January 28, 2022

Ledge Light Health District Offers Free COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic in New London, Tomorrow

Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

GROTON/LYME/OLD LYME — Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) will host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 29, from 12 to 4 p.m. at McDonald’s, 406 Colman Street, New London.

The Moderna vaccine and a limited supply of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be available for anyone who is 18 years or older and needs a first or second dose or is eligible for a booster dose. The Pfizer vaccine will be available to anyone who is 5 years or older.

No appointment, insurance, or ID is needed.

The current booster recommendations are:

For individuals who received the Moderna vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot:

  • Severely immunocompromised at 1 month or more after their initial series.
  • Everyone 18+ at 5 months or more after their initial series.

For individuals who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the following groups are eligible for a booster shot:

  • Severely immunocompromised at 1 month or more after their initial series.
  • Everyone 12+ at 5 months or more after their initial series.

For individuals who received the J&J vaccine, booster shots are recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.

Mixing & Matching (heterologous series): Both the FDA and CDC support individuals to receive a booster dose that is a different vaccine type than they originally received for their primary series if they choose. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.

Visit www.LLHD.org or follow LLHD on social media for additional clinic announcements!

Ledge Light Health District serves as the local health department for East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, Lyme, New London, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Stonington and Waterford, Connecticut. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

LLHD’s mission statement – to prevent disease, illness and injury; to protect and nurture our environment; and to promote improved health and prosperity for all residents – describes in more detail their slogan of “promoting healthy communities.”

Old Lyme Basketball: Girls Soundly Defeat Saybrook; Girls, Boys Both Fall to Cromwell

Old Lyme freshman Kate Walsh, who was the top scorer for the Wildcats, dribbles the ball away from an opponent during the Cromwell game. All photos by Andrea Fenton.

OLD SAYBROOK: Last Saturday, Jan. 22, the Old Lyme girls, playing away, soundly defeated Old Saybrook in a solid 36-18 victory.

Freshman Kate Walsh led the Wildcat scoring with 13 points and two steals, while senior Ali Kyle added eight points with  seven steals. Senior Melanie Warren contributed seven points and fellow senior Megan Loflin notched three points, 16 rebounds and four blocks.

A delighted coach Don Bugbee commented after the game, “The girls played really hard throughout the game, especially on the defensive end of the court, and came away with a nice team effort and win.”

Kanon Oharu shoots for Old Lyme.

On Wednesday, Jan.25,  both the girls and boys’ teams were defeated by their respective Cromwell opponents. The boys, playing at home, lost 48-62 and the girls, playing away, fell by 35 points to 58.
Top scorers for the Old Lyme boys were Jacob Ritchie with 11 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals while Caden Monte added 10 points, three rebounds and one block.
Cromwell’s Jake Salafia not only scored 17 points but also made five three-pointers.

Old Lyme senior Megan Loflin and junior Alexis Fenton successfully block a shot in the Cromwell game.

Top scorer for the girls was freshman Kate Walsh with nine points.
The girls’ record is now 5-5 for the season and 3-5 in the Shoreline Conference.

Jan. 26 Daily COVID-19 Update: State Positivity Rate Falls to New Low for Year; 13 New Cases in Old Lyme Take Cumulative Total to 943, Lyme’s Total Rises to 234 with Four New Cases

Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

LYME-OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, around 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health(CT DPH) shows 13 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme taking the town’s total of cumulative cases from 930 to 943.

Four new cases were reported in Lyme, taking that town’s cumulative total from 230 to 234. 

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by the state Thursday, Jan. 27, around 4 p.m. This report will include weekly updates on the COVID Case Zone maps.

Statewide Data

On Jan. 24, in an article published in the Hartford Courant, Alex Putterman stated, “Connecticut continues to see significant improvement in its COVID-19 metrics, state numbers show, signaling an approaching end to its latest coronavirus surge. The state on Monday [Jan. 4] reported an 11.4% test positivity rate, lowest since late December, and a decrease of more than 200 COVID-19 hospitalizations.”

The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate on Wednesday, Jan. 26, was down to 10.93% from 13.74% on Jan. 25, and COVID-related hospitalizations also decreased again by 100 to 1,346. The positivity rate represents a new low for this month.

Of those hospitalized, 723 (representing 53.7%) are not fully vaccinated.

