January 18, 2018

New Start Date for LYSB’s Free, Four-session Substance Abuse Education, Prevention Program for Parents, Jan. 17

Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau presents a free, four-session substance abuse education and prevention program for parents on Wednesdays in January (Jan. 17, 24 & 31 and Feb. 7) at 7 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Library.  The start date has been revised from the originally published date of Jan. 10.
This workshop series was developed by LYSB and CASFY to help parents understand substance abuse and its impact on children and youth.
Guest speakers and relevant resource materials will be offered at each session.
This program is free and for parents of children of all ages. Register at www.lysb.org

Topics covered during the workshop series:

  • Current drug trends among youth in CT and US.
  • How to have the drug discussion with your kids
  • Risk factors
  • Marijuana –  what’s the real story?
  • Teachable moments
  • Prescription drugs
  • Paraphernalia and vaping
  • What to do if you suspect your child is using
  • Current laws and school rules regarding substances
  • Resources
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Editorial: During This Bitter Cold, Be a Cold Weather Companion to a Senior

As the new year brings new concerns as another blast of brutally cold air blasts our area, it is a good time to remind people in the region to become a Cold Weather Companion to a local senior – whether they are a loved one, a neighbor or a stranger.

It’s tough enough to cope with this weather, but when you’re a senior, you face even more danger. The drop in degrees has already proved deadly so we urge readers to check-in on seniors to make sure their homes have heat, the fridge is stocked, and prescriptions are filled.

Families taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s should take extra precautions to ensure their loved one doesn’t wander outside in the frigid temperatures. Did you know three out of five Alzheimer’s patients will wander?

Nearly half of all hypothermia deaths happen to people over age 65. Many of these deaths can occur right in their own homes because seniors don’t feel the dip in degrees due to dementia or medication that can affect awareness.

If families don’t live close enough, they should reach out to a neighbor or a caregiver to check on their elderly loved ones.  This simple gesture could make a life or death difference to a senior.

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Letter to the Editor: Poop Isn’t Pretty … So Let’s Make a New Year’s Resolution To Pick It Up

To the Editor:

I am writing in part to fulfill a promise to a daughter. Our daughter Erin arrived for the Christmas holidays from North Carolina with an adolescent Hungarian vizsla pup. She walked Daisy a few times each day; and always with a doggie waste disposal bag in her pocket.

She commented on the large amount of pet waste that she encountered on her walks and wondered why Old Lyme hasn’t required, – or at least encouraged – pet owners to “police” their dog’s waste. I do not know that this problem is widespread or endemic in our town, nor will I attempt to quantify the issue. It is noticeable.        

I assume that residents are largely cleaning up after their pets. However, the (hopefully) minority of dog owners who are so discourteous to their neighbors that they don’t bother to bag and dispose this waste, are leaving an unsightly and unhealthy memorial of their pet’s exercise.

Erin’s professional career has been principally in Boston/ Cambridge, MA and the United Kingdom. These places have longstanding strongly enforced ordinances regarding removal and disposal of pet waste. So, she may react to such misbehaviors earlier than many would.

I am not advocating that Old Lyme enact an ordinance regarding pet waste. Rather, I feel that we should communicate the problem better and continue with our Tennessee Williams – type approach to  resolution i.e., with apologies to T.W., we should always depend on the kindness of neighbors.

The problem is not insignificant; dog mess is not only an eyesore, but also a health hazard.

In the extreme, according to the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dog waste is a major pollutant and contaminant of the water supply. It is a serious health issue.

In fact, it is estimated that 1/3 of all water contamination is a result of dog waste run off entering streams and leaching into underground well water. The EPA deemed dog waste a “non-point source of pollution”, which puts it in the same category as oil and toxic chemicals. So, picking up after your pet every single time is important.

I’ll summarize the “How”: Always carry a plastic bag with you when you walk your dog.  Using the bag like a glove, you pick up the waste, turn the bag inside out around the waste, tie it in a knot and dispose of it in a trash can. 

