of faith, we have core values that unite us. These include a spirit of generosity and compassion, of hospitality and grace, of humility and kindness; an affirmation of the dignity, worth, sanctity and belovedness of each individual; and a commitment for caring for the most vulnerable in our midst.  We are proud to link arms with our friends at Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau and Westbrook Early Childhood Council to offer this workshop to help local non-citizens, their families and friends.”

For more information, visit FCCOL at www.fccol.org; LYSB at www.lysb.org and WECC at www.westbrookfamilies.org.

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Impact of Sea Level Rise Locally is First Topic in Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Spring Lecture Series, Tuesday

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) Spring 2017 Lecture Series presents three powerful lectures during early May:

Tuesday, May 2, 5 p.m. Old Lyme Town Hall:
David Kozak, Senior Coastal Planner from CT DEEP, will address the impact of sea level rise, specifically on the Connecticut River Estuary and Tidal Wetlands.  Kozak is the project manager for applying the Sea Level Affecting Marsh Migration (SLAMM) model to Connecticut’s shoreline to evaluate the potential response of our coast’s natural and built environments to sea level rise.  He will address the origins of our coastal marshes, the physical and biological processes that sustain them, how they contribute to the health of the estuary, how they defend against rising sea levels, and how we can breach their migration barriers.  His work also incorporates the latest sea level rise forecasts, which project sea level rise to be accelerating and to rise higher than previously thought.

Piping Plover by John J. Audubon.

Tuesday, May 9, 4 p.m. Essex Meadows: 

Kimberly Damon-Randal, for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, will discuss the rediscovery of the Atlantic sturgeon in the Connecticut River Estuary and NOAA’s designation of the Connecticut River as a critical habitat for the threatened and endangered Atlantic sturgeon.

Tuesday, May 16, 5 p.m., 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.

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

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Lyme Girl Scout Troop #63632 Celebrates Installation of ‘Little Free Library’ for the Community

The Girl Scouts involved in the creation of the Little Free Library, all of whom attend Lyme School, gather for a group photo. From left to right, Hoshena Gemme, Emma Rose Arelt, Ella Keim, Ava Gilbert, Jen Datum, Chloe Datum and Christy Cooper.  Photos by Barbara Arelt unless otherwise stated.)

A dedication ceremony was held Sunday, April 23, for a Little Free Library that has been installed in the side courtyard of the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) courtesy of local Girl Scout Troop #63632.  The new Library is a “take a book, return a book” free book exchange.

The Girl Scout Troop, which is primarily comprised of girls currently in 4th grade at Lyme Consolidated Elementary School, earmarked annual cookie sale profits to design, build, install and maintain a Little Free Library at their host site, the LYSB on Lyme Street.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

If you take a book (or two) from a Little Free Library, you do not need to return that specific book. However, in order to keep the Little Free Library full of good choices for the whole neighborhood, the next time you swing by the Library, bring a few books to share.  Little Free Library book exchanges function on the honor system; everyone contributes to ensure there are always quality books inside.

Last fall the Girl Scouts and their troop leader, Jennifer Datum, voted to proceed with the Little Free Library project to demonstrate the Troop’s appreciation for their community and to build teamwork skills. The Library will be stocked initially with books from Troop members’ personal collections. The girls will also be responsible for its monthly maintenance.

Chris Arelt (right), owner of Nautilus Architects, who donated the design of the Library, stands with his wife Barbara and daughter Emma Rose in front of the newly-installed Library. Emma Rose is a member of Troop #63632.

Because LYSB is located in the village of Old Lyme, the Little Free Library design needed to be reviewed and approved by the town’s Historic District Commission.  Two Troop members, Chloe Datum and Ava Gilbert, presented the Commission with a classic design donated by Old Lyme architect Christopher Arelt of Nautilus Architects, father of Troop member Emma Rose Arelt.

Construction of the library included quality materials generously donated by Rings End in Niantic. The design was built and installed by Gary Lankerd, a master carpenter based in Waterford.  Additional details were implemented by Philip Schaller, owner of Signs & Digital Graphics in Deep River.

Many of the people involved in the project attended the dedication ceremony. From left to right, Gary Lankerd (Lankerd Custom Carpentry), Christopher Arelt (Nautilus Architects), Bonnie, LYSB Director Mary Seidner, Jen Datum (Girl Scout Troop leader) and John Forbis (Old Lyme Historic District Commission.) Photo by Mary Seidner.

The Troop’s dedication and reception ceremony was for everyone involved in this project, including leaders from the Old Lyme community and the Girl Scout Council. The Troop also expressed their thanks to Mary Seidner, Director of LYSB, who was instrumental in supporting both the Troop and this community service project.

Under the direction of Troop leaders, the Girl Scouts will be submitting the Little Free Library project for the Girl Scouts Bronze Award, which is the highest award a Junior can earn.  Working toward obtaining this award demonstrates their commitment to helping others, improving their community and the world, and becoming the best they can be.

For more information about Girl Scouts of Connecticut, visit www.gsofct.org

For more information about the Little Free Library program, visit LittleFreeLibrary.org

For more information about Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, visit lysb.org.

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Two Organizations Working for Middle East Peace Co-Sponsor Film Series; Next Screening, ‘Five Broken Cameras,’ May 4

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.

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I-95, Exit 72 Ramp Closures May Continue This Evening

The Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced the following dates scheduled for ramp closures related to Project 104-164, Safety Improvements I-95.  The CTDOT says these closures are necessary for the safety of the traveling public and the contractors work force during the milling, reconstruction and paving of the ramps due to the widths and curvatures.

1. Southbound Exit 72  Off Ramp  – April 24 & 25, 2017 *
2. Southbound Exit 72 On Ramp –  April 24 & 25 ,2017 *
 
*These two ramps will not be closed concurrently, but as Exit 72 Off opens then Exit 72 On will close.
 
3. Southbound Exit 70 Off Ramp – May 1, 2017
4. Northbound Exit 70 On Ramp – May 12, 2015
5. Northbound Exit 71 On Ramp – May 15 & 16, 2017
6. Northbound Exit 71 Off Ramp – May 15 & 16, 2017
7. Northbound Exit 72 Off Ramp – May 17 & 18, 2017  
 
Detours for all ramps will be posted and signed so that the minimum inconvenience to the traveling public will occur.  All closures will be between the hours of 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.
 
The project does not foresee the need to close the Northbound Exit 70 Off Ramp or Southbound Exit 70 On Ramp as the widths will allow milling operations with traffic access.
 
These dates may change as conflicts arise or due to weather related issues. Emergency vehicle access will be given the highest priority in these locations.
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Child and Family Agency Collecting Donations for Annual Sale in Old Lyme, Tuesday

How does it look? Intake for Child & Family's Annual Sale is Tuesday in Old Lyme.

How does it look? Intake for Child & Family’s Annual Sale is Tuesday in Old Lyme.

The Lyme/Old Lyme Auxiliary of the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut has scheduled its Intake for donations to the Agency’s 63rd Annual Sale.

Donations will be accepted for one day only in Old Lyme on Tuesday, May 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, in the Sheffield Auditorium on Ferry Rd. This will be the only day to bring items for donation in Old Lyme.

Items accepted include furniture, art work, men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing; books, records, CDs and DVDs; toys and sporting goods; small appliances; household items; linens; jewelry; tools; and more.

All items must be in very good condition, i.e., clothes and linens must be clean with no holes or stains, and appliances must be working. If you require assistance with donating large items, contact the agency at 860-443-2896.

Child and Family Agency’s 63rd Annual Sale will be held at the New London Armory on Bayonet St. in New London, May 11–13.  Prices on Thursday, May 11, will have a premium (+25 percent), Friday, May 12, will be regular price and Saturday, May 13, will be 50 percent off in most departments.

Other drop-off locations for the sale are as follows:

East Lyme/Niantic
Wednesday April 26th 9 – 3
Saint Matthias Church – East Lyme

Groton
Tuesday May 2nd
Noon to 6 p.m.
City of Groton Municipal Building

Mystic/Noank/Stonington
Wednesday May 3rd 10 – 3
St. Patrick’s Church – Mystic

Essex
Thursday May 4th 10 – 6
Essex Town Hall

New London/Waterford
Saturday May 6th 9 – 2
St. Joseph School, New London

For more information on the sale, call 860-443-2896 or visit http://www.childandfamilyagency.org

Child and Family Agency is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the well-being and development of all children and their families, with emphasis on the unmet needs of children lacking physical, emotional, and intellectual care and nurturing.

With offices in New London and Essex, and programs in children’s health care, child abuse, family violence, teen pregnancy, parent education, and child guidance, the Child and Family Agency is the largest nonprofit children’s service provider in Southeastern Connecticut.

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Linda Clough Presents ‘Invasive Plants—Law and Lore’ at Duck River Garden Club Meeting, Tonight; All Welcome

On April 25, Linda Clough will present to DRGC members and friends on invasive plants, such as the water lilies pictured above.

The next meeting of the Duck River Garden Club (DRGC) will be held Tuesday, April 25 in the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall. The evening will begin with a social time at 6:30 p.m. followed by the program at 7 p.m. and the business meeting at 8 p.m.

This month’s presenter is Linda Clough, who is a DRGC member with a B.A. from UCLA in history; MLS (Library Science) from SCSU; and JD from the UConn School of Law. She received certification as a Master Gardener in 2011 and went on to receive Advanced Certification in 2013.

Her topic is Invasive Plants—Law and Lore. Clough will define what an invasive plant is and make attendees aware of the Connecticut General Statute covering their sale and propagation. She will talk about invasive plant habits, habitat, and address some remedial measures. In her talk, Linda hopes to emphasize why propagation of native species is important to the general environment. She will also discuss the findings presented at the seminar given by UConn’s Invasive Plant Working Group in October 2016.

For more information, visit the DRGC website at this link.

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Tickets on Sale Now for Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s ‘Juleps & Jockeys’ Fundraiser, May 6

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.

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A Little Humor in Celebration of The Bard’s Birth- and Death-Day

Today is not only St. George’s Day (the equivalent for England of St. Patrick’s Day for Ireland) but also both William Shakespeare’s birth- and death-day. Well, to be honest, the latter is a definite while the former is one which, to quote from Wikipedia, “has proved appealing to biographers.”  It is known for sure that Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon in England on April 26, 1564, and so the April 23 date has simply been deduced from that.

In honor of the great Bard, we are delighted to publish this delightful submission from our good friend and book reviewer Felix Kloman and his wife Ann of Lyme.  This is sure to put a smile on the faces of all our Shakespeare-ophiles!

Memories of Yorick

Late last fall, a scrawny young mouse named Yorick politely asked to spend the winter with us, providing entertainment and conversation in return for a modest meal each day. We greeted him with enthusiasm, and shared stories . But, of late he has seemed much fatter and far hungrier. We fed him more and, of course, warned him not to go into the pantry, where we had set a trap for some rapacious relatives. He didn’t follow our advice.

Alas, poor Yorick!

 

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Talk by ‘Curtains Without Borders’ Tonight on Restoration Plans for 1929 Stage Curtain in Old Lyme Grange

Old Lyme Historical Society board members Mark Lander (left) and Tim Griswold stand in front of the iconic curtain now scheduled for restoration in this file photo taken when the OLHS completed the purchase of The Grange.

When the Old Lyme Historical Society purchased the former Old Lyme Grange Hall on Lyme St in 2014, the members were proud to become the owners of the iconic stage curtain, which The Grange had commissioned and installed shortly after the re-dedication of their hall in its new location on Lyme St. in 1929.

This hand-painted curtain consists of a landscape surrounded by advertisements for a number of businesses in Old Lyme and other local towns. Some of these businesses are still operating 88 years later!

A close-up view of the curtain.

The Grange took wonderful care of the curtain but, after all this time, it needs work to freshen it up and preserve it for another 88 years. The OLHS has contracted with an organization called Curtains Without Borders, which specializes in this type of work. Based in Burlington Vt., they have restored hundreds of these curtains across Northern New England: in Grange Halls, theatres, town halls and schools. Curtains Without Borders will be working their magic between April 21 and 23.

Chris Hadsel, the head conservator of Curtains Without Borders, will give a talk about stage curtains and the restoration project at the Old Lyme Historical Society Hall at 55 Lyme St on Saturday, April 22, at 7 p.m.  There will be no admission charge and all are welcome.  Check the OLHS website to see if there is any change in the time.

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2nd Annual Tag Sale Today at LOL High School Supports Mission of Friends of Music

The 2nd annual Friends of Music Tag Sale, will bring bargains galore to the Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s (LOLHS) gym and Commons areas on Saturday, April 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Proceeds from the sale will help advance the mission of the Lyme-Old Lyme Friends of Music, who provide support to the music programs in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools at all levels.
Items for sale will include housewares, toys, books, CDs and DVDs, sporting goods, furniture, tools, and more.  Clothing and bedding will not be included in the tag sale.
 
Spring cleaning? Moving? Donations of items to the Friends of Music Tag Sale will be gladly accepted on Friday, April 21, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the high school:  housewares, furniture, sporting goods, toys, books, CDs and DVDs, artwork, tools, etc., in good condition—but no clothing, please.
 

Friends of Music was established in the early 1980s in response to District budget cuts that threatened to affect arts programs in our schools. Today Friends of Music provide support to Lyme-Old Lyme Schools music programs at all levels: materially, by funding unbudgeted and unexpected items, and administratively, by assisting with uniform distribution, staffing at events, and more.

 

Friends of Music also supports LOLHS students individually by awarding scholarships to selected graduating seniors.

 

More information on Friends of Music and the 2nd annual Tag Sale can be found at www.friendsofmusiclol.org or e-mail friendsofmusiclol@gmail.com. 
As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Friends of Music can accept matching funds from employers. 
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Carney, Ziobron to Host In-Depth Legislative Budget Forum This Evening in Hadlyme, 6pm

State Representative Devin Carney

State Representative Melissa Ziobron

State Representatives Devin Carney, R-23rd, and Melissa Ziobron, R-34th, will hold a legislative budget forum and meet with constituents from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the Hadlyme Public Hall, 1 Day Hill Road.

Carney, a member of the legislature’s Finance Committee and Ziobron, the ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, will provide an overview of Connecticut’s budget and fiscal situation. They will present a summary of the state budget process, the Governor’s proposed budget and what to expect in the remainder of this legislative session.

For more information, contact the legislators’ office at (800) 842-1423.

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Author, Inspirational Speaker Shares Her Story of Survival, Hope, Forgiveness at CTK Church Tonight, 7pm

Immaculée Ilibagiza

Author and speaker Immaculée Ilibagiza will appear at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme on Friday, April 21, to share her inspirational story of faith and forgiveness amid the horrors of widespread violence.

Ilibagiza is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide that took the lives of nearly one million Tutsis. Men, women, and children, including her entire family except for one of her brothers, were massacred at the hands of Hutu marauders. Ilibagiza found shelter at a pastor’s home, where she and seven other women hid in a 3-by-4-foot bathroom for 91 days.

During those months of unimaginable suffering, she found her faith, taught herself English, and most incredibly, committed herself to a life of peace, hope, and forgiveness, even for those who had murdered her family. She has gone on to work at the United Nations, receive five honorary doctoral degrees, and write seven books about her faith and her life journey, and she is the recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace.

“Although the genocide in Rwanda occurred 23 years ago and half a world away,” says Fr. Walter Nagle, parochial vicar at Christ the King Church, Immaculée’s experience is still relevant to us today, here in Connecticut. “There is always a danger of history repeating itself when people lose sight of their common humanity. Clearly there are divisions in our country on issues of race, religion, politics — that never reach the level of violence of Rwanda — but who can say that it will never happen again? In a world that so often seems to be absent of God, Immaculée’s story will be a reminder that God is, indeed, present and active in our lives.”    

Ilibagiza will share her story of survival, faith, and forgiveness at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 21.  This event is free and open to the public.  (A free-will offering will be taken.)

Christ the King Church is located at 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme.  The church is accessible and offers ample parking. For more information, visit www.christthekingchurch.net, or email ctkoldlyme@aol.com.

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Old Lyme Town Budget Calls for 3.26 Percent Increase, Requires 0.55 Mill Rate Increase to 21.75

Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Andy Russell presents the Town’s proposed 2017-18 budget at Monday night’s meeting.