The total number of COVID-related deaths in Connecticut rose to 9,901. (Source: NYTimes.com)

As we reported in our Thursday, Jan. 20 Daily COVID-19 Update, the COVID-19 Average Daily Case Rate Report issued by the state on that day showed that the total number of towns in the Red (highest) Zone for COVID-19 Case Rates remained constant at 168, leaving only one town in the state — Canaan — not in the Red Zone. This number of 168 is equivalent to 99.4 percent of towns in the state.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, Jan. 27 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

Extracts from the Jan. 13, 2022 CT DPH report

As of Jan. 19, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Jan. 12, 2022)

  • Number of cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 115,021 (83,147)
  • Number of fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 2,540,829 (2,526,891)
  • Percent of fully vaccinated persons, who have contracted COVID-19: 4.53% (3.29%)

For the week beginning Jan. 09, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 26, 2021)

  • Risk of unvaccinated persons testing positive for COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 3.4x greater (3.3x greater)
  • Risk of unvaccinated persons dying from COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 18.6x greater (17.2x greater)

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 500 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 571 new cases there since that date. Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 120 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

All the towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD), of which both Lyme and Old Lyme are members, are in the Red Zone.

In an email sent Friday, Jan. 21, regarding the latest COVID-19 data, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Deputy Director of Health Jennifer Muggeo states, “Although there is a decrease in the number of new cases reflected in this report, we are still experiencing high average daily case rates and a continued focus on preventing transmission is important.”

She continues, “Ledge Light Health District advises all businesses and community members take direct steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your business, home, and place of work. We encourage all businesses within our communities to adopt masking policies for employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status.”

Finally, she states, “LLHD continues to focus our vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals who were vaccinated previously. There are a number of community-based vaccination clinics scheduled for next week (beginning tomorrow); information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/.”

COVID testing opportunities can be found at COVID-19 Testing | Ledge Light Health District (llhd.org)

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/

The next Ledge Light update is due Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Update

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing , but LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser said in a Jan. 4 email to the school community that he, “… will continue to notify the school community of any positive cases of COVID-19 that impact the schools.”

A full listing of all LOL Schools-related cases during 2022 is given below. On Wednesday, Jan. 26, three new cases were reported in LOL Schools.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools closed Dec. 23, 2021 and reopened Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 after the winter break meaning no new cases were reported by the schools during that period. We are no longer including positive cases impacting LOL schools between Aug 26, 2021 (the first day of the 2021-22 academic school year) and Dec. 23, 2021 (the last day of school before winter break began), in this report. During that period contact tracing was still required.

View the full listing of cases during that period (8/26/21 – 12/23/21) at this link.

The listing below is the latest information that we have with the most recent cases first — there may have been further updates, however, which we have not yet received.

The following abbreviations are used in the list below: LOLHS: Lyme-Old Lyme High School, LOLMS: Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, CS: MC: Mile Creek School, and Center School Pre-Kindergarten.

Wednesday, Jan. 26
Total: 3
LOLHS: 1, MC: 2

Tuesday, Jan. 25
Total: 4
LOLMS: 2, MC: 2

Monday, Jan. 24
Total: 9
LOLHS: 2, LOLMS: 1, Lyme: 1, MC: 4, CS: 1

Sunday, Jan. 23
Total: 3:
LOLMS: 1, Lyme: 2

Friday, Jan. 21
Total: 8
LOLHS: 4, LOLMS: 2, MC: 2

Thursday, Jan. 20
Total: 5
LOLMS: 1, MC: 1, Lyme: 3

Wednesday, Jan.19
Total: 7
LOLHS: 2, LOLMS: 4, CS: 1

Tuesday, Jan. 18
Total: 7
LOLHS: 3, LOLMS: 2, MC: 2

Monday, Jan. 17
Total: 6
Lyme: 4, MC: 2

Friday, Jan. 14
Total: 3
MC: 2, LOLHS: 1

Wednesday, Jan. 12
Total: 3
MC: 2, LOLMS: 1

Monday, Jan. 10
Total: 3
CS: 1, Lyme: 2

Sunday, Jan. 9
Total: 2
MC: 1, Lyme: 1

Friday, Jan. 7
Total: 1
MC: 1

Thursday, Jan. 6
Total: 7
LOLHS: 5, Lyme: 1, CS: 1

Wednesday, Jan. 5
Total: 14
LOLHS: 6, MC: 1, Lyme: 3, CS: 4

Tuesday, Jan. 4
Total: 5
LOLHS: 4, CS: 1

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Three COVID-related fatalities have been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third, which was reported in 2021, have not been made available.

State Rep. Devin Carney to Host Virtual Pre-Session Legislative Update, Tonight

HARTFORD/LYME/OLD LYME – State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) will be holding a Virtual Pre-Session Legislative Update on Thursday, Jan. 27, to hear from residents prior to the 2022 legislative session, which begins Wednesday, Feb. 9.

The virtual session will be held via Zoom from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The link for the meeting is: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89798345387

Rep. Carney would like to encourage residents who wish to share their thoughts or concerns before the 2022 session to attend the meeting. All are welcome — no meeting ID is required.

If you would like to submit questions prior to the event, email Rep. Carney at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov.

The Country School Hosts On-Campus Open House, Sunday

The Country School at Madison hosts an in-person Open House, Jan. 30, 2022.

MADISON, CTThe Country School is hosting an on-campus Open House on Sunday, Jan. 30, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Join the event and meet engaged, inspired students and dynamic, passionate teachers. Hear about the school’s rigorous academic program and commitment to honoring the creativity, sense of wonder, and exuberance of childhood.

Learn about 65th Anniversary Merit Scholarships, available to students to applying for admission to grades 4 through 8 in the fall of 2022. The recipients of the merit scholarships will be selected on the basis of academic merit and personal promise.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving over 225 students in PreSchool through Grade 8.

To learn more and register for Open House, visit https://www.thecountryschool.org/admission/visit-us.

For information about our 65th Anniversary Merit Scholarship opportunity for students entering Grades 4-8, visit https://www.thecountryschool.org/admission/tuition-and-financial-aid/merit-scholarships.

Old Lyme’s 2021 Citizen of the Year is Cheryl Poirier!

Old Lyme’s 2021 Citizen of the Year Cheryl Poirier (second from left) stands with the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen (from left to right) First Selectman Timothy Griswold, Selectman Matt Ward and Selectwoman Martha Shoemaker. Photo by Michele Dickey.

OLD LYME — UPDATED 1/26 — new photo added: At Monday evening’s Annual Town Meeting, Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold announced the closely-guarded secret that Cheryl Poirier had been selected by the board of selectmen as the 2021 Old Lyme Citizen of the Year.

Here is the full text of the Proclamation, which Griswold read aloud to announce the honor:

“We are excited to announce that Old Lyme’s Citizen of the Year for 2021 is the very talented Cheryl Poirier. Cheryl has provided extraordinary service to the Town of Old Lyme in a variety of capacities. She has touched the hearts of many, and that will be reflected in my remarks tonight.

Honoring Old Lyme’s 2021 Citizen of the Year Cheryl Poirier (third from left) are (from left to right) State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd), Old Lyme Town Clerk Vicki Urbowicz, who officiated at the meeting, First Selectman Timothy Griswold, Selectman Matt Ward and Selectwoman Martha Shoemaker. Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Cheryl is deeply committed to promoting the arts. She is the former Marketing Associate for the Florence Griswold Museum. The museum credits her for developing their “brand” and said that Cheryl is a natural storyteller who is gifted at distilling information into beautiful moments that capture the attention of their audiences. She made a particular impact on her former museum colleague Tammi Flynn. 

Tammi told us that Cheryl is a big thinker whose mind never stops. She sees everything as an opportunity to be explored. Specifically, Tammi said that Cheryl is always five steps ahead of everyone else and frequently “dings” her phone with text messages saying, “did you see this?” and “have you thought of this?” Tammi usually replies “no” followed by the eyeroll emoji because somehow Cheryl always finds information she hasn’t seen yet. She says Cheryl is simply the best at bringing together both ideas and people.

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold starts the presentation to Old Lyme’s 2021 Citizen of the Year — a very surprised Cheryl Poirier. Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Cheryl is also active with the Old Lyme Arts District and regularly shares information about art happenings on social media. She has led the planning of Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival and participates in events such as Make Music Day and the Chamber’s Light Up Old Lyme program. She also spearheads Fairy Doors on Lyme Street each Fall, so we have her to thank for the festive decorations found up and down the street.

Dan Stevens, owner of Nightingale’s Acoustic Café and member of the Arts District, has worked directly with Cheryl on Make Music Day and had this to say about her: “I can think of few who have poured so much heart and soul into making our town a great place to live in a wonderfully selfless way. Her enthusiasm is contagious and her ability to motivate and lead is exceptional. She is a true joy to work with and a great asset to our town.” 

Katie Huffman, