March 21, 2018

Carney (R) Seeks Third Term as State Representative, Democrat Pugliese Announces Challenge

State Rep. Devin Carney

UPDATED 3/7 10:09pm: Devin Carney, a Republican who ran unopposed for a second term in 2016, has announced his intention to seek a third term as State Representative for the 23rd General AssemblyDistrict, which includes the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and coastal Westbrook. But this November, Carney will be challenged by Old Saybrook resident and Democrat Matt Pugliese.

Pugliese, a non-profit arts executive, notes in a press release that, “The frustration that our community feels is palpable.  The community wants change, wants new voices.  I’m running for state representative to help lead that change.   I’m a listener, and a leader who believes in building consensus, finding compromise and getting things done.”

Carney, who works as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Old Saybrook. explains his decision to seek a third term in a press release in this way, “Over these past two terms, I have always put the people of the 23rd District first.This community is everything to me. I was raised here and I understand the unique values and needs of my constituents. In these difficult and divisive times, it is important that the state has leaders with a proven track record of putting people over politics and who will work together to get Connecticut’s fiscal house in order.”

Matt Pugliese.

Pugliese, a resident of Old Saybrook, has spent his career working in the non-profit theatre industry, beginning at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  He served as the Executive Director at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theatre in Middletown, CT and now is the Executive Producer at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, based on UConn’s Storrs campus. Pugliese holds his BA in Theatre (’04) and his Masters in Public Administration (’17), both from UCONN. Pugliese said, “My work in the arts has been about activism.  It is about bringing together diverse audiences and creating opportunities for dialogue.  That is how we solve problems.  Every day running a theatre is about creative, problem solving and strategic thinking. The intersection of the arts and government – that is community.  That has been my professional career for 15 years.”

A lifelong resident of the district, Carney graduated from Old Saybrook Public Schools and currently lives in Old Lyme. He is the Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee, meaning he is the highest-ranked House Republican on the committee, and he serves on the Environment Committee and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. In addition, Carney chairs the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus, was the founding House Republican of the bipartisan Young Legislators Caucus, and serves on both the bipartisan Tourism Caucus and bipartisan Intellectual and Developmental Disability Caucus. He has also served as the Connecticut House Republican State Lead for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

Pugliese comments in the release, “Non-profit organizations need to run efficiently and effectively.  We know how to get the most out of every dollar.  My experiences in the non-profit sector in Middlesex County really opened my eyes to the incredible need we have in our community.  We have young people and families facing the most extreme and basic risks.  But we also have incredible resources in our community to draw upon.  That is what makes our district a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.”

Over his first two terms, Rep. Carney says he advocated for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, seniors, tourism, small business, local public education, and improving I-95. In 2015, he voted against the second largest tax increase in Connecticut’s state history. In 2017, he voted against the SEBAC agreement, but supported the bipartisan budget compromise in October.

Pugliese’s community involvement includes Old Saybrook’s Economic Development Commission since 2015, of which he was recently elected Chairperson.  He served on the Board of Directors for the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce for two years.  He served as the co-chair of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County Live Local Give Local 365 initiative when it was launched in 2011.  In 2012, Pugliese was named to the Hartford Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for his professional work and civic involvement.

Carney’s community activities include serving on the Board of Trustees at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and the Board of Directors at Saye Brook Senior Housing. He is a member of both the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce, a lector at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook, and serves on both the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee as a member and the Old Saybrook Republican Town Committee as an honorary member.

Public education is a key issue for Pugliese. He comments in the release, “When I think of our communities, I think of our strong public education systems. I will fight for the funding we deserve from Hartford necessary to support our schools.  I believe we need to invest in our higher education system. We want to have a vibrant university system to educate our young people, ensure their access to this education, and keep them here as part of our workforce in Connecticut.”

Commenting on his achievements in the past four years, Carney says, “I have pushed back against drastic tax increases to residents, defeated a federal rail proposal that would have devastated the region, supported bipartisan initiatives to combat our opioid crisis, and fought Governor Malloy’s proposal to push teacher pension costs onto local school districts. I have always put the taxpayer first and engaged with the community.”

Pugliese is an advocate for paid family leave, ensuring rights for women and minorities and championing arts, culture and tourism.  He adds, “Part of the identity of our community is the incredible cultural resources we have in the 23rd district. These resources drive tourism, which is critical to the economy of the towns in our region.  We need to ensure the viability of our cultural assets, and the public infrastructure needed to support tourism.”

Carney highlights in his press release, “I have never missed a vote,” adding, “Connecticut is at a crossroads and our residents and businesses cannot afford the same tax-and-spend policies that have put the state into this mess. It is imperative Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook continue to have a strong voice at the table during this tough fiscal reality.”


Dazzling Red Carpet Oscar Event Tonight Raises Funds for ‘The Kate’

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) will hold an Oscar Party benefit on Sunday, March 4beginning at 7 pm at the center located at 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook. This annual red-carpet event honors the Kate’s 12-time Oscar Nominated, 4-time-winning namesake and makes for an entertaining evening.  Proceeds support quality performing arts and cultural presentations at the Kate throughout the year.

“This event has always been volunteer-driven and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past eight years to support the Kate,” said Diane Hessinger, Oscar Party chair. “Not only is it a very fun evening, but it’s a perfect way to pay homage to our namesake, Katharine Hepburn and raise funds to expand the arts on the Connecticut shoreline.”

Delicious hearty hors d’oeuvres and desserts are provided by Fresh Salt and a cash bar is available while the 90th Academy Awards ceremony airs live on the Kate’s big screen. Guests will walk the red carpet, pose for photos, and have the chance to hold a real Oscar, thanks to Devin Carney, state representative and grandson of the late award-winning actor Art Carney. Carney is an honorary chair of the event along with Ann Nyberg of WTNH, both members of the Kate’s board.

A silent auction and raffle add to the fun of the evening and, new this year, is the Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook “Mystery Red Box” activity. Fifty jewelry boxes wrapped in a vibrant red paper are available for purchase with each box containing a Becker’s gift certificate and one grand prize box holding a beautiful 14k gold bracelet with forty-nine diamonds.

For tickets, visit or call 877-503-1286.

The 2018 Oscar Party is held in memory of Beverly Whalen, a long-time volunteer at the Kate who gave generously of her time and helped launch this event. The evening is sponsored by Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook, Secor Volvo, Comcast, Gulick & Co., Pough Interiors, and Saybrook Point Inn Marina & Spa.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) is a non-profit performing arts organization located in the former theatre and town hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, on Main Street in Old Saybrook. The Kate includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn. From live music concerts, to children’s arts camp, to films of fine art, and the MET Opera and Bolshoi Ballet simulcasts, events presented at the Kate help to shape the community, making it brighter and more imaginative.


Rep. Carney Declares Testifies to Government Administration and Elections Committee,

Rep. Carney testifies Feb. 26 in support of SB 180: An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) testified during a public hearing of the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) Committee on Monday, Feb. 26, in support of SB 180: An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts. This proposal would require greater executive and legislative oversight of quasi-public agency contracts by requiring the submission of certain contracts to the Attorney General and relevant legislative committee

Rep. Carney said, “Connecticut is currently in the midst of a fiscal crisis due to overly generous employee contracts and poor management of said contracts. Folks throughout this state are feeling the pinch of higher taxes and poorer state services while at the same time reading about quasi-public agencies giving away six-figure salaries and bonuses without any oversight from the General Assembly.”

He continued, “It is time to change that culture and this legislation, if passed, would allow the people to have a voice before contracts over $100,000 are approved.”

While testifying before the GAE Committee Rep. Carney pointed to the Connecticut Airport Authority and the CT Lottery as two examples of this current issue with “quasi-public” agencies.

Rep. Carney said that this proposal would allow for more transparency and oversight, which Connecticut residents desperately need as they are feeling the burden of the state budget and, at times, asked to pay more.

He added, “There is no reason these quasi-public agencies are allowed to avoid tough questions about their practices and provide answers surrounding bloated pay and benefits while others are asked to cut and save wherever possible.


SECWAC Hosts IRIS Executive Director Tonight to Speak on “Refugee Resettlement in CT”

Chris George, CEO of IRIS, will speak on “Refugee Resettlement in Connecticut,” Feb. 5, at Saybrook Point Inn.

The next Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) meeting takes place Tuesday, Feb. 6, at Saybrook Point Inn. Chris George, Executive Director of Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS), based in New Haven, will speak at 6 p.m. on “Refugee Resettlement in Connecticut,” and discuss the role of IRIS, a government- and privately-funded nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a new home to refugees.

IRIS helps refugees on the road to self-sufficiency by providing lifesaving support during their transition to life in the United States. The organization helped welcome 475 refugees to Connecticut in 2016.

A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the main event will begin at 6 p.m.

The presentation is a part of the SECWAC Speaker Series. SECWAC meetings are free to members (half-year membership February-June is $37.50/year; $12.50/year for young professionals under 35). Walk-ins are $20 for the general public (non-members; the $20 cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership). SECWAC membership is free for area college and high school students.

Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC meeting attendees have the option for $35 to attend a dinner with the speaker at Saybrook Point Inn. Reservations are required by Monday, Jan. 29, at 860-912-5718. Reporters are welcome to attend as guests of the SECWAC Board. Interested reporters should contact Paul Nugent at or 860-388-9241. -more-

IRIS is a government- and privately-funded nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a new home to refugees. Starting out in 1982 as the Diocesan Refugee Services Committee, it changed its name to the Interfaith Refugee Ministry (IRM) in 1990. The organization then underwent another name change in 2007 to IRIS – Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services – reflecting its inclusive, more secular organizational culture and the decision to extend some services to address the critical needs of immigrants. Throughout its history, IRIS has helped refugees from all over the world, with the numbers and nationalities of clients fluctuating over time. Learn more at

Chris George has worked overseas for most of his career. Beginning in 1977, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Sultanate of Oman, which led to a job with the Quakers in Lebanon, and then to a job with Save the Children in the Gaza strip. Overall he spent about 12 years on the West Bank in Gaza, doing humanitarian work, working with refugees. He returned to the United States in 2004, settling in Connecticut, and was hired by the Interfaith Refugee Ministry in 2005.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at


Community Leaders Hope to Help Parents Improve Communication With Teens; Forum in OS Tonight

Compassion Counts invites shoreline community members to join an upcoming community conversation, ‘Weathering the Adolescent Storm in a Pressure-Filled World,’ on Wednesday, Jan. 31, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the Old Saybrook High School Auditorium.   This free event will be a dynamic evening for teens, parents and teachers to learn how to nurture positive communication and foster resilience.

Attendees will watch a series of skits simulating common family conflicts in today’s pressure filled world to demonstrate both negative and positive communication styles.  A panel of Shoreline area teens will share their reflections on the skits.  The evening will conclude with an important talk on failure, resilience and success along with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions.

Dan Osborne, CEO of Gilead Community Services will be the moderator. Facilitators include Tom Allen, Ph.D., founder Pathways Center for Learning and Behavioral Health; Andy Buccarro, LSW, LADC, founder Project Courage Substance Abuse Treatment Center; and Alicia Farrell, Ph.D., Cognitive Psychologist and founder Clearview Consulting.

“We are responding to the requests of many parents in our community to learn how to better communicate with their teens,” says Dr. Alicia Farrell.   “This forum is the perfect opportunity for families to recognize that they are not alone in their daily challenges.  Parents, teens and teachers, will leave uplifted with new tools to keep communications with their teens positive, help them to foster grit and resilience while harnessing the hidden power of imperfection.”

To attend this free event, register online at https:/  Light refreshments will be served from 6 to 6:30 p.m.  A snow date is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20.

For more information contact Lucy McMillan at 860.343.5300 or

Compassion Counts is an ongoing series of community conversations held in the upper and lower Middlesex County. The purpose of these events is to educate and support the public around challenging life issues. Previous events have addressed topics like mental health, addiction, and suicide.  The Compassion Counts events are made possible by the generous support from various nonprofits throughout Middlesex County.


It’s That Time Again! Catch the Final Day of the Insane Insidewalk Sale Today in Saybrook

There will be bargains galore at the Insane Inside Sidewalk Sale today and tomorrow. presents the Ninth Annual Insane Insidewalk Sale Friday, Jan. 26, and Saturday, Jan. 27, at 105 Elm St., in the Old Saybrook Shopping Center, just a few doors down from the Stop & Shop grocery store.  The Sale will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.  Admission is $5, which covers entry for both days and the first 25 people to enter the Sale on Friday will have their admission fee waived.

This Sale enables people to shop the best stores and designers on the shoreline in one location at up to 75 percent off — it’s a pop-up specialty mall, featuring over 20 of the best local boutiques and designers offering deals on women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry, gifts, home decor, and kid’s clothing for two days only.

Ann Lightfoot will be selling her beautiful jewelry at the Insane Insidewalk Sale.

Ann Lightfoot will be selling her beautiful jewelry at the Insane Insidewalk Sale.

Discover new shops, makers, and designers: new vendors include Denali, The Perfect Pear (kitchen goodies), Willow & Birch (home and gift), Solavedi Organic Skincare, Salt Mystic (local makers), Susan Roberts Jewelry, Indigo (fair trade clothing and accessories) and Mar Floral (succulents and more) plus all your old favorites including Ann Lightfoot Jewelry, Lulu’s, Mix Design Store, One North Main, Ella Where She Shops, Dina Varano and many more.

The Insane Insidewalk Sale was conceived in 2008 to help local retailers who were stuck with excess inventory after the financial crash and a dismal holiday season. The-e-list rented a vacant storefront and invited 20 boutiques to sell their wares at deep discounts. It was a huge success for both vendors and attendees and now it’s become a well-established tradition that Shoreline shoppers eagerly anticipate.

For a full list of participating vendors and more information, visit this link.



‘How The Other Half Loves,’ Presented by Saybrook Stage, Continues Tonight at The Kate; Runs Through Sunday

Alan Ayckbourn’s farcical tale of matrimonial mishaps, “How The Other Half Loves” will have audiences in stitches. Aykbourn enthralls with his clever use of space and time as he intertwines the lives of two very different couples – a perfectly posh upper-class older one and a messy middle class younger one – on the same stage!

As Bob Phillips and Fiona Foster clumsily try to cover up their affair, their spouses’ intervention only adds to the confusion. William and Mary Detweiler – the third couple – find themselves in the middle of the mayhem when they are falsely accused of adultery – with no idea as to how they’ve become involved.

The fact that all three of the men work at the same company – in the same department adds to the fun. The plot culminates in two disastrous dinner parties on successive nights, shown at the same time – on the same stage – after which the future of all three couples is definitely in question.

The fast pace and physical humor of this piece makes this one of Ayckbourn’s funniest and most exciting plays to experience. The play is set in 1969 which allows for plenty of comic routines around landline telephones, distinct class structures and changing sexual mores.

The play originally opened in London in 1970 to rave reviews and ran for over 850 performances – it also opened on Broadway in 1971.

Ayckbourn has spent over 55 years as a theatre director and a playwright. To date he has written 80 plays – the latest of which opened at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough in 2016 – and his work has been translated into over 35 languages, is performed on stage and television throughout the world and has won countless awards.

The Saybrook Stage Company returns once again to The Kate in “How The Other Half Loves” directed by Michael Langlois, who previously directed Saybrook Stage’s “A Piece of my Heart” in January 2013. Their more recent plays include The Farnsworth Invention, Noises Off, Deathtrap, The Wayside Motor Inn, Moon Over Buffalo and this past July, Barefoot in the Park.

Visit or call 877.503.1286 to reserve your tickets. The play will be performed Jan. 18 , 19 and 20 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m.

Also, visit for more information about The Saybrook Stage Company.

The Saybrook Stage Company was founded as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality local theater on the Connecticut Shoreline at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Saybrook Stage welcomes actors of all levels and abilities – and anyone who genuinely loves the arts – to come together and share in the experience that only live theater can provide. The actors that have been part of The Saybrook Stage Company to date have varied backgrounds and “day jobs” from teachers, artists and homemakers to lawyers, business people and judges.


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.


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:
The Crosby Fund for Haitian Education:
Tree of Life Educational Fund:


Carney Earns 100 Percent Voting Record for 2017 Legislative Session

State Rep. Devin Carney

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23),, whose district includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern section of Westbrook, earned a 100 percent voting record for the 2017 legislative session according to recently released data from the House Clerk’s office. There were 417 votes cast during the 2017 regular session and special session. This marks Carney’s third year in a row with a perfect voting record.

“It is my duty to be present for every vote and I am glad to have accomplished that for the third year in a row,” said Rep. Carney. “My first priority is to ensure that the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook always have a voice in Hartford.”

Rep. Carney currently serves as the top House Republican on the Transportation Committee and is also a member of the Environment Committee and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

The next regular legislative session will convene in February 2018.

For an overview of important legislation addressed in the 2017 legislative session visit the Office of Legislative Research Acts for 2017.pdf

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Rep. Carney’s office at or 860-240-8700.


12th Annual Black Friday Concert at the Kate Tonight Benefits Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries

The Ebin-Rose Trio plays in the Black Friday Concert at the Kate.

Local musicians come together at the Kate on Nov. 24 at 8 p.m. for the annual Black Friday Concert to benefit the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries (SSKP). Now in its 12th year, this concert has become a community tradition and a wonderful event that embodies the season of giving.

With an emphasis on melody, lyricism and harmony The Ebin-Rose Trio, Carter Gowrie, Leonard Wyeth, Ian Meadows, and Lauren Agnelli will perform with special guests. Brian Wolfe of the Ebin-Rose Trio and Len Wyeth have been organizing the concert since its inception in 2006.

“We’re very happy to be hosting this special concert again in support of such a magnificent organization,” said Brett Elliott, Executive Director, the Kate. “It’s always a special night when local artists take the stage, but when they do so to give back to the community, it’s the perfect occasion to partner and kick off the holiday season of giving.”

Last year, the SSKP distributed enough food for over 1 million meals through five pantries and nine hot meal sites to people in need in the towns of Madison, Clinton, Westbrook, Old Saybrook, Essex, Old Lyme, East Lyme, Lyme, Deep River, Chester, and Killingworth. This year, the number of meals needed on the shoreline has risen over nine percent.

“The financial support we receive through this wonderful concert and the generous Gowrie Group Challenge match allows SSKP to meet the needs of the community. Thank you to all of the musicians for their time and talent and to our friends at the Kate,” said Ellen Rabin, Executive Director, SSKP.

The concert is generously sponsored by Wyeth Architects LLC and AcousticMusic.Org and all proceeds will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Gowrie Group Challenge. Every year between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, Gowrie Group, Connecticut’s largest independent insurance agency, challenges their local community of businesses and friends to team together to raise money to benefit SSKP.

Tickets are $25 and can purchased online through or by calling the box office at 877-503-1286.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “the Kate,” is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Kate has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees.

It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on more than 250 days each year. For more information on tickets for any shows at the Kate, please visit or call the Box Office at 877-503-1286.

SSKP is an interfaith service that provides food and fellowship to those in need and educates our community on hunger and poverty. The mission is to provide food and fellowship to those in need and educate our community about hunger and poverty. SSKP provides enough food for over 1 million meals each year. This includes home-style meals served each day at one of nine meal sites, weekly groceries available at five food pantries, and frozen and microwaveable meals prepared by Heat & Eat kitchens. SSKP is an interfaith ministry with all locations hosted by faith communities. For additional information, please visit


Shoreline Sewing Company Shares A Common Thread with New London Adult Education English Language Learners

Participants in the recent sewing ‘Notebook’ project led by Deb Alvord of the Shoreline Sewing Machine Company in Old Saybrook proudly display their handiwork: front row, left to right: Zanaib Hbaish, Amal Khilo, Fahima Jemmo, Lee Park, Ren Hu, Borgia Colon, Deb Alvord. Peter Alvord stands in the back row.

Deb and Peter Alvord, owners of The Shoreline Sewing Machine Company in Old Saybrook recently offered their time, talent and sewing materials to English Language Learners at New London Adult & Continuing Education (NLAE.)

Deb Alvord, an expert sewer, quilter and instructor presented a sample ‘Notebook’ cover project, which six students from South Korea, Dominican Republic, Syria and China replicated using four sewing machines plus a special edging machine. Peter Alvord was also on hand to assist and otherwise repairs sewing machines.

As adults, these international students come to the United States with a great deal of expertise. However, they are often limited in their expression because of a lack of English. This sewing exercise enabled these students, with significant background in tailoring, embroidering, and design to be emboldened and express themselves when words are often difficult.

The point of this collaboration was to build upon existing knowledge and strength of non English speakers to segue into practical English learning.

For more class offerings at both organizations, visit and 

Editor’s Note: Andrea Fenton, the author of this article, is a resident  of Old Lyme and an English Language Teacher at NLAE.


Bushnell Farm Hosts Free ‘Frost Season ‘ Program Today

Bushnell Farm hosts Frost Season: The Poetry of Robert Frost in Song and Story, Sunday.

OLD SAYBROOK — Bushnell Farm hosts Frost Season: The Poetry of Robert Frost in Song and Story, Sunday, Oct. 8, with State Historian Walt Woodward and the Band of Steady Habits, 4 p.m. 1445 Boston Post Rd., Old Saybrook, CT

This is a free program. The public is welcome. Parking available on-site.

