August 27, 2016

CT Port Authority Chair Tells Lower CT River Local Officials, “We’re All on One Team”

Enjoying a boat ride on the Connecticut River but still deep in discussion are (from left to right) Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister, Old Lyme First Selectwoman and and Connecticut Port Authority (CPA) Board Member Bonnie Reemsnyder, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr.

Enjoying a boat ride on the Connecticut River, but still finding time for discussions, are (from left to right) Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister, Old Lyme First Selectwoman and Connecticut Port Authority (CPA) board member Bonnie Reemsnyder, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr.

There was an overarching message both throughout the Connecticut Port Authority’s (CPA) meeting in Old Lyme’s Town Hall Thursday afternoon and during a subsequent boat ride on the MV ‘Victoria’ for members and local officials on the Connecticut River.  It was, in the words of CPA Chairman Scott Bates, that, “We’re absolutely committed to river communities.”

Scott Bates, CPA Chairman, receives input regarding the town's needs from Norm Needleman, Essex First Selectman.

Scott Bates, CPA Chairman, receives input regarding the town’s needs from Norm Needleman, Essex First Selectman.

In addition, while sailing from Essex down to Old Saybrook and then back up to Hamburg Cove on a perfect afternoon, Bates stressed, “Part of our mission is protecting these beautiful waters … and the quality of life we have here while preserving access to the river.”

View of the Connecticut River from the "Victoria."

View of the Connecticut River from the “Victoria.”

Bates noted that to have “five local officials (Chester First Selectwoman Lauren Gister, Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald Jr., Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, all of whom were on board, and Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna, who was unable to join the trip) “involved” was a really positive sign in terms of  “building a coalition.”  This, Bates explained, was key to the development of a strategic plan for the CPA—something the Authority has been charged with preparing with a deadline of Jan. 1, 2017.

Gathered for a photo are (from left to right) CPA board member John Johnson, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Old Lyme First Selectwoman and CPA board member Bonnie Reemsnyder.

Gathered for a photo are (from left to right) CPA board member John Johnson, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman, CPA Chairman Scott Bates and Old Lyme First Selectwoman and CPA board member Bonnie Reemsnyder.

The  CPA is a relatively new quasi-public agency created in 2014 with board appointments made in 2016.  Bates said the agency was responsible for 35 coastal communities and with this trip, he would now personally have visited 28 of them. Since the CPA has not created a strategic plan previously, Bates said he is determined, “to include everyone,” in the process, adding that he regards part of the Authority’s mission to be “getting small town and big cities together.” and, in turn, “to make great things happen for our state.”

Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr. (left) chats with RiverCOG Executive Director Sam Gold aboard the 'Victoria.'

Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Jr. (left) chats with RiverCOG Executive Director Sam Gold aboard the ‘Victoria.’

Apart from Bates and the four local First Selectmen and Selectwomen, also on board were Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (RiverCOG) Executive Director Sam Gold, River COG Deputy Director and Principal Planner J.H. Torrance Downes, CPA Board of Directors member John Johnson and Joe Salvatore from the CPA.  Reemsnyder is also a board member of the CPA.

Connecticut Port Authority staff member Joe Salvatore points out a river feature to Reemsnyder and Johnson.

Connecticut Port Authority staff member Joe Salvatore points out a river feature to Reemsnyder, Bates and Johnson.

At the earlier meeting in Old Lyme, Downes had given a presentation to CPA members to introduce them to the Lower Connecticut River during which he had described the geography of the estuary, noting it had, “very little industry and very little commercial development.”  He described it as a “really prime area for bird migration” and highlighted numerous points of scenic beauty.

J.H. Torrance Downe, Deputy Director of River COG, takes in the view of the Connecticut River.

J.H. Torrance Downes, Deputy Director of River COG, takes in the view of the Connecticut River.

Bates noted one of the CPA’s responsibilities is to pursue state and federal funds for dredging and, while sailing under the Baldwin Bridge towards the Connecticut River’s mouth where several tributaries join the main river, Reemsnyder commented that Old Lyme had been a beneficiary of a $1.6 million state grant for dredging two of those tributaries — the Black Hall and Four Mile Rivers.  She noted that it had been a successful exercise thanks in part to Salvatore, who had, “held our hand through the whole project.”

John Johnson, CPA board member (right) checks in with the captain of the 'Victoria.'

John Johnson, CPA board member (right) checks in with the captain of the ‘Victoria.’ Joe Salvatore stands at rear.

Johnson, whose life and business career according to the CPA website, have “a common underlying element: the coastal waters,” also confirmed the benefits of a dredging program, saying, “There is a need for depth of water — both elements, marine and maritime, need depth of water.”  Still on the dredging issue, Bates said he had met separately with Old Saybrook First Selectman Fortuna and told him that he could have “whatever he needs to keep the mouth of the Connecticut River open.”

John Johnson (left) and Bonnie Reemsnyder (right), both CPA board members, chat with the CPA Chairman Scott bates.

John Johnson (left) and Bonnie Reemsnyder (right), both CPA board members, chat with the CPA Chairman Scott bates.

Reemsnyder took a minute to commend Bates for his leadership of the CPA, saying, “Scott has given focus to coastal communities,”  while Johnson added, “We are blessed with our new chairman.”

The quiet, untouched beauty of Hamburg Cove.

The quiet, untouched beauty of Hamburg Cove.

Glancing around at the numerous boats docked both in marinas and on the river itself,  Reemsnyder remarked, “Add up the money in these boats … [they represent] lots of economic drivers.”  On the same theme, Bates noted that the state is marketing its ports for the first time using “national expertise” in some cases with the aim of moving “more people and goods in and out of Connecticut.”  He added, “We have some great assets [in terms of ports in the state] but we could do more.”

Eyes on the Cove -- guests on the 'Victoria' gaze at the view across the calm waters of Hamburg Cove.

Eyes on the Cove — guests on the ‘Victoria’ gaze at the view across the calm waters of Hamburg Cove.

As the “Victoria’ pulled gently back into dock at Essex Yacht Club, Bates summarized the benefits of the boat trip saying that by spending time with these local leaders, he had been able to “see their waterfronts, assess their needs,“ and gain an “appreciation of the vitality of the Lower Connecticut River basin,” emphasizing one more time, “This is really about pulling together as a state … we’re all on one team.”

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FRA to Host Public Meeting Wednesday in Old Lyme on Proposed Rail Route; Submit Questions, Comments in Advance or at Meeting

We have now received an official announcement regarding the public meeting with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in Old Lyme from Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder.

The meeting will be held next Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 4:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School auditorium, 69 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT. This meeting will last about 1.5 to 2 hours, and the FRA will give a very short presentation to clarify the process and address misstatements.  Then the FRA representatives will have a roundtable discussion about the NEC Futures Draft EIS with local and state leaders.

The meeting will be open to the public in an effort to allow residents and businesses to hear the discussion.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, along with local selectmen and elected officials, have been invited to the meeting.  Congressman Joe Courtney is able to attend until 5 p.m. and CT Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker will be there for the entire meeting.

The Town of Old Lyme requests that comments and questions be submitted to selectmansoffice@oldlyme-ct.gov prior to the meeting so that they may be addressed at the roundtable discussion.  It will also be possible to submit questions at the meeting for discussion by the participants.

Reemsnyder recommends arriving early since the meeting will begin promptly at 4:30 p.m.

 

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”Four Barrel Billy’ Presents Free Concert Tonight at Sound View

Four Barrel Billy will perform at Sound View tonight.

Four Barrel Billy will perform at Sound View tonight.

The next concert  of the 2016 series will be held this evening, Thursday, Aug. 25, and features the ‘Four Barrel Billy’ band. Described as an American Roots Rock n’ Roll band this group offers, “Hot-rod rockabilly, reverb drenched surf, old school 50’s rock ‘n roll, edgy 60’s pop, swing  and honky-tonk”  The sound combines, “fat guitar, thumpin’ upright bass and tight vocal harmonies.”

Stop by Sound View this evening and enjoy this free outdoor concert.  It will take place from 7 through 8.30 p.m., near the flag pole at the end of Hartford Avenue at Sound View Beach.

Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and settle in for a great evening of sunset music.

Everyone is welcome to attend these family-friendly events.

In case of rain, the concert will be held in the Shoreline Community Center on Hartford Ave.

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Public Hearings on Proposed Shoreline East, Metro North Fare Hikes to be Held Sept. 1 in Old Saybrook

Shoreline_East_logoMTA logoThe Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT) is proposing to increase public transit fares for the New Haven Line (Metro North) and Shore Line East rail services.  For example, the proposed one-way fare on Shoreline East from Old Saybrook to New Haven would rise on Dec. 1, 2016, from $6.75 to $7.25.  Similarly, the proposed one-way peak fare on Metro North from New Haven to Grand Central would rise from $22.00 to $23.50 and off-peak from $16.50 to $17.50.

The Department will be holding public hearings to receive comments on the proposed fare changes. Those nearest to Lyme and Old Lyme will be on Thursday,  Sept. 1, at Old Saybrook Town Hall, 302 Main St., Old Saybrook from 4 to 6 p.m. and then later on the same evening from 7 to 9 p.m.

The CT DOT is also planning to increase fares for CTtransit and CTfastrak local and express bus services, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit services with effect from Dec. 4, 2016, and to amend the tariffs for bus services to allow for the implementation of a new account-based smart card fare payment system (effective on or after Dec. 1, 2016).

Some other notable proposed increases include:

Old Saybrook to New Haven, ten-trip: $60.75 to $65.25
Old Saybrook to New Haven, monthly: $142.00 to $152.25
Westbrook to New Haven, one-way: $6.25 to $6.50
Westbrook to New Haven, ten-trip: $56.25 to $58.50
Westbrook to New Haven, monthly: $129.00 to $136.50
New Haven to Grand Central, weekly: $149.50 to $158.50
New Haven to Grand Central, monthly: $467.00 to $495.00

To see the proposed increases for Shoreline East fares, click here.
To see the proposed increases for Metro-North New Haven line fares to and from Grand Central Station, click here.
To see the proposed increases for Metro-North New Haven line fares to and from intermediate stations, click here.
To see the proposed increases for CTtransit and CTfastrak fares, click here.

In the event that you are unable to appear in person, you are encouraged to email comments to the DOT at dot.farecomments@ct.gov or through the DOT’s website.

Comments may also be mailed to:
Comment on Fare Changes
Bureau of Public Transportation
2800 Berlin Turnpike
P.O. Box 317546
Newington, CT 06131-7546

The comment period closes Sept. 15, 2016.

In the event you cannot make the public hearing in Old Saybrook and would like to testify in person, see the additional dates and locations below for future public hearings.

Wednesday, Sept. 7: 4 – 7 pm
Hartford Public Library, 500 Main St., Hartford

Tuesday, Sept. 13: 11 am – 2 pm
Meriden Town Hall, City Council Chamber, 142 East Main St., Meriden

Tuesday, Sept. 13: 4 – 7 pm
Silas Bronson Library, 267 Grand St., Waterbury

Wednesday, Sept. 14: 4 – 6 pm and 7 – 9 pm
UConn Stamford Campus Auditorium, One University Pl., Stamford

Thursday, Sept. 15: 4 – 6 pm and 7 – 9 pm
New Haven Hall of Records, Room G-2, 200 Orange St., New Haven

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) also invites readers to raise any questions or comments directly with him at devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov or (800) 842-1423.

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Mosquito Spraying to Take Place in Old Lyme’s Beach Area THIS EVENING

mosquito_v2Due to the recent mosquito problem in town, spraying for mosquitoes will be done THIS EVENING, Tuesday, Aug. 23, in the Hawks Nest Beach area beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The following areas will be treated:
Finnegan Farm Lane
Haywagon Drive
Dogwood Drive
Manor Estates
Cypress Circle
Salt Meadow Lane
Beechwood Lane
Sandlewood Lane
Robbins Avenue
Prospect Street
Hemlock Circle
Tyler Street
Center Beach Avenue
West End Drive
Clifton Street
Hawk’s Nest Road
Avenue A
Liberty Street In Hawk’s Nest Beach

Keep windows closed during this time and keep all children’s and pet’s toys inside.  Avoid being outside during this time period for approximately 30 minutes.

Signs will be posted by Innovative Mosquito Management at the top and bottom of these streets notifying residents of the ULV fogger spraying to be done by their truck.

For further information, contact Innovative Mosquito Management at 203-245-7015.

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Op-Ed: Support Sound View’s Historic District Designation With its Numerous Benefits; Ignore Inaccuracies Being Circulated

The author of this op-ed submits that there is strong evidence that Sound View is one of the oldest public beaches in the country. The image above shows the beach circa 1920.

The author of this op-ed, Michaelle Pearson, states that there is strong evidence that Sound View is the oldest public beach in the country. The image above shows the beach circa 1920.

COMMENTS ON THIS ARTICLE ARE NOW CLOSED: Sound View residents have been receiving letters from Heidi DiNino-Fields of Hartford Avenue urging them to register their opposition to the Sound View Historic District designation. These letters are filled with incorrect information, designed to confuse and frighten residents into opposition. Among the more blatant lies are that owners would not be able to paint or maintain their property; that it would negatively affect insurance, taxes and marketability; that it would impede upgrading to FEMA standards, and that the property “will essentially be frozen in as-is condition.” Each of these is completely false.

The National Historic Register is simply an Honorary designation to recognize neighborhoods that have a unique character and history. There are absolutely no restrictions on owners’ ability to renovate or develop their properties. This designation is different from the Town Historic District, on Lyme Street, which is overseen by the Historic District Commission, and has nothing to do with Sound View, or this type of designation.

Having a property within the Sound View Historic District actually conveys many benefits on owners, including better rates on insurance, better marketability, and assistance with waivers to FEMA requirements, building and zoning. The designation’s purpose is to make it easier for owners to renovate and develop their properties, if that is their choice. If an owner wants to renovate their property in a non-historic manner, or not at all, that is their choice. There is no government entity that can or will tell them what they can or can’t do.

IF an owner chooses to renovate in a historic manner, they become eligible for grant programs and tax abatements up to $30,000. If the owner wants the tax credit, that particular work will be subject to review, but only to ensure that the money is going toward a historic renovation. If an owner doesn’t take the cash, they can do whatever they like. No review or oversight whatsoever. Historic District designation has no impact on property taxes.

Sound View’s rich history has been obscured for too long by its rowdy reputation from the 1950s-1990s. As an intact pre-1938 beach community, Sound View is a unique and rare coastal resource. It was developed in the early 1890s, and there is very good evidence that it is the nation’s oldest public beach. Many of the cottages have been passed down for generations within the same families, and are maintained with pride to this day. The Historic District designation honors this tradition, and will help to preserve the neighborhood and public beach for future generations. This is a valuable opportunity for our town. Let’s not let one uninformed naysayer scare people into opting out of this positive opportunity.

For the true story, actual facts, and some very interesting historic details, I urge concerned residents to read the official application which will be posted on the Old Lyme Town website early next week at http://www.oldlyme-ct.gov/Pages/OldLymeCT_projects/currentprojects

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘House of Lost Worlds’ by Richard Conniff (of Old Lyme)

House_of_Lost_WorldsFor this month, a local author! Richard Conniff is a science writer, a contributor to The New York Times, and a resident of Old Lyme. He’s also a graduate of Yale University, one reason for his interest in the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, which is now celebrating its first 150 years.

It is the story of a museum and its directors, explorers, paleontologists, ecologists, anthropologists, biologists, ornithologists, primatologists, plus a few reactionaries and, of course, 14 million specimens. It is also the story of large egos listening to “the mute cries of ages impossible to contemplate”(some 50 million years).

He explores five themes: (1) a teaching dream of leaders at the start (George Peabody, the original donor, for whom “education was (his) Rosebud”), (2) the “grandiose personality” of O. C Marsh, its first director, (3) the demolition and movement of the original building in 1905 and its effects, (4) the rise of anthropology and ecology as sciences, and (5) the invitation to go see for yourself.

So how should we pronounce the name: “Pee-body” as Yalies and the donor said it, or “Pee-buh- de” as denizens of Cambridge slur the word?

The egos predominate, highlighting the single-mindedness and secrecy of many collectors.  Hiram Bingham, the sleuth of Machu Picchu, the “lost” Incan city, was one of the most notable. As the author notes, “if paleontologists were as aggressive as brontosauri they would have eaten each other.” In many respects they did: “Maybe academic life merely gives its verbally inclined thinkers the freedom to brood about it for too long, speak it too loudly, and pursue vengeance with wrath-of-God vigor.” They make this history continually exciting and amusing.

The Peabody Museum has expanded into a teaching, research, and study institution, whose practitioners take isolated pieces from the past (human, animal, mineral) to create a logical “story” to help guide us toward the future. But today they face modern visitors, “jaded and smartphone-addled, (who) expect special effects and instantaneous answers almost everywhere.”

In 1866, when the Peabody was created, there was no sign of a “Sixth Extinction” (now forecast by Elizabeth Kolbert), no “climate change,” only 32 million people in these United States (versus 320 million today), and only 1 billion on this earth (now 7.4 billion.)  Can the interest in and funding for museums like the Peabody, their teaching and research, help us alter our behavior for a more favorable future?

Like Alice, I am “curiouser and curiouser,” so I am off to the corner of Whitney Avenue and Sachem Street in New Haven to explore for myself …

Editor’s Note: House of Lost Worlds by Richard Conniff is published by Yale Univ. Press, New Haven 2016.

Felix Kloman_headshot_2005_284x331-150x150About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction that explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farms Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His wife, Ann, is also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a bubbling village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visit every summer.

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LYSB Hosts a “Family Movie on the Beach” Tonight

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 8.25.58 AMLymes’ Youth Service Bureau presents Disney’s “Zootopia” (rated PG) tonight on White Sand Beach.  The event is free and all families from Lyme and Old Lyme are welcome.

Pizza and snacks will be for sale from 7 p.m. and the movie starts at 8 p.m.

Bring your own beach chairs or blankets.

Rain will cancel the event.  Check for weather updates from 5 p.m. on the LYSB website, Facebook page or Twitter.

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Saturday’s Free Family Fun Day To Honor Old Lyme First Responders Includes Performance by Braiden Sunshine

Old Lyme's own Braiden Sunshine will perform at Free Family Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 20.

Old Lyme’s own Braiden Sunshine will perform at Free Family Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 20.

The Shoreline Church will host a “Free Family Fun Day” on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 12 to 5 p.m. to thank and honor Old Lyme’s first responders in the Old Lyme Fire Department, Old Lyme Police Department and Old Lyme Emergency Medical Services.

The free event is open to the public and will be held on the church grounds at 287 Shore Rd. in Old Lyme. The Family Fun Day will feature food and refreshments, including hamburgers, hot dogs, a soup tent and ice cream, as well as a moon bounce, dunking booth, face painting and balloons.
As part of the afternoon’s events, the National Anthem will be performed at 1 p.m., followed by singer-songwriter and semi-finalist on NBC’s “The Voice” Braiden Sunshine, who will perform at 3 p.m.
In addition, the Family Fun Day event will include “Touch a Fire Truck,” a raffle, prizes and fresh baked goods for sale. Live music will also be featured at the free event.
All proceeds from the Family Fun Day will benefit Old Lyme’s first responders.
Event sponsors at this time include Stop and Shop, Wal-Mart and Otter Cove restaurant in Old Saybrook; Marley’s Café in Essex; Bimbo Bakeries in Niantic; Coca-Cola in Waterford; and A.C Petersen at Hallmark in Old Lyme.
For more information about the “Free Family Fun Day” event, call 860.235.3111, send an email to jtheishp@gmail.com or visit http://www.shorelinechurchct.org/
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Informational Meeting Held on Sound View Nomination to National Register of Historic Places

Sound View, circa 1920.

Sound View, circa 1920.

The National Register of Historic Places nomination of Sound View Historic District informational meeting is scheduled forMonday, Aug. 15, at 6 p.m. at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Ave., in Old Lyme. The State Historic Preservation Office has sent letters to all property owners included in the Sound View area inviting them to the meeting. The meeting will describe the process and what the “National Register of Historic Places” designation means. The meeting is open to the public and there will be time for questions.

Listing on the National Register of Historic Places is an honorary designation intended to recognize and celebrate places of historic significance. It provides a method for understanding why specific properties are important and how these historic places contribute to our cultural identity.

While the National Register program is honorary in nature, it is a useful planning tool. This recognition promotes appreciation for and stewardship of historic properties. National Register listed and eligible properties are given substantial consideration in local, state, and federal planning efforts. Listing also provides access to historic preservation funding incentives, such as the Historic Homes Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program.

The Sound View Historic District in Old Lyme is significant as an early 20th century beach resort for the newly established middle-class and for its associations with a diverse immigrant community. As Connecticut’s transportation network improved and recreational opportunities increased for a larger percent of the population, several beachside neighborhoods emerged along our coastline.

These places have distinct historic character and rich community heritage. They are identifiable within Connecticut’s scenic landscape. Development of Sound View began in 1892 and attracted families from Hartford, Springfield, New York, and surrounding areas.

Beginning in January of this year, the Sound View Commission has been working with the State Historic Preservation Office providing information and historical data for the nomination.

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Blumenthal to Discuss Proposed High Speed Rail Route with Community Leaders This Morning in Old Lyme Town Hall; Public Welcome to Attend

Senator Richard Blumenthal (File photo)

Senator Richard Blumenthal (File photo)

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder issued the following announcement yesterday:
Senator Richard Blumenthal will be meeting in the Old Lyme Town Hall Meeting Hall today, Friday, Aug. 12, at 10:30 a.m. This will be a roundtable discussion with community leaders from area towns, though the public is welcome to attend.

“After recent issues raised by the USDOT’s concept for future rail service in Connecticut and the operation of rail service by Amtrak, Senator Blumenthal will meet with municipal leaders to hear their concerns and ideas for the future of rail service along the shoreline from the Connecticut River to the Rhode Island border. This discussion will help inform Senator Blumenthal on the impact of federal policies on local communities and determine how he may assist the town leaders.”

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Suisman Shapiro Named Town Attorney for Old Lyme

Attorney John A. Collins III

Attorney John A. Collins III

The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen has selected Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law in New London, CT, as Town Attorney for a two year term.  Attorney John A. Collins, III,  a 30-year Old Lyme resident, was sworn in on behalf of the firm on Aug. 9.

Suisman Shapiro’s core municipal team – Michael Carey, Eric Callahan and Eileen Duggan –  assisted by other attorneys in the firm as needed, will provide legal advice and counsel to the Town on a variety of matters pertaining to municipal government operations including: review of proposed ordinances and regulations; review and interpretation of local, state and federal laws; review of significant Town contracts; land acquisition; representation in claims against and by the Town; and other matters as directed by the First Selectwoman, Bonnie Reemsnyder.
Attorney James P. Berryman

Attorney James P. Berryman

Suisman Shapiro’s municipal attorneys bring a broad range of experience to the Town of Old Lyme, as they currently serve either as Town Attorney, Land Use Counsel and/or Labor and Employment Counsel for the Towns of Groton and Montville, as well as several other local communities including Brooklyn, Canterbury, Chaplin, Griswold, Lyme, Norwich, North Stonington, Sprague, Voluntown, Waterford and Windham.

Complementary to the firm’s wide-ranging municipal law experience, the firm’s roster of attorneys includes several Old Lyme residents in addition to Attorney Collins, namely James Berryman, Kristi Kelly and Roger Scully. These Suisman Shapiro attorneys understand the unique features of the community and are committed to its growth and success.

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Old Lyme Rowing Association Hosts Breakfast Reception for Hack’s Rio Final, Saturday: All Welcome

The US Men's Eight in action with Austin Hack as stroke. Photo courtesy of usrowing.com

The US Men’s Eight in action with Austin Hack as stroke.
Photo courtesy of usrowing.com

The Old Lyme Rowing Association (OLRA) is hosting a breakfast reception for Austin Hack’s Rio Olympic final on Saturday, Aug. 13,  from 9 to 11 a.m. in the barn at 325 Grassy Hill Rd. in Lyme. Enjoy this opportunity to watch the race on a big screen TV with friends and family.

All are welcome. Space is limited. A $10 donation to OLRA is suggested.

Contact Jane Montanaro for more information and/or to RSVP at janemontanaro@aol.com.

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The ‘Red Satin Band’ to Perform Tonight in Sound View

The Red Satin Band will perform at Sound View on Thursday.