Repurposed supermarket fresh produce bags work well. Lacking those, dog waste pickup bags are available in many  stores and online. Note: do not put this waste  in your home compost pile because it may contain parasites, bacteria, pathogens, and viruses that are harmful to humans which may not be destroyed by composting.   Those interested in digging down further into procedural details should look at: https://www.wikihow.com/Pick-Up-Dog-Poop

Sincerely,

Thomas D. Gotowka,
Old Lyme.

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Old Lyme Library Presents Speaker on Opioid Epidemic, Jan.18

Dr. Michael Saxe will present The Rise and Fall (?) of the Opioid Epidemic on Jan. 10, 2018 at  6 p.m. at the Old Lyme Library.

The Opioid Epidemic is claiming more American lives every year.  In 2016,  64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses, more than the number of deaths from motor vehicle accidents and gun deaths combined.

Dr. Michael Saxe, an Emergency Physician with 32 years of experience in Connecticut, will explain the history of opioid drugs, the causes and impact of today’s Opioid Epidemic, and what must be done—by healthcare providers and laypeople—to end this deadly crisis.

Click here to register.

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Happy New Year!

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

We wish all our readers, advertisers and friends a very Happy New Year 2018.

We hope it brings you and yours peace, good health and happiness.

Thank you for all your support this past year and we look forward to serving you with even stronger coverage of the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme in 2018.

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Schedules for Old Lyme Town Hall, Senior Center, Trash, Recycling Changed for New Year

The Old Lyme Town Hall and Old Lyme Transfer Station are closed today for New Year’s Day, Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

The Lymes’ Senior Center is also closed for New Year’s Day, Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

This week trash and recycling schedules move forward one day:

  • Monday to Tuesday
  • Tuesday to Wednesday
  • Wednesday and Thursday trash will be picked up on Thursday.
  • Friday is on schedule. Thursday and Friday recycling will be picked up on Friday.
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Harpist Faith Leitner Plays an ‘Ode to the New Year’ This Afternoon at FloGris Museum

Faith Leitner will play her harp tomorrow in the Florence Griswold Museum to celebrate “An Ode to the New Year.”

Listen to the sounds of yesteryear on the eve of a new year today, Sunday, Dec. 31, between 1 and 5 p.m. at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Faith Leitner will play a variety of songs in an Ode to the New Year filling the Krieble Galleries with the heavenly sounds of the harp, which was one of Miss Florence’s favored instruments.  Visitors can also see the actual harp that Miss Florence’s father brought back for her from England in the Florence Griswold House.

This event is included with Museum admission.

For more information, visit www.florencegriswoldmuseum.org

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State OSWA Nature Photo Contest Renamed to Honor Old Lyme Resident Diana Atwood Johnson

Launched in 2016, the Open Space Watershed and Land Acquisition (OSWA) photo contest has been re-named in honor of Old Lyme resident Diana Atwood Johnson, an avid bird photographer who recently stepped down as the Chair of Connecticut’s State Natural Heritage, Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Review Board, having served in that position for 19 years.

The contest is intended to provide a venue for amateur nature photographers to celebrate the OSWA program, display their work, and provide Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC) and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) with new materials for our publications and communications.

Entrants are invited to submit up to three digital high resolution photos featuring OSWA properties for consideration (1280 x 960 pixels minimum).

The winners of each category will be displayed at the 2018 Connecticut Land Conservation Conference, in Connecticut Wildlife (the official bimonthly publication of the DEEP Bureau of Natural Resources), DEEP’s Open Space Annual Report and website, and CLCC’s website, e-communications and other promotional materials.

All entries must be received by Monday, Feb. 5, 2018.

Any questions? Contact Kathy at kblachowski@ctconservation.org

The Town of Old Lyme congratulates Diana Atwood Johnson, 2011 Citizen of the Year and chair of the Old Lyme Open Space Commission, on this most recent honor.

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Today’s Social Services Help Day in Old Saybrook Open to Old Lyme Residents

Today’s Social Services Help Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grace Church, 336, Main St. in Old Saybrook is open to Old Lyme residents.

A Dental Clinic is offered. Call 860.347.6971 ext. 5163 or 860.681.7992 to schedule an appointment.

Stay for a free grocery distribution from the CT Foodbank Mobile Pantry between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m.

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Celebrate Miss Florence’s Birthday Party Today at FloGris Museum

Florence Griswold celebrated her birthday on Christmas Day.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme hosts Miss Florence’s Birthday Party tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Visitors can share in this hands-on-creative celebration of Miss Florence’s Christmas Day birthday. Birthday cake and fun celebratory activities will be on offer to honor the woman who started it all.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year-round Tuesday through Saturday from10am to 5pm and Sunday 1 to 5pm. The Museum is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.

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Season’s Greetings

Christmas-Bow-Picture_512x384We wish all our readers and advertisers a wonderful, peaceful and enjoyable holiday season.

Thank you for all your support this past year and we look forward to serving you with even stronger coverage of the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme next year.

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A la Carte: Dive Into Dips on New Year’s Eve

If New Year’s Eve plays out as planned, I will either be at home alone or with friends, or with other friends at their houses.

I will have spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my family in Massachusetts. Often I fly off to California the that day or the day after, but because my LA daughter and her husband will be in Arizona for two or three days, and because I have to be back for meetings on Jan. 2, I will have the week between the holidays at home.

And I will be cooking. I do love to bake, but, very honestly, if I don’t have to make anything sweet for the next month or so, I will be so happy. For New Year’s Eve, I have decided to make a couple of dips. I loved the one I tasted that Gretchen Newsome, who is on board of education with me, took to a party three weeks ago. There was a lot of really good food at that get-together, but most of us decided that this artichoke dip was so delicious that we would rather eat it by the tablespoon than daintily dip pieces of bread into it. The second dip I have made a few times. I love the flavor of anchovy but don’t like to touch them. With this recipe, though, I will touch the little devils.

Gretchen Newsome’s Artichoke Dip

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter a Pyrex pan or gratin dish.

2 medium onions, chopped
12 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 can non-marinated artichokes, chopped (if packed in oil, drain)
1 16-ounce package of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 16-ounce package of shredded sharp cheddar
1 16-ounce jar of sour cream
1 2-pound round loaf of bread, preferably pumpernickel, or 2 1-pound loaves

Sauté the onions and garlic in butter on medium low until translucent. Do now brown. Add chopped artichokes and continue to cook until warmed through.

Pour cooked mixture into a large bowl. Add cream cheese, cheddar cheese and sour cream. Mix well. (I use my food processor and pulsed around five times.) Place mixture into gratin pan or heat-proof glass pan and bake until bubbling.

In the meantime, hollow out the bread and, if you like, toast the pieces of bread. When the dip is hot, you may it pour it into the hollowed bread and serve with pieces of bread for dipping (or use all the bread for dipping into the gratin dish/

Anchoiade Dip with Crudites

From Hors d’Oeuvres: Simple, Stylish, Seasonal by Gillian Duffy (William Morrow, New York 1998)

Yield: About 2 and one-half cups

2 ounces (2 tins) anchovy fillets, drained
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 and one-half tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 and one-half tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredient into a blender or the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl and serve with fresh vegetables and small chunks of good bread.

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Partnership Co-Op Open Today in Old Saybrook Store

Gifts hand-crafted by the Lakota Indians will be on sale at the Partnership Cooperative.

It has just been announced that the Partnership Co-Op’s Annual Holiday Sale has been extended for three additional days as follows:

Thursday, Dec. 21 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 22 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 23 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Co-op’s store is in the former Southern Exposure building located between Cartier Optical and Nail Spa at 264 Main Street in Old Saybrook.

The Partnership Co-op features Native American crafts, Haitian art and Palestinian goods from respectively Tribal Crafts, Inc. featuring Lakota art and crafts, the Crosby Fund for Haitian Education and the Tree of Life Educational Fund.

Assorted Lakota crafts and jewelry

The Partnership Co-operative is a collection of several non-profit organizations based out of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

All proceeds are returned to the artisans of the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, participating Haitian artists and the Tree of Life Educational Fund.

To learn more about this collective of non-profits, visit these websites:

Tribal Crafts, Inc. featuring Lakota art and crafts: www.tribalcrafts.org
The Crosby Fund for Haitian Education: www.crosbyfund.org
Tree of Life Educational Fund: www.tolef.org

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Annual Homeless Memorial Service to be Held in New London Tonight on Longest Night of Year

All are welcome to gather and remember those homeless and formerly homeless residents of New London County, who have passed away this year. Homeless Person’s Memorial Day, an annual event commemorated in over 150 cities and counties across the United States on the first day of winter, Thursday, Dec. 21, will also be a call to action to end homelessness in our city and our nation. The event will feature a ceremonial reading of the names of more than a dozen individuals, homeless and formerly homeless, who died in the past year.

The event is free and open to the public.

The Homeless Memorial Service will be held at St. James Episcopal Church located at 76 Federal St in downtown New London. The service will begin at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the service. Sponsors of the event are St. Francis House and the New London Homeless Hospitality Center.

Since 1990, the National Coalition for the homeless has sponsored National homeless Persons’ Memorial Day on the first day of winter to bring attention to the tragedy of homelessness and to remember our homeless citizens who have paid the ultimate price for our nation’s failure to address the issue. All are welcome.

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Enjoy ‘The Magic of Christmas’ at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme Through Dec. 31

Father and son enjoy the beautiful Palette Christmas Trees at the ‘Magic of Christmas’ exhibition

The holiday season is always something to celebrate at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn. Visitors of all ages can enjoy The Magic of Christmas from Dec. 1 – 31. For over 10 years, visitors from across the region have admired the painted palettes on Miss Florence’s Artist Trees.

The idea of contemporary artists creating paintings on artists’ palettes is a nod to the Museum’s history as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, and alludes to the door and wall panels the artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago. The palette artists’ styles and subject matter are as varied as the individuals. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, glass, and collage are used to transform the palettes into traditional holiday scenes, delightful landscapes, and more than a few surprises!

This beautiful palette titled Road Less Traveled, 2017 was painted by Beverly Schirmeir of Westbrook, Conn.

Nearly 200 noted artists from across the country have donated works to this one-of-a-kind holiday icon.  “My first visit to the Florence Griswold Museum was profound and literally changed the course of my work, explains artist Stephanie Marzella from Johns Island, SC.  “It was my first awareness of the American tonalist movement. I began to paint what I feel, not what I see. I am forever grateful for the day I walked into that museum. When asked to contribute a palette I was truly honored.”

This design titled My New Christmas Bonnet, 2017 by Denise Flynn of Great Barrington, Mass., is one of this year’s new palettes.

Artist Denise Flynn, who lives in Great Barrington, MA says, “I was born and raised in Connecticut and still retain a great love for my state.  After a trip to Old Sturbridge Village as a ten-year-old child, I was completely taken by New England in its early days. I envision that ‘my lady’ felt very much at home in any Connecticut town in the Victorian era.”

The palettes will be displayed on three trees in the Krieble gallery, along with the current exhibitions,

In the historic rooms of the Griswold House, visitors can see how families celebrated Christmas in 1910, as historically accurate decorations reveal homespun creativity and the use of surprising materials. The 1910 time period was an important era for the Griswold House. It was the heyday of its use as boardinghouse for the artists of the Lyme Art Colony. Christmas was also Miss Florence’s birthday! She was 60 years old in 1910. Three designers will create elaborate Fantasy Trees in the Florence Griswold House.

Many special events and programs are held in conjunction with the Magic of Christmas. Christmastime Teas are among the most popular events. Delectable scones with clotted cream, assorted tea sandwiches, and cookies prepared by Gourmet Gallery, a caterer known for their delicious flavors and impeccable presentations, are accompanied by “Miss Florence’s Tea,” a special blend from Sundial Gardens in Higginum. Miss Florence’s Tea is a special blend of superior Ceylon and China black tea enhanced with a touch of delicate spices. The tea celebrates the camaraderie and creativity of the Lyme Art Colony with each cup. Teas are held December 5 through 23 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3 to 5pm. New this year – two seating on Saturday, 12 to 2pm and 3 to 5pm.

Other events and programs include special events for families, including a visit from Periwinkle the faerie and hands-on crafts for children and adults.

Unique gifts from The Shop and memberships to the Museum make thoughtful holiday and hostess gifts.

The town of Old Lyme and its merchants continue the merriment with “Light Up Old Lyme,” with a schedule of holiday activities in the historic town. Learn more about specials from local shops and restaurants at the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce website, VisitOldLyme.com.

Located on a 13-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year-round Tuesday through Saturday from10am to 5pm and Sunday 1 to 5pm. The Museum is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under. For more information, visit the Museum’s website www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.

Magic of Christmas Activities

New this year, Museum Store Sunday Nov. 26 from 1 to 5pm.
Similar to Small Business Saturdaythis celebration puts the spotlight on mission-related products found in museum stores. On this day, all items are 15 percent off (25 percent for museum members).

Dec.1-24
Daily Specials in the Museum Shop
One day you might save on all books or art supplies, the next, maybe everything sparkly or all snowmen. Check FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for a calendar of items and days.

Dec. 5 – 23
Christmastime Teas
Tuesday through Saturday enjoy an elegant tea of savories and sweets overlooking the wintery splendor of the Lieutenant River. Catered by Gourmet Galley. Guests enjoy a 10 percent discount in The Shop. Reservations required, call 860-434-5542 x 111 for information and reservations.

Sundays, Dec. 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 from 1 to 5pm
Joy in the Making
Each Sunday visitors can experience the joy of making a hand-made card or ornament during the weekly drop-in creative programs. Fun for all ages. This event is free with Museum admission and children 12 and under are free.

Periwinkle will entertain all ages in three shows on Saturday, Dec. 9.

Saturday, Dec. 9, shows at 11:30am12:30pm, and 1:30pm
Periwinkle the Faerie
Join Periwinkle, Peri to her friends, for an afternoon of story and song, with fun hands-on craft in-between shows. A sister to Tinkerbell, Peri is a frost-talent faerie who thrives in the cold of the winter woods. Crafts will have a snowy and frosty theme, perfect-for-gift-giving.

Sunday, Dec. 10 at 2pm
Old Christmas and Winter Traditions of Long Ago
 Join musician Thomas Hooker Hanford for songs and stories.

Thursday, Dec.14, 5:30 to 7pm
Art•Bar Happy Hour

Combine creativity and cocktails! Enjoy an evening making winter paper lanterns. Get friends together or come make new ones! For adults 21+. $25. Register online at FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org

Sunday, Dec. 17 at 2pm
Gallery Talk
Director of Education and Outreach David D.J. Rau speaks about Miss Florence’s Artist Trees in the Gallery. This event is free with Museum admission.

Wednesday, Dec. 27 from 11am to 3pm
Miss Florence’s Birthday Party
Visitors share in this hands-on-creative celebration of Miss Florence’s Christmas Day birthday. Birthday cake and fun celebratory activities to honor the woman who started it all.

Faith Leitner will play her harp in the afternoon on Dec. 31.

Sunday, Dec. 31, from 1 to 5pm
Ode to the New Year: Harp Music by Faith Leitner
The harp was Miss Florence’s favorite instrument. Visitors can see the one her father brought back for her from England in the Florence Griswold House. Accomplished harpist Faith Leitner will perform in the gallery. A beautiful way to end the year! This event is free with Museum admission.

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Blood Drive Today in Old Lyme: Supplies at Critical Low, Please Donate if Possible

Give-Blood-Give-LifeThe American Red Cross is hosting a Blood Drive Wednesday, Dec. 20, at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  There is currently a critical need for blood donations — please help if you are able.

A shortage of blood donations can lead to delays in urgent medical care to vulnerable patients. You can help make sure that doesn’t happen.

Remember the “The need is constant.  The gratification instant.” Walk-in’s are welcome.

To make an appointment to donate your blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org

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Letter to the Editor:  Generosity of Florence Griswold Garden Gang Appreciated

To the Editor:

As we approach year’s end I would like to recognize the kind generosity of my friends and colleagues on the Florence Griswold Museum’s Garden Gang. The Garden Gang is a volunteer group of women who maintain and nurture the museum’s incredible complex of historic gardens. Note that although currently comprised wholly of dedicated women, the group is also open to male gardeners.

One Friday morning we were discussing, over mulch, the “dilemma” of teachers working in 2017 in many Connecticut public school districts where budgets are often stretched to the limit with only limited state contributions. So, teachers must frequently supplement essential school supplies with out-of-pocket purchases.