Around 30 residents showed up for Monday night’s public hearing in the Old Lyme Town Hall Meeting Room of the Town’s proposed budget of $36,355,031 for the 2017-18 fiscal year.  The proposed budget presented by Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Andy Russell, which includes $26.5 million for Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools, represents a 3.26 percent increase over the 2016-17 approved budget.

The Towns of Lyme and Old Lyme divide the LOL Schools’ budget of $33,634, 371 between them based on percentages representing the respective number of students that each town has attending LOL Schools. The total LOL Schools budget for both towns reflects a 0.49 percent increase over the current year, but when translated exclusively to the Old Lyme budget, the sum represents a 3.65 percent increase over the current year’s figure.

Old Lyme’s general government and capital budgets, which make up the balance of the Town budget (excluding the school budget), total $9,819,829 representing a 1.84 percent increase over the current year.  This number comprises $8,774,129 for general government and $1,045,700 for capital spending.

Russell summarized key increases and decreases in the the two sections of the budget, noting that regarding grants to non-profits , “The only one to receive an an increase is the Old Lyme Library.”  He commented on the subject of Debt Service that “The only debt that the Town has relates to the Town Hall,” and that the period remaining on the debt is seven years.

The two largest single items in General Government capital expenditures are replacement of the Cross Lane Playground equipment ($150,000) and renovations to the bathrooms at Hains Park (also $150,000.)

The former expense was the reason that many in the audience attended the meeting.  Stacy Winchell, Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club President, which has been working to raise money for the playground, commented in an email after the meeting, “As we have been working diligently for three years in bringing a safe and all-accessible playground to Cross Lane, we wanted to represent to the public that we continue to support and contribute to the return of a playground at Cross Lane.”

Renovations to the Hains Park bathrooms were originally included in the boathouse plans but now needed additional funding.

Another project which received increased funding ($10,000) was a feasibility study to determine the viability of a sidewalk from Town Woods Park to Rte. 1/Boston Post Rd.

Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Andy Russell answers a question about the Town’s proposed 2017-18 budget at Monday night’s meeting.

Russell said the board of finance was proposing to take, “$800,000 out of surplus to soften the blow to taxpayers,” but adding, “$600,000 was taken out of surplus for each of the last two years … but not needed last year.”  Adding, “We probably won’t need it this year,” he noted that the mill rate for 2017-18 is scheduled to increase from 21.2 to 21.75 mills, an increase of 2.58 percent.

Russell cited three examples of how the mill rate will impact property owners.  The first was for a house appraised at $347,200 and assessed at $243,000.  This homeowner paid $5,152 in property taxes in 2016-17, but will pay $5,285 under the proposed mill rate next year.

His second example related to a house appraised at $540,200 and assessed at $378,100.  This homeowner paid $8,016 in property taxes in 2016-17, but would pay $8,224 next year under the proposed budget.

Russell’s consistent message throughout the presentation was that the board always pursues a course that errs on the conservative side.  As a result, he explained, the town enjoys the highest credit rating possible.  Additionally, he noted that the board uses a predicted collection rate on taxes of 98.25 percent whereas the rate is, in fact, typically over 99 percent.

When public comment opened, one resident asked if the cameras being installed in police cars would be transferable between vehicles and Russell  confirmed they would.

Former Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold, who is now town treasurer,  stated, “The Hains Park bathhouse is a controversial issue.” He agreed the bathrooms “need to be fixed,” but said, “The question should have gone to a Town Meeting … to be aired fully.”  Griswold suggested it was now, “… lost in the budget.”

Russell responded that the question had been much discussed by the board and in the end, members had decided that since, “The Town had approved bathrooms and the boathouse,” the board should now add the necessary funds for the bathrooms into the budget.  David Kelsey commented from the floor that this new sum to fund the bathrooms is now, “… buried in the budget.”  Judith Read also questioned the boathouse project funding asking whether there was a surplus in hand on the boathouse project and if monies for the bathrooms were originally included in the boathouse project.

After the close of public comment, Russell said the proposed budget will now go forward for approval by residents at a town meeting to be held May 15.