The Red Satin Band will perform at Sound View on Thursday.

The Town of Old Lyme and the Sound View Commission are sponsoring family-friendly events at Sound View Beach this summer.

The next event in the 2016 series will be held tonight, Thursday, Aug. 11, starting at 7 p.m. and will feature the Red Satin Band  with vocalist Valerie Rogers playing the best of seven decades of music. 

Bring your lawn chair and enjoy a great evening of family music!

For more information, call (860) 434-2871

 

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US Men’s Eight, with Old Lyme’s Hack as Stroke, Qualifies for Saturday’s Olympic Final!

The US Men's Eight in action yesterday morning. A determined Austin Hack is the first rower (the stroke) in the boat facing the camera. Photo courtesy of worldrowing.com

The US Men’s Eight in action Monday morning. A determined Austin Hack is the first rower (the stroke) in the boat facing the camera. Photo courtesy of worldrowing.com

UPDATE: 8/11, 12:30pm: The US Men’s Eight crushed the opposition in the repechage this morning and qualified for the Olympic final at 10:24 EST on Saturday, where they will meet Germany, England, The Netherlands, Poland and New Zealand. Go Austin! Go Team USA!

UPDATE 8/11, 6:30am: Austin’s race is currently scheduled for 9 a.m. EST this morning, but his mom, Barbara Hack, said at around 5:30 a.m. that they are, “Waiting to hear if the wind will cooperate today. Forecast is for 15-25mph though currently seems calm.”  She adds, “Will let folks know when we know!”

UPDATE 8/10, 7:40am:  We just received word from Austin Hack’s mother, Barbara, that all rowing is cancelled in Rio today due to high winds.  The Men’s Eight repechage, in which Austin will again serve as stroke, will be rescheduled. We will post details of the new date and time as soon as they are available.

The US Men’s Eight, with Austin Hack as stroke, gave a strong performance in the second heat Monday morning to achieve second place behind Germany.  Thanks to that win, Germany  — reigning Olympic champions and #2 in the world — qualified directly for the final along with Great Britain, who won the first heat.  

The US team must now row again in the repechage on Wednesday at 9 a.m. EST to secure a spot in the final. We believe the top four from the repechage go forward into Saturday’s final.

Go Austin! Go Team USA!

 

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Both I-95 Southbound Ramps at Exit 71 Closed for Two Weeks Starting 8/8, Detours in Place

Old Lyme Police patrol the currently closed entrance to the I-95 south bound on-ramp at Exit 71 on Four Mile River Rd.

Old Lyme Police patrol the currently closed entrance to the I-95 south bound on-ramp at Exit 71 on Four Mile River Rd. in Old Lyme.

Updated information from State Rep. Devin Carney:

The closure of Exit 71 on and off ramps for Four Mile River Road (Exit 71) will begin 12 a.m., Aug. 8, and is expected to be completed by Aug. 22.

The reconstruction of the southbound Exit 71 on and off ramps will involve full depth pavement replacement.

Lane Closure/Detour Information

Motorists on I-95 can expect temporary lane shifts and/or closures during the evening between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Motorists utilizing the Exit 71 southbound off ramp to access Four Mile River Rd. should use the off ramp for Exit 72 (Rocky Neck Connector) to Rte. 156 and Four Mile River Rd.

Motorists intending to access I-95 southbound should use Four Mile River Rd. to Rte. 156 to the Rocky Neck Connector and access I-95 Southbound via the Exit 72 on-ramp or use Rte. 1 or Rte. 156 to the Exit 70 on-ramp onto the Baldwin Bridge.

Motorists are encouraged to follow detour signs or use alternate routes.

Motorists are urged to obey the posted speed limit and proceed with caution when driving in this area.

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Old Lyme’s Hack Starts Quest for Rowing Gold in Rio This Morning

The US Men's Eight in action with Austin Hack as stroke. Photo courtesy of usrowing.com

The US Men’s Eight in action with Austin Hack as stroke.
Photo courtesy of usrowing.com

Update:  The US Men’s Eight came in second behind Germany in their heat this morning.  Germany has qualified directly for the final along with Great Britain, who won the first heat.  The US  team must now row again in the repechage on Wednesday at 9 a.m. EST to secure a spot in the final.

Go Austin! Go Team USA!

Austin Hack of Old Lyme, the stroke for the US Men’s Eight, has his first race at 8:20 a.m. Monday (Aug. 8) morning. The schedule had to be reconfigured after today’s racing was cancelled in Rio due to high winds.

 

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Local Student Named College Scholar at Middlebury College

Caius Mergy

Caius Mergy

Caius Mergy, son of Lee and Michele Mergy of Old Lyme, was named a College Scholar during the 2015 Fall and 2016 Spring terms at Middlebury College. To be named a College Scholar is the highest recognition for academic achievement at the liberal arts institution in Vermont.

A College Scholar at Middlebury must carry a full course load of four or more classes during the semester, achieve a grade point average of 3.6 (on a 4.0 scale) or higher, with no grade lower than a B–.

For more information on Middlebury College, visit www.middlebury.edu.

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Hoping for Gold in Rio, World No. 1 Women’s Cyclist Guarnier Has Old Lyme Connection

The world No. 1 women's road cyclist , Megan Guarnier, who is competing in Rio on Sunday, is the niece of Cathy Nyberg of Old Lyme.

The world No. 1 women’s road cyclist , Megan Guarnier, who is competing in Rio on Sunday, is the niece of Cathy Nyberg of Old Lyme.

We assume the whole town knows that Old Lyme’s Austin Hack is the stroke for the US Men’s Eight and will race for gold in Rio next Saturday, but did you know there’s another Olympian at Rio, also with a strong chance to win a gold, who has a strong Old Lyme connection?

Megan Guarnier, the world No. 1 women’s road cyclist, is the niece of Dr. Catherine (Cathy) Burns Nyberg of Old Lyme. Megan is the daughter of Cathy’s sister, Mary Burns, of Glens Falls, N.Y., and hot favorite to win the gold in this coming Sunday’s 80-mile race.

There’s a wonderful full-page story in today’s Wall Street Journal about Megan — she has an interesting history since she went to Middlebury College as a swimmer, but has since morphed into a world-class professional cyclist, who this year has won the famed Giro Rosa race in Italy and the Tour of California, as well as a slew of other major road races all over the world.

And is Cathy Nyberg in Rio to watch her niece?  No, she’s up in Glens Falls dutifully taking care of her elderly parents while her sister Mary (Megan’s mother) and numerous others of her seven brothers and sisters are in Rio to cheer Megan to victory.

Go Team USA! Go Megan! And of course, go Austin!

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Midsummer Memories of a Magnificent Day … and Night

Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival 2016 began Friday evening when the sun came out after torrential rain earlier in the day …

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Concert-goers gathered on the grounds on the Florence Griswold Museum to picnic, visit and await the performance by ‘The Voice’ finalist Braiden Sunshine …

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Some decided the Lieutenant River was the perfect spot to listen the music …

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The aptly-named Braiden Sunshine and his band gave a terrific performance …

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And then it was on to Saturday, which kicked off with the Hawaii-5.0 road race. Almost 300 runners competed in the 5K event, despite the intense heat and humidity …

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All along Lyme Street, there were things to see —  including these weavers at the Old Lyme Historical Society, Inc.

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… things to do … Scout Cushman posed delightfully in front of the community sculpture at Studio 80, on which people were adding their own designs …

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… and things to eat and drink — the lemonade stand at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds was a happy family affair.

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A new feature at the Festival this 30th anniversary year was the more than 30 vendors and a stage on which numerous youth musicians played in the field across from Lyme Academy College.  The vendors and performances were hosted by the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce.

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The en plein air market at the Florence Griswold Museum was full of everything you can imagine, from flowers and fruit …

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… to jewels and jewelry.

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Reggae music was the order of the day outside the John Sill House at Lyme Academy College …

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And down on the lawn in front of Center School, the fence artists displayed their work and drew customers galore.

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Back at Studio 80, another new two-part event happened, first a fashion show by designers Susan Hickman and Anna Lucas followed by an incredible dance/acrobatic display by The Magnaterrestrials.

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And this very special day in the Old Lyme calendar ended with a bang when — despite the threat of rain —  the Town hosted another spectacular fireworks display for all to enjoy!

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