May 28, 2017

Potapaug Presents ‘Bears in CT’ at Old Lyme Town Hall, June 1

Potapaug Audubon presents “Bears in Connecticut” on Thursday, June 1, at 7 p.m. at the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St, with guest speaker Paul Colburn, DEEP, Master Wildlife Conservationist.

This talk will focus on the natural history, habitat, diet, behavior, population and reproduction of bears, plus the current research efforts and practical recommendations for coexistence between the black bear and humans.

Black bear artifacts will be on display.

For more information, call 860-710-5811.


CT Audubon RTPEC Offers Estuary Explorations Saturday Mornings

Osprey in flight. Photo by Brock Graham.

AREAWIDE — The Connecticut Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is offering a new program of Saturday morning field trips to natural areas along the lower Connecticut River starting May 6.

Estuary Explorations will be led by PhD ecologist Paul Spitzer, a protégé of internationally recognized naturalist and painter, Roger Tory Peterson. Each exploration will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the possibility of extending the field tripinto the afternoon, depending on the participants’ interest.

The fee for each field trip is $30 per person ($25 per student) and registration is required. To register, visit this link.

Estuary Explorations will give participants a chance to learn about the Lower Connecticut River Estuary’s ecosystems and wildlife as the year progresses from the peak bird migratory season of May, through high summer, and into the late fall.

Paul Spitzer. Photo courtesy of Paul Spitzer.

Spitzer has designed the programs to follow in the footsteps of one of the 20th century’s most famous naturalists, field guide author and illustrator Roger Tory Peterson, who spent his adult life painting in his studio in Old Lyme and examining the flora and fauna of the Connecticut River Estuary and the world.

Spitzer will showcase some of Peterson’s favorite natural sites and share his extensive knowledge of the ecology of the region. Spitzer plans to lead these explorations at a “Thoreauvian saunter,” moving slowly to appreciate many of the birds, plants, and insects that Peterson once enjoyed.

While Old Lyme tends to be recognized for its scenic views and historic artist colony and arts culture, it is also situated at an important ecological hub in New England — the meeting of the waters. In this species-rich estuary, the fresh water of the vast Connecticut River and Long Island Sound mix, resulting in a wealth of natural life.

Spitzer learned his natural history while growing up in the Connecticut River Valley. He is a graduate of Old Lyme High School and continued up the river to attend Wesleyan University. He later earned his PhD in ecological sciences from Cornell University.

More recently, he has studied the now substantial Connecticut River Estuary Osprey colony as a “biomonitor” of migratory menhaden abundance, the Osprey’s preferred food source. Spitzer advocates for sustainable management practices of this keystone fish for its ecosystem, economic, and societal functions.

Working alongside Spitzer will be Old Saybrook native, Jim Arrigoni. Arrigoni has worked as a fisheries biologist in Washington State and developed protocols to evaluate stream water quality in Hong Kong. Most recently, he has taught cultural and aquatic ecology classes at Goodwin College, and he is currently completing a PhD on the conservation value of restored wetlands.

Spitzer has studied Ospreys for 50 years, his research beginning here in the Connecticut River Estuary. By the 1970’s, the impact of DDT in the ecosystem whittled the local Osprey colony down to one active nest. Spitzer was instrumental in the recovery of this important keystone species to these waters.

“The Connecticut River Ospreys are our iconic story of revival from the brink,” said Spitzer. “These guided and educational field trips will open a world of discovery about nature’s profusion in this extraordinary bioregion.”

“Migrant and resident species of the estuary watershed are particularly exciting to observe in May. I will provide up-close and expansive views of the natural world from salt marshes to Yellow Warblers in particularly beautiful places.”

After meeting at the Old Lyme I-95 Park and Ride (Exit 70), participants will enjoy three hours of ecological exploration followed by a brown bag lunch and guided discussion in the field.  Spitzer is also willing to offer optional afternoon sessions gauged by the stamina and interest of the participants.

Beyond the four Saturdays in May, the field trips will occur monthly through November.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dedication Ceremony for New Boathouse Celebrates Old Lyme’s Decades-Long, Continuing Passion for Rowing

Surrounded by VIPs at the Dedication Ceremony for the Fred Emerson Boathouse, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder cuts the ribbon to declare the boathouse officially open.  Photo by Tanya Patten.

More than 100 people gathered Saturday morning at Hains Park on the shores of Rogers Lake  to join a ceremony to dedicate the recently completed Fred Emerson Boathouse.  All joined by a love of rowing, they were there to celebrate the official opening of the boathouse, which is the new home for boats owned by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools and the Old Lyme Rowing Club/Blood Street Sculls.

Old Lyme Rowing Association/Blood Street Sculls President Greg Hack spoke to the assembled crowd expressing thanks to many individuals and organizations saying, “On behalf  of  the over 150 athletes who will row on Rogers Lake this year, I would like to express how thrilled we are that the new Boathouse is now complete.  We all feel a deep sense of gratitude to the people of the Town of Old Lyme, and to the State of Connecticut, for their support throughout this project.”

Construction of the boathouse was initially funded by a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant for $478,000, which was awarded in July 2013, and then subsequently Old Lyme residents approved a request from their board of selectmen in October 2014 for an additional $405,000 to be taken from town funds.  The proposed renovations were intended to make the boathouse ADA accessible, and provide sufficient space to store all the boats owned by Lyme-Old Lyme High School, the Old Lyme Rowing Club/Blood Street Sculls and Old Saybrook High School.  There will also be space available to carry out equipment maintenance and repair.  Renovation of the basketball court and new bathrooms, which would be accessible to the public, were also included in the project.

Hack continued his words of gratitude thanking Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, “for her leadership and unwavering support during all phases of the project … [Old Lyme Selectman] Skip Sibley, a former collegiate rower who shared our dream of a new boathouse when it was first just a sketch on a cocktail napkin … and [Old Lyme Selectwoman] MJ Nosal for her enthusiasm and support.”

He also thanked Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser and Athletic Director Hildie Heck, “for their support, and for recognizing how important the sport of rowing has been for Lyme-Old Lyme High School.”

Turning to the members of the Boathouse Hains Park Improvement Committee (BHPIC), Hack commended, “their tireless work, and in particular [the efforts of] our co-chairs Paul Fuchs and Paul Gianquinto.  Paul F brought tremendous expertise on rowing matters to the project, and Paul G brought intimate knowledge of construction procedures that were oh so valuable, not to mention his incredible dedication and tenacity throughout the project.”

Hack also thanked Nina Peck, “our architect, for creating a wonderful plan for the new building that is both attractive and highly functional.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “We are grateful to the Town of Old Lyme for pursuing the STEAP grant that helped support the construction of the new boathouse. This structure will allow our rowing programs to continue to grow and allow us to build upon our past successes. The new boathouse will provide much needed support for our student rowers for many years to come.”

Old Lyme Selectman Skip Sibley addresses the crowd at the Fred Emerson Boathouse Dedication.  Photo by Tanya Patten.

Sibley gave a brief history of the man after whom the boathouse is named, Fred L. Emerson Jr. of Lyme. Sibley noted Emerson was an avid rower who founded and financed crew programs at more than 60 high schools, colleges and private clubs throughout the nation. In Connecticut alone, Sibley mentioned, Emerson is solely responsible for the creation of programs at the East Lyme High School, the Coast Guard Academy, Old Lyme High School, Connecticut College, Simsbury High School, and the Middletown High School.  Emerson also gave strong support to university crew programs at Wesleyan, Trinity and Yale , and school crew programs at Choate, the Thames River Sculls, South Kent, and Gunnery.

Emerson was born and raised in Upstate New York where his father founded a prosperous shoe company. He started his rowing career at the Culver Military Academy in Indiana, and later captained the rowing squad at the University of Wisconsin Class of ‘32.  Sibley noted that, while competing for the Badgers, Emerson became aware of the challenges of financing a rowing program when his own varsity career was impacted by budget restrictions. This lesson inspired Emerson later on in his life to support fledgling rowing programs generously.

Sibley submitted that Emerson was widely regarded a champion of the underdog, who sponsored women’s crew long before Title IX established the legal requirement for equity across the genders.

Sibley went on to share the origins of Rogers Lake rowing, drawing his information from a number of sources.  He commented that the catalyst for US Women’s Rowing was when the U.S. announced their plan for a women’s rowing team to compete in the 1976 Olympic Games scheduled to be held in Montreal.  At that time, women’s rowing was still in its infancy — the US announcement precipitated a quantum leap in the sport onto the national stage.

Sibley explained that in February 1971 Emerson connected with Connecticut College rowing coach C. Bart Gullong.  They organized the first meeting of women’s rowing coaches from across the country and this marked the inception of the New England Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges.

The following spring, in May 1972, the New England Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges (NEAWRC) held its first regatta on Rogers Lake in Old Lyme, thanks in great part to the generosity of Emerson, who designed the 1,000-meter course, donated boats to many of the participating schools, and provided almost all of the financial backing for the event. One eight from each institution was allowed to participate, with the Princeton crew emerging victorious.

In 1974, the name of the organization was changed to the Eastern Association of Women’s Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) and 19 teams took part in the first race known as the EAWRC Sprints on Lake Besek in Middlefield, Conn.  (The schools participating were Barnard, Boston University, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Drexel, MIT, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Middletown High School, Pennsylvania, Princeton, Radcliffe, Rhode Island, Syracuse, Washington, Wellesley, Williams, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Yale.)

Because this was the first year in which five or more women’s teams from the Ivy League participated in a championship event, this 1974 regatta is generally seen as marking the beginning of championship competition for women in any sport, in any Division I conference. Radcliffe won that event and is thus considered the first Ivy League and EAWRC champion.

Sibley concluded, “Fred’s ‘can do’ philosophy of building programs and his passion to share the benefits of rowing amongst all skills will endure for ever. And this new boathouse bearing his name is certainly a testament to that.”

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) addresses rowing enthusiasts of all ages who attended Saturday’s Dedication Ceremony. Photo by Sheree Sibley.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and BHPIC Co-chair Paul Fuchs also spoke enthusiastically about the boathouse and its future impact on the local rowing programs.  Fuchs noted that Saturday, June 3, is National Learn To Row Day and for the fourth year, this event will be celebrated at Fred Emerson Boathouse by opening its doors to everyone to try rowing at no cost.

Before the speeches ended and the celebrations began, Hack summed up the joy and excitement of the occasion saying, “Over 50 years ago, Fred Emerson first coached young people out of the original boathouse on Blood Street.  Since then we have grown and achieved new levels of enthusiasm and success in what are truly community-based programs.  I am hopeful that Fred would be pleased with what we have built here together.”

He concluded, “I thank the people of Old Lyme and all who were involved in the project for their vision and for their understanding about how rowing helps to make the Town of Old Lyme such a unique and special place.  We pledge to be good stewards of this new facility for decades to come.”


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Free Day For All at FloGris Today

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7, at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Families are invited to create hands-on crafts during Community Free Day on May 7, at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme presents its annual Community Free Day on Sunday, May 7 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Old Lyme. The event offers free admission to the Museum’s 13-acre campus, and includes family friendly activities and musicians Steve Elci and Friends at noon.

Museum-goers visiting the original Florence Griswold House are treated to guides sharing stories of the Lyme Art Colony artists who stayed with Miss Florence in the boardinghouse over 100 years ago. The house, decorated as it was in 1910, includes the original paintings that artists created on the door and wall panels of the house.

 On view in the Museum’s Krieble Gallery are two animal-centric exhibitions. Matilda Browne: Idylls of Farm and Garden offers new research on this American artist who specialized in landscapes, gardens and animal portraits. Beasts & Best Friends: Animals of the Lyme Art Colony showcases works of farm and domestic animals.

Free Day attendees can also visit the Chadwick Art Studio, presented as it would have looked in 1920, the Rafal Landscape Center, as well as the Museum’s gardens and grounds along the Lieutenant River. And the award-winning Café Flo will be open.

Family-Fun on Free Day

Free Day highlights family enjoyment of the Florence Griswold Museum. Family friendly entertainment with Steve Elci and Friends begins at noon.

Steve Elci and Friends will entertain at the Museum on Sunday.

Artists and adventurers of all ages can enjoy painting outside in the gardens and learning more about nature through a selection of Explorer Kits. All materials included.

 While at the Museum, families are encouraged to follow scavenger hunt cards in the Florence Griswold House, and uncover art details in the Krieble art gallery with “Can You Find Me” game cards. 

Be one of the first to pick up the newest keepsake publication, My Sticker Book Guide to the Florence Griswold Museum. The beautifully illustrated booklet tells the story of Miss Florence and her artist friends. Each time a child visits the Museum, they earn a sticker to complete one of the booklet illustrations. Those who collect all six stickers receive a gift.

On May 7, Community Free Day visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

On May 7, Community Free Day visitors will hear about life in an artists’ boardinghouse at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

A historic center for American art, the Florence Griswold Museum is considered the Home of American Impressionism. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95.

For additional information contact the Museum at 860-434-5542 or


Musical Masterworks Closes 26th Season This Afternoon with Program of Russian Works

Violinist and two-time GRAMMY nominee Jennifer Frautschi, who plays in Musical Masterworks upcoming concerts.

Musical Masterworks will close their 26th season with a dramatic program of Russian works culminating in Tchaikovsky’s towering Piano Trio.  Pianist Andrew Armstrong, with both passionate expression and exceptional technique, along with violinist and two-time GRAMMY nominee Jennifer Frautschi, will join Edward Arron for a memorable performance.

The May performances are Saturday, May 6, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 7 at 3 p.m. at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, which is an acoustically rich and beautiful venue for chamber music.

To purchase tickets ($35 individual; $5 student), visit Musical Masterworks at or call 860.434.2252.


Connecticut Trust Questions Amtrak’s Role as Inheritor of NEC Future’s High Speed Railroad Route Controversy

With a final Record of Decision on NEC Future expected as soon as late May, the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation is reaching out to the National Passenger Rail Corporation (Amtrak) as the agency prepares to inherit the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) controversial plan to build new high-speed rail routes through shoreline towns in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

On Thursday, the Connecticut Trust released a letter to Amtrak, which asked the agency to clarify and reconsider its role in the controversial program. Since early 2016, when the public and legislators first became alert to the impacts of planned bypasses through southeastern Connecticut, the FRA has faced withering opposition across a broad political spectrum, opposition which has since spread east to Westerly and Charlestown, RI, and west to include Branford, Guilford, and Fairfield County, Conn.

“Eighty miles of new bypasses may be the Federal Railroad Administration’s dream for rail travel through Connecticut, but I fear this portion of the NEC Future plan will become Amtrak’s nightmare,” stated Daniel Mackay, Executive Director of the Connecticut Trust. “If the Record of Decision contains proposed bypasses from Old Saybrook to Kenyon, RI or in Fairfield County, Amtrak will be risking decades of opposition from Congressional leadership, communities, and potential customers in Connecticut and Rhode Island.”

Amtrak Spokesman Mike Tolbert, and Director of Business Development Janet Campbell-Lorenc, attended a January 10meeting in Charlestown, RI to discuss the proposed Old Saybrook to Kenyon, RI Bypass which gave the agency a preview of the anger that the FRA’s NEC Future Preferred Alternative has generated in southern New England. As more than 400 residents packed the lunchroom of a local school, resident after resident voiced unanimous, and at times fiery, opposition to the plan.

“Amtrak officials took the blame for the plan when FRA officials wouldn’t attend,” recalled Gregory Stroud, Director of Special Projects for the Connecticut Trust, a speaker at the event. Stroud noted that Amtrak supported an alternative route, without either the bypasses or the planned expansion between Guilford and Branford, in its earlier comments on the draft proposal. “This isn’t Amtrak’s preferred plan, but it is the one Amtrak and taxpayers will be stuck with for the next 40 years. We’re hoping that Amtrak will advocate for removal of the bypasses.”


All Welcome to Join Dedication Ceremony for New Boathouse in Hains Park at Noon Today

The Town of Old Lyme hosts a dedication ceremony for the all-new Fred Emerson Boathouse in Hains Park today, Saturday, May 6, starting at noon. Lyme-Old Lyme Schools and the Old Lyme Rowing Association/Blood Street Skulls will also be participating in the event.

All are welcome to join the festivities, which will include several speeches.

In July 2013, Old Lyme was awarded a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) grant for $478,000 to expand and renovate the boathouse at Hains Park on Rogers Lake.  The proposed renovations originally were intended to make the boathouse ADA accessible with bathrooms, showers and  a workout room, and provide a space to properly maintain and repair equipment.  Renovation of the basketball court and new bathrooms, which would be accessible to the public, were also included in the project.

A subsequent vote taken Oct. 6, 2014, considered a request from the Boathouse/Hains Park Improvement Committee to approve additional expenditure “not to exceed $405,000” for the renovation of the boathouse.  That amount was approved by a margin of 27 votes.

The boathouse is currently being used by the Lyme-Old Lyme and Old Saybrook High School crew teams, as well as community rowers who are members of the Blood Street Sculls.  The next phase of the project will include the public rest rooms and possibly a gazebo.



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


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

CT Camera Club Hosts Exhibit in Old Lyme Town Hall

‘The Beauty of Burano’ by N.B. Logan is one of the featured photos in the CT Camera Club’s exhibition currently on view at Old Lyme Town Hall.

There will be a photography exhibit by the Connecticut Valley Camera Club from May 1 to June 29, at the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.  A total of 30 photos are on display with an opening reception on Saturday, May 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. which is free and open to the public.

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club, founded in 2001, has a prime directive of encouraging, accommodating, and implementing multiple photographic experiences for our members. Photographers of all levels are welcome. With the overall intent of improving our skills, members share information about techniques and equipment, as well as provide mutual support in evaluation of each other’s images.

The club meets on the first Monday of each month at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme. Visitors are welcome. To learn more about the club visit their website and Facebook page



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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact LOLJWC at for more information.


FloGris Museum’s Andersen Honored as ‘Leader of the Year’ at Governor’s Tourism Conference

Jeff Andersen, Director, Florence Griswold Museum, (second from right) receives the Leader of the Year award from Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (second from left) at yesterday’s Governor’s Conference on Tourism at Hartford. Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism, stands to the Governor’s left.

The Director of Old Lyme’s Florence Griswold Museum Jeff Andersen was one of five individuals and organizations honored at Thursday’s annual Connecticut Governor’s Conference on Tourism for their outstanding contributions and dedication to Connecticut’s $14.7-billion tourism industry sector. Governor Dannel P. Malloy, together with the Connecticut Office of Tourism, presented the 2017 Connecticut Governor’s Tourism Awards, which spanned five separate categories.

The citation for Andersen’s ‘Leader of the Year‘ award described how, under Andersen’s leadership, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme was transformed from a hidden-secret historical site to one of the state’s premier cultural institutions — and one of the nation’s preeminent centers for American Impressionism. As a steadfast advocate for the arts, Andersen worked diligently to transform the historic boardinghouse, grounds, facilities and collections, creating a world-class visitor experience for artists, enthusiasts, students and others.

In 2016, the museum acquired the last remaining parcel of the original Griswold estate, restoring the historic site to completion for the first time since it was divided in 1937. Andersen will retire in 2018 after 40 years of dedicated leadership.

“The tourism sector is one of the major drivers of Connecticut’s economy,” Governor Malloy said. “The industry creates jobs, generates tax revenues and contributes to our high quality of life in Connecticut. It’s an honor to recognize some of the key people involved in making tourism such a vital contributor to our state’s economy.”

The other recipients of the 2017 Connecticut Governor’s Tourism Awards were Virginia Kozlowski, who was named Tourism Legacy Leader. Kozlowski, Executive Director, Visit New Haven, Connecticut Lodging Association, REX Development is a 25-year-veteran of the hospitality industry, has dedicated her career to promoting tourism and business in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Art Trail was honored as Partner of the Year. Over the past two decades, the dedicated members of the Connecticut Art Trail have worked tirelessly to promote Connecticut’s rich cultural history and drive visitation to the state.

The Durham Fair Volunteers were named Volunteers of the Year. What started as a small event in 1916 has grown to be the largest agricultural fair in Connecticut, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the state and beyond. Fueling this growth has been hundreds of volunteers who have committed their time and passion to making the event a success year after year.

Ben Paletsky, CEO, South Farms was honored as the Rising Star.  He is the driving force behind South Farms in Morris, one of New England’s premier destination-farm venues.

More than 400 attendees from tourism-related businesses, associations and municipalities across the state joined the Governor in congratulating the winners. Throughout the day, attendees also heard from leading tourism industry experts, including keynote speaker Doug Lansky, and participated in business-building workshops and networking sessions.

Other conference highlights included a presentation of the results of last year’s Connecticut still revolutionary tourism marketing campaign. Central to the campaign was the state’s official tourism website,, which relaunched in April 2016. The completely redesigned website attracted 4.2 million visits last year, a 64 percent increase over 2015, and generated 2.2 million referrals for industry partners listed on the site. The state also reported significant increases in social media engagement and public relations activity.

“The conference is a unique opportunity for the industry to gather, learn and celebrate those individuals and organizations who have dedicated extra time and energy to helping tourism in Connecticut grow and thrive,” said Randy Fiveash, director of the Connecticut Office of Tourism. “We look forward to working with each and every partner in the state to make 2017 an even greater success.”


New Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Principal Announced

The new Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Principal, Mark Ambruso.

This morning Lyme-Old Lyme Schools announced the appointment of Mark Ambruso as the next principal of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School. Ambruso, who is currently serving as the Principal of Windham Technical High School, will begin his new position on July 1, 2017. He will succeed Michelle Dean, who will begin a new position as Director of Curriculum also on July 1, 2017.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented, “We are pleased to welcome such an accomplished and seasoned administrator to our district. Throughout the entire interview process, Mr. Ambruso impressed us with his innate leadership skills and his strong commitment to his students. This appointment will allow us to continue on the successful path that has been established at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.”

Ambruso has previously served as the both the principal and, prior to that, the assistant principal at Bacon Academy in Colchester. He began his career in education at Norwich Free Academy as a science teacher and coach.

The district has also begun advertising for the position of Middle School Assistant Principal after Mr. Neil Sullivan announced his resignation effective June 30, 2017 to embark on new professional challenges. High quality applicants are encouraged to apply for this opening at


School Budget Passes Easily in Both Towns

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser sends details of the referendum results to Region 18 Board of Education members.

Voters in both Lyme and Old Lyme passed the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ 2017-18 proposed $33.6 million budget convincingly yesterday.

In Lyme, only four people voted against the $33,634, 371 budget while in Old Lyme, 88 voted No. In an extremely low turnout in both towns, the Yes votes in Lyme and Old Lyme respectively were 111 and 271 giving final totals across the Regional School District of 382 Yes’s to 92 No’s.

A delighted Lyme-Old Lyme School’s Superintendent Ian Neviaser commented after the results had been announced, “I’d like to thank the voters for supporting the education budget.  We were proud to bring forward the lowest budget increase on record and are happy to continue the great work of educating the children of Lyme and Old Lyme.”


District Budget Meeting to be Held Tonight

Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools will hold a District Budget Meeting tomorrow evening, Monday, May 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School to review and answer questions on the proposed $33,634, 371 budget for the 2017-18 school year.  Traditionally this meeting ends with a motion to take approval of the budget to a referendum in Lyme and Old Lyme — the two towns that comprise Regional District #18 — the following day.


Polls Open 6am in Referendum on Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Proposed $33.6M Budget, Result on LymeLine Tonight

Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools will hold a referendum today in Lyme and Old Lyme — the two towns that comprise Regional District #18 — on their proposed $33,634, 371 budget for the 2017-18 school year.

Voting will take place Tuesday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cross Lane Firehouse for Old Lyme residents and Lyme Town Hall for Lyme residents. will publish the result as soon as it is announced shortly after 8 p.m.

When LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser presented the budget for approval to the Region #18 Board of Education in February, he commented, “We are proud to present the lowest budget increase on record for Region #18.  While the increase is exceptionally low, this has been achieved through savings that do not impact any of our existing programs or services. ”

During his presentation Neviaser explained the budget was set to support the objectives outlined in the Strategic Plan by:

  • Preserving and building upon the high standards of education in Lyme-Old Lyme while remaining fiscally responsible to our communities
  • Supporting the ongoing renewal of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and staff development activities in response to the expectations of state and national standards.
  • Continuing to plan and provide technology infrastructure and applications that are consistent with highly effective and efficient programming and operational standards.
  • Maintaining high facility standards for all district buildings and grounds.
  • Maintaining a dynamic and responsive approach to programming needs and mandates in special education.
  • Maintaining both compliance and reasonableness in response to state and federal mandates.

He noted that budget increases include certified and non-certified salaries, instructional programming, and administrative services while decreases include costs for benefits, special education and debt service.  Neviaser stressed that while showing only a minimal increase, the operations/program budget still reflects:

  • Continued adherence to class size guidelines
  • Reduction of staff to account for enrollment decline
  • Continuance of existing academic and extracurricular activities
  • Adjustments for anticipated changes in the special education population
  • Adequate funding for maintenance and repair of buildings and grounds
  • Scheduled replacement of technology and equipment
  • Program improvements that are consistent with high academic and operational standards

He also highlighted that several new programs were being implemented and a selection of facilities being upgraded. Program improvements include a new/updated elementary math program, technology infrastructure advancements and replacement of staff computers.  

Facility upgrades include installation of window AC units at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School and Lyme School​; addition of main campus pathway lighting; increasing the number of security cameras​; installation of a concrete lacrosse practice wall​ and replacement of the fuel oil tank at Lyme School​.

For more information on the Region #18 budget, visit this link on the Lyme-Old Lyme School’s website.


For One Day Only, Child & Family Agency Collecting Donations Today in Old Lyme for Annual Sale

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

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

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

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

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.


How Much Time Does Your Child Spend Looking at a Screen, Playing Video Games? LYSB Hosts Program Tonighton Internet & Video Gaming

Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) hosts a program tomorrow evening, Tuesday, May 2, titled, Internet & Video Gaming:Parenting the Connected Child, which will be led by Paul Weigle, M.D.

The program starts at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Auditorium. All are welcome and the program is free.

Regular video game play has rapidly escalated in recent years and has dramatically changed the landscape of childhood and adolescence. The average American youth spends over five and a half hours per day interacting with screen media for entertainment and engages in extensive regular video game play.

Topics include:

  • How much is too much?
  • How does screen time affect academic achievement, sleep and behavior?
  • What is internet gaming disorder?
  • How can I protect the health of my child?
  • Tips for parents

Weigle is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and associate medical director of Natchaug Hospital, of Hartford Healthcare in Connecticut, where he serves as medical staff president.  He is co-chair of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s Media Committee and has authored numerous articles on the effects of video game and internet habits on the mental health of youth, and regularly speaks on the topic to physicians, parents and mental health professionals.


Want to Turn Photos into Fine Art? CT Valley Camera Club Hosts Speaker Tonight to Tell You How

‘Tuliptini’ by Patty Swanson.

AREAWIDE — The next meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will feature a presentation by Patty Swanson, Fine Art Photographer from West Hartford, CT.   The meeting will be held Monday, May 1, at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, CT

Swanson writes: “Get inspired! Have you considered having a gallery show of your artwork but don’t know how to go about it? Or maybe there’s a particular image you think might work nicely hanging in a gallery? Do you have a lot of landscape, animal, and still life images that need a little boost or enhancement?”

She continues, “I will talk about how to turn a photograph into fine art, how to get your work into a gallery, and how to make your artwork sellable.” Swanson’s photographic fine art has exhibited and sold in galleries around the Hartford area.”

Swanson can be reached at  or through her website at

‘Letting Go’ by Patty Swanson.

The CVCC is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers.  The Club offers a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help our members expand their technical and creative skills.  Photographers of all levels of experience are welcomed.

The club draws members up and down the river, from Middletown to Old Saybrook;  from East Hampton to Old Lyme;  and along the shoreline from Guilford to Gales Ferry.

For more information, visit the club’s website at

ConnecticutValley Camera Club meeting dates, speakers / topics and other notices are published on the club’s Facebook page at