Prior to that, Lyme and Old Lyme residents will vote separately in a referendum on the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools $33.6 million budget to be held May 2. Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in both towns and the results from each town are combined to determine if the budget has passed.  Voting in Old Lyme will be held in the Cross Lane Firehouse.

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Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet, Old Lyme’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Logo - DEA

Since the first Lyme-Old Lyme Drug Take Back event in 2011, citizens have returned more than 500 pounds of medications to prevent misuse.

On Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lyme Street Fire House, the Community Action for Substance Free Youth (CASFY) Coalition will give residents another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinets. Twenty seven percent of seniors at Lyme-Old Lyme High School report it would be “very or sort of easy to obtain a prescription drug without your own prescription.”  (Lyme-Old Lyme Youth Survey, Dec. 2015). You have the opportunity to return unwanted medications at this bi-annual event, so that you don’t inadvertently contribute to someone’s misuse of a drug.

Should you miss this Drug Take Back event, you can dispose of your medications at Drug Drop Boxes located in area police stations including Troop F in Westbrook and the East Lyme Police Station in Niantic.

The misuse of prescription pain relievers and tranquilizers is more prevalent in the U.S. than use of all types of illicit drugs, except marijuana.  These medications are readily available in many home medicine cabinets and are easily diverted, misused and abused.

According to the Center for Disease Control, drug overdose deaths now kill more Americans than car crashes.  Prescription pain pills are driving the increase in overdoses.  Studies show that the majority of young people who abuse medicines obtain their supply from family and friends.

This event is co-sponsored by CASFY Coalition, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, Old Lyme Police Department, Troop F State Police, and Old Lyme Fire Department,

For more information about the Drug Take Back event, or CASFY Coalition, contact LYSB at 860-434-7208 or visit www.lysb.org

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Join Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber’s ‘Business After Hours’ at Old Lyme Library Tonight, All Welcome

The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Chamber of Commerce is hosting Business After Hours at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, Library Lane, Old Lyme, on Wednesday, April 19, from 7 to 830 p.m. 

Join Chamber members to network with other local businesses and hear the engaging, innovative new Library Director Katie Huffman speak about her 21st century vision for the institution and how she sees the Chamber and the broader community developing an effective working relationship with the library to mutual benefit.

Huffman will also discuss volunteer opportunities at the library and some of the new programs that she will be implementing.

Prospective Chamber members are especially welcome — this is a great opportunity to see the Chamber in action and evaluate whether you wish to join.

Appetizers, wine and soft drinks will be served. There is no charge to attend but an RSVP to email@lolcc.com would be helpful for planning purposes.

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Egyptian Affairs Expert Explains, ‘How the Muslim Brotherhood Lost Egypt;’ Hosted by SECWAC Tonight

Mark Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) hosts Mark Trager – a distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and noted expert on Egyptian politics – on Wednesday, April 19, at Connecticut College. Trager will present an address entitled “How the Muslim Brotherhood Lost Egypt”

Trager is the author of “Arab Fall: How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days,” a recent book that chronicles the precipitous rise to power of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and its sudden demise just a year later. In the book, Trager assesses the current state of Egyptian politics and prospects for the Brotherhood’s reemergence.  Signed copies will be available for sale at the end of the presentation.

Tickets for his presentation are $20 for the general public, and free for area students; tickets can be obtained at info@secwac.org. (Ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership.)  The address starts at 6 p.m. at Blaustein Hall at Connecticut College and will be preceded by a 5:30 p.m. reception.

Trager – currently the Esther K. Wagner Fellow at the institute – was in Egypt during the anti-Mubarak revolts and returns frequently to interview leaders in Egypt’s government, military and media. His writings have appeared in the “New York Times,” “Wall Street Journal,” “Foreign Affairs” and “New Republic,” among other publications.

Trager graduated from Harvard University with a degree in government and language citations in Arabic and Hebrew; and subsequently studied at the American University in Cairo as an Islamic Civilizations Fulbright fellow – receiving  his M.A. in Arabic studies with a concentration in Islamic studies. He served as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania where his doctoral research focused on Egyptian opposition parties.

The presentation is a part of the SECWAC Speaker Series.  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.

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