For more information, call (860) 767-0674.


Award-Winning Photographer Presents ‘Tools of Travel Photography’ at CT Valley Camera Club Meeting

Shadows of camels and their riders in the Sahara desert in Erg Chebi, Morrocco (Photo by David H. Wells)

The guest speaker at next Monday’s (Oct. 2) meeting of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) will be award-winning photographer/videographer David H. Wells, who will give a presentation titled, “The Tools of Travel Photography.” The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lymes’ Senior Center, 26 Town Woods Rd., Old Lyme, Conn.  All are welcome.

Wells uses whichever technology he feels is most appropriate for the specific situation to create visual narratives. He is based in Providence, RI, affiliated with Aurora Photos and is also a photo-educator. One editor described him as a “… specialist in intercultural communication and visual narratives that excel in their creative mastery of light, shadow and sound, stills and video.”

Wells became the photographer he is today by first trying on the styles and/or methods of other well-known and historic photographers. Then he mastered the challenging discipline of color slide film. He fused all of these experiences, over 30-plus years, to develop his own style, built on a mastery of light, exposure and tonality, framing and composition with predictable and consistent control over focus and depth of field.

As a photography educator, he leads students to learn how to master consistently these same elements of photography. He was featured in Photo District News as one of “The Best Workshop Instructors.”

A Sicilian sunset (Photo by David H. Wells)

His project on the pesticide poisoning of California farm workers was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Philadelphia Inquirer. Over the years he has worked on assignment for such magazines as Fortune, Life, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Sunday New York Times, Time, etc. He also worked for corporations such as Consolidated Natural Gas and DuPont as well as for non-profits such as the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund.

His work has been featured in more than 50 exhibitions and he has taught workshops at the International Center for Photography in NYC and at the Maine Media Workshops. He has received two Fulbright fellowships, a grant from Nikon/N.P.P.A., a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation’s Program of Research and Writing on International Peace and Cooperation.

For more information on David H. Wells, visit his website.

Connecticut Valley Camera Club is dedicated to offering its membership the opportunity to become better photographers. The club offers a variety of presentations and interactive workshops to help members expand their technical and creative skills. Photographers of all levels of experience are welcomed. The club draws members from up and down both sides of 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 The Club’s meeting dates, speakers / topics and other notices are also published on the club’s Facebook page at



Rep. Carney Applauds the Passage of a New Opioid Bill Signed on ‘International Overdose Awareness Day’

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) stands at left as Governor Malloy signs the new opioid bill.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) attended a bill signing of Public Act 17-131, An Act Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse at the Hartford Public Library on Thursday, Aug. 31. Joining him were many legislative colleagues, local officials and advocates, who all stood in support of the legislation that seeks to curb the growing opioid crisis in Connecticut.

This ceremonial bill signing took place as the state took part in “International Overdose Awareness Day.”

From Jan. 1, 2015 through Aug. 2, 2016, Connecticut recorded 800 deaths due to overdose. The bill, which passed the House of Representatives unanimously expands upon legislation passed in 2016 and 2015, and includes some of the following aspects:

  • Instructs the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council to convene a working group to study substance abuse treatment referral programs that have been established by municipal police departments to refer persons with an opioid use disorder or who are seeking recovery from drug addiction to substance abuse treatment facilities;
  • Reduces the maximum opioid drug prescription for minors from 7 days to 5 days and maintains current law that allows a prescribing practitioner to exceed the limit for chronic pain, palliative care or acute pain if necessary as long as it is documented in the medical record
  • Requires individual and group health insurers to cover medically necessary detox treatment, as defined by American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) so that those looking for help cannot be turned away due to insurance issues;
  • Increases data sharing between state agencies regarding opioid abuse or opioid overdose deaths;
  • Increases security of controlled substances prescriptions by requiring scheduled drugs be electronically prescribed;
  • Allows patients to file a voluntary non-opioid form in their medical records indicating that they do not want to be prescribed or administered opioid drugs.

“Today, I was proud to stand with both Republicans and Democrats alongside Governor Malloy to enact bipartisan legislation that will help in the fight against opioid addiction. Opioid addiction is something that affects every community in our state, including every town within the 23rd District,” said State Rep. Devin Carney, continuing, “While drug addiction is not new, the addition of fentanyl into the equation is causing people from across the state to lose their lives at an alarming rate.”

Carney added, “Everyone, including me, knows someone who has been affected by drug addiction, whether it’s a parent, child, grandchild, or friend and I believe our society must continue working to battle this or we will continue to see lives taken far too soon.”

He noted, “I applaud the State of Connecticut for being a leader in this area and legislators from across the political spectrum for joining together to work towards solutions in an attempt to combat this growing epidemic. I also want to thank those within my community who have worked so hard to educate, communicate, and share their stories about drug addiction.”

Connecticut is expected to see more than 1,000 accidental drug-related deaths in 2017.


Salt Marsh Opera Presents ‘Opera in the Park’ Tonight in Old Saybrook

Sarah Nordin

Salt Marsh Opera presents their annual event of well-known opera selections and musical theatre, “Opera in the Park,” on Friday, Sept. 1, at 6:30 p.m. on Old Saybrook Town Green, adjacent to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main Street.

Bring family and friends, blankets and chairs, and even relax with a picnic dinner.

Professional performers Sarah Nordin, mezzo-soprano and Tyler Putnam, bass will delight you with glorious music under the stars.

Nordin has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, toured Japan, and the Geneva Light Opera Company.

Tyler Putnam

Putnam has appeared with Opera Omaha, St. Petersburg Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Little Opera Theatre of New York.

This event is free, but a $10 donation is suggested to cover expenses.

Rain date is Saturday, Sept. 2, at 6:30 p.m.

For additional information, visit


Glenn Close to Receive 2nd Annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award Tonight at Annual Gala

Acclaimed actress Glenn Close has been named the recipient of the 2nd annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award. The award, given by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, is bestowed yearly upon an individual who embodies the spirit, independence, and character of the legendary actress.

The award will be presented to Close at the organization’s annual Summer Gala on Saturday, Aug. 26.

Close has been nominated for six Academy Awards, won three Tonys and three Emmys, and advocates for mental health issues.  She made her feature film debut in The World According to Garp, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She was subsequently Oscar-nominated for The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons and Albert Nobbs.  For the latter, she was also a producer, co-wrote the screenplay and composed the lyrics for the Golden Globe nominated theme song, “Lay Your Head Down.”

Close won two consecutive Emmys along with a Golden Globe Award, and three SAG nominations for her portrayal of ‘Patty Hewes’ on Damages. She won a third Emmy for her title role performance in Serving in Silence: the Margarethe Cammermeyer Story (for which she also received a Peabody Award as executive producer).

In 1974, Close made her professional, theatre, and Broadway debut in The Phoenix Theatre’s Love for Love, directed by Harold Prince. Over her forty-three year career, she has always returned to the theater, receiving Tony Awards for Death and the Maiden, The Real Thing and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Sunset Boulevard, as well as an Obie Award for The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs. Last spring, Close made her London-West End debut in a new production of Sunset Boulevard, for which she won a London Evening Standard Award and was nominated for an Olivier Award. She is presently starring, to great acclaim, in that same production, on Broadway.

Close’s decision to join the acting profession in part stems from viewing one of the most famous and first ever television interviews with Katharine Hepburn, conducted by Dick Cavett, the inaugural Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award Winner.  Hepburn became an inspiration to Close and Hepburn welcomed this role, finding small ways to support Close through communications and appearances at events honoring Close.

The Aug. 26 Gala at the Kate will take place on the historic Old Saybrook Town Green. The event begins at 6 pm with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails under the tent.  Dinner and dessert by Max Catering will be complemented by live and silent auctions as well as remarks celebrating Close and another tremendous year of arts and culture at “The Kate.“ The Kate will then turn the party up a notch, filling the dance floor with current tunes and crowd favorites and dancers/instructors from the Fred Astaire – Old Saybrook Dance Studio will perform and join the party.

During the event, Close will receive the award, a graceful statuette sculpted in the likeness of Hepburn by Kimberly Monson, an artist and faculty member of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

Numerous sponsorship levels are available, which include a variety of benefits, visibility, and the possibility to meet and greet with Close. The event’s top sponsor may participate in the awarding of the Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award to Close.

Visit for sponsorship details or to purchase tickets.  For more information contact Dana Foster at

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.


OS Library Hosts Ann Nyberg to Discuss Her Book on Katharine Hepburn, 11am Today

OLD SAYBROOK — Ann Nyberg, author and Emmy nominated WTNH-TV anchor and reporter, hosts a conversation about her recently published book, “Remembering Katharine Hepburn: Stories of Wit and Wisdom About America’s Leading Lady” at Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 11 a.m.

Nyberg is a founding member and the Vice President of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate) also in Old Saybrook.  Her book reflects the life of Miss Hepburn “through personal remembrances from the people whose lives she influenced.”

Nyberg’s zest and zeal for all things Connecticut and Kate will make this a captivating conversation.

Ann Nyberg

For more about Nyberg and her work, visit her popular website “Network Connecticut.”

This program is free and open to the public but registration is strongly recommended.

Nyberg will sign copies of “Remembering Katharine Hepburn,” which will be available for sale.


Shoreline Bus Schedule Change Now in Place

9 Town Transit is planning schedule changes to its Rte. 1 bus service between Old Saybrook and Madison.  The changes, which reduce the number of daily trips by two, begin today, Monday, Aug. 14.

The district began a public comment process in March in response to reductions in subsidies from the Connecticut Department of Transportation.  Through the process, 9 Town Transit was able to identify trips that impacted the least amount of people.  Still, as many as 50 people’s daily travel will be impacted by these changes.

“We understand the impact these changes have on our community,” says Joseph Comerford, Executive Director of 9 Town Transit, “but when our subsidies are reduced, we must cut back service to remain financially stable.”

Comerford says the district pushed off the changes as long as possible, while they worked with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and legislators in an attempt to secure the necessary funding.  With a new fiscal year beginning, the district felt it could no longer delay the changes.

Additional information and schedules are available at or by calling 860-510-0429.


Saybrook Stage Presents ‘Barefoot in the Park’ at ‘the Kate’ Through Sunday

The cast of ‘Barefoot in the Park’ gather for a photo.

The Saybrook Stage Company presents “Barefoot in the Park” by Neil Simon at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, ‘the Kate,’ July 13 through July 15, at 8 p.m. with matinées July 15, at 2 p.m. and Sunday, July 16, at 3 p.m.

Neil Simon is at his best in this hilarious and touching romantic comedy about a conservative straight-as-an-arrow young lawyer and his free-spirited new bride. They are newlyweds in every sense of the word – still giddy from their over-the-top honeymoon at The Plaza – and now find themselves in a less-than-perfect Greenwich Village fifth-floor walkup in New York City.

The pricey apartment with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job is only the beginning of their rocky happily-ever-after life. The play is clever and funny, filled with snappy dialogue and witty one-liners. – Neil Simon is simply masterful in this 1960’s story of newlywed life.

A rehearsal scene from ‘Barefoot in the Park.’

The comedy unfolds as the couple moves into their new apartment and receives a surprise visit from the bride’s easily-winded, loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor in-the-attic – where everything that can go wrong does. The antics just get started as the mother and neighbor surprisingly get along better than anyone expected; while the newlyweds can only argue. The bride thinks the groom is too staid and boring – she wants him to be more spontaneous – and running barefoot in the park would be a nice start!

“Barefoot in the Park” originally opened in 1963 to rave reviews and was nominated for three Tony Awards. The play ran for over 1530 performances making it Neil Simon’s longest running Broadway hit. The New York Times wrote at the time “I don’t think anybody stopped laughing while the curtain was up”.

The Saybrook Stage Company is pleased to return once again to The Kate in Neil Simon’s romantic comedy directed by Jim Hile. This will be their 14th production at The Kate and the second Neil Simon play having performed “Rumors” in July 2014 – the more recent previous plays are Noises Off, Deathtrap, The Wayside Motor Inn, Moon Over Buffalo and this past January, The Farnsworth Invention.

Visit or call 877.503.1286 and reserve your tickets now. Also, visit for more information about The Saybrook Stage Company.

The Saybrook Stage Company was founded as a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality local theater on the Connecticut Shoreline at the Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Saybrook Stage welcomes actors of all levels and abilities – and anyone who genuinely loves the arts – to come together and share in the experience that only live theater can provide. The actors that have been part of The Saybrook Stage Company to date have varied backgrounds and “day jobs” from teachers, artists and homemakers to lawyers, business people and judges. The Company looks forward to producing many more quality productions at the beautiful venue of The Kate and continuing to thrive in this wonderful, artistic region of Connecticut.