My daughter teaches first grade in New London at the Early Childhood Center at Harbor School and, like many other teachers, makes a weekend stop at office supply or discount department stores.

To make a longish story short, boxes and bundles of paper and other supplies began arriving regularly on my porch courtesy of Garden Gang members; and then made their way to her first grade.

I thank them for their generosity and their immediate assistance in improving the daily learning experience of first graders at Harbor School.

See the following article about the Garden Gang in Connecticut’s Historic Gardens: http://www.cthistoricgardens.org/the-garden-gang/

Sincerely,

Christina J. Gotowka,
Old Lyme.

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Join a ‘Messiah, Christmas Section’ Sing or Listen at the Kate Today

A ‘Messiah’ Sing or Listen, Christmas Section, will be sponsored by Cappella Cantorum on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, (The Kate), 300 Main St., Old Saybrook 06475. There will be a short rehearsal for singers at 3:30 p.m.

Soloists will be Soprano Danielle Munsell Howard, Mezzo-Soprano Rachel Abrams, Tenor David Finley and Baritone Christopher Grundy. The Sing is open to all, under the direction of Barry Asch and accompanied by Deborah Lyon.

Bring ‘Messiah’ scores if you have them or they will be provided. There is a $10 fee for singers and audience. Singers will sit in sections, the audience is invited to sit in the back, witness the short rehearsal, and then the Sing will begin at 4 p.m.

Tickets will be available online at www.thekate.org and through the Box Office, 877-503-1286, open Tues–Fri 10 a.m. –2 p.m., no reserved seats.

For information call Barry Asch at 860-388-2871. The Sing ends at 5:15 p.m.

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Rebekah Beaulieu Appointed Director of the Florence Griswold Museum

Becky Beaulieu is the new Executive Director of the Florence Griswold Museum.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., has announced the appointment of Rebekah (Becky) Beaulieu as Director of the Museum. With a distinguished career that traverses both art museum and historic site administration, Beaulieu has most recently been the Associate Director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine. She begins her new role on Feb. 19, 2018.

Beaulieu was selected from a highly qualified pool of candidates after a rigorous national search led by a committee of trustees. She follows Jeffrey Andersen, who has served as the Museum’s Director for the past 41 years. Beaulieu and Andersen will briefly work together in February to effect a smooth management transition.

“It was important for us to get this right,” states Ted Hamilton, President of the Museum’s Board of Trustees. “We’ve not had to look for a director in over 40 years and we were very fortunate to find a wonderful candidate that is such a good fit for the institution. Not only is Becky’s academic record outstanding, but she comes with the highest of recommendations as well. We’re all looking forward to welcoming her aboard.”

“I am thrilled to lead the Florence Griswold Museum into its next chapter,” notes Beaulieu. “The Museum has experienced tremendous growth during Jeff Andersen’s remarkable tenure, and I look forward to working with board, staff, and volunteers to continue its upward trajectory. It is my honor to join the Florence Griswold Museum family.”

As the Associate Director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Beaulieu managed all administrative activities including staffing, finances, communications, visitor experience, and operations. Besides being well versed in the administration of an art museum, Beaulieu has experience managing historic sites. As the first Executive Director of the Winchester Historical Society (MA), Beaulieu managed operations for the Society and its cultural site, the Sanborn House Historical and Cultural Center. This breadth of experience makes her an exceptional fit for the Florence Griswold Museum.

The Museum has grown from an historic house museum to a place-based art museum featuring a modern gallery for temporary exhibitions of American art; education and landscape centers; and the National Historic Landmark Florence Griswold House (1817), interpreted today as the boarding house of the Lyme Art Colony. The Museum is located on thirteen acres along the Lieutenant River in Old Lyme.

“Becky is a consummate museum professional who understands well the value of cultural institutions in our communities,” states Anne Collins Goodyear and Frank H. Goodyear, Co-Directors of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. “As the Associate Director at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, she has played an important role in expanding the number of exhibitions and programs we offer and has worked closely with her colleagues to broaden access to the Museum and its collections. She will be greatly missed at Bowdoin. We wish her every success in this new chapter in her professional life and congratulate the Florence Griswold Museum on selecting a great new leader.”

Beaulieu brings an outstanding educational background to her new post.  She holds a B.A. in American Studies from George Washington University. She earned two Masters degrees, one in Art History and Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and another in Arts Administration from Columbia University, before completing her Ph.D. in American and New England Studies at Boston University.

Beaulieu is committed to local community service. She serves as Trustee for the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick, Maine and was appointed to the Public Arts Commission and Historical Commission Review Board there. Dedicated to the museum field as a whole, she is involved in numerous professional organizations. She serves as a board member of the New England Museum Association, a faculty member of the American Association for State and Local History’s Seminar for Historical Administration, and a Peer Reviewer for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

In addition, she has been an Accreditation/MAP Peer Reviewer
for the American Alliance of Museums, where she is also a board member for the Historic Houses and Sites Network. “When I first met Becky, my impression was ‘this woman is one to watch,’” remembers Dawn Salerno, Deputy Director for Public Engagement & Operations at the Mystic Museum of Art. “The next year, I was recruiting her for the board of the New England Museum Association, where I’m thrilled to have her as a colleague. And now I couldn’t be happier to have her as a colleague in Connecticut.” Beaulieu and Salerno are working with Mark S. Gold as editors of The State of Museums: Voices from the Field, to be published in the fall of 2018 for the hundredth anniversary of the New England Museum Association.

Beaulieu has written, edited, or contributed to books and scholarly journals in her field. Besides her former position as the Managing Editor for Modern Intellectual History, an academic journal published by Cambridge University Press, Beaulieu has written Financial Fundamentals for Historic House Museums (2017), which outlines the basic tenets of organization and financial management for small museums. Stephanie Meeks, President and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has hailed this book as a “superb” contribution to the field.

“Becky values the identity of the Florence Griswold Museum as a place where art, nature, and history intersect,” remarks John E. Noyes, Chair of the Search Committee. “She also understands how important it is to grow, to reach new audiences, and to develop new initiatives.”

Looked to as a leader in the art and history communities, Beaulieu has spoken at local, regional, and national events, conferences, and symposia, including annual conferences of the New England Museum Association, the College Art Association, and the National Council for Public History.

Beaulieu will relocate to the area with her husband Patrick Ford.

A trustee-led search committee composed of eight members with diverse backgrounds in business, academia, and the arts led the process. The committee’s members were John E. Noyes (Chair), Andy Baxter, Jeffrey W. Cooley, David W. Dangremond, Frank W. (Ted) Hamilton, Andrea Griffis Inglis, Lee Pritchard, and Carolyn Wakeman. The search process was coordinated by Naree Viner, Principal, Nonprofit Practice, New York for the executive search firm Korn Ferry.

The Florence Griswold Museum has been called a “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal, and a “must-see” by the Boston Globe. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, with its unique collection of painted doors and walls left by the members of the Lyme Art Colony, the Museum has renowned collections of American art, including the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection presenting three centuries of art associated with Connecticut. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut. Visit FlorenceGriswoldMusuem.org for more information.

About the Bowdoin College Museum of Art
The collections of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art are among the most comprehensive of any college museum in the United States. The Museum is housed in the landmark Walker Art Building designed in 1894 by Charles Follen McKim, and features murals by John La Farge, Kenyon Cox, Elihu Vedder, and Abbott Thayer. The Museum is the centerpiece of Bowdoin’s vibrant arts and culture community and offers a wealth of academic and educational programs. Visit Bowdoin.edu/art-museum for more information.

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Courtney Releases Statement on Final GOP Tax Overhaul

Congressman Joe Courtney

Yesterday, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), whose Congressional District includes Lyme and Old Lyme, released the following statement after the GOP released the final draft of a tax overhaul that was negotiated between Republican leadership in the House of Representatives and Senate:

“It’s no surprise that the Republicans are introducing their massive tax overhaul late on a Friday because this entire process has been one secret, backroom deal after another,” said Courtney. “They want to get this bill passed before the holiday break because they need to get it done before the American people know what hit them.”

He continued, “This bill is one gigantic gift for corporations and the wealthiest Americans in exchange for next to nothing for average middle-class and working families. Passage of this bill will create a new structural deficit that is a prelude to an assault on Social Security and Medicare, which Speaker Ryan has brazenly promised.”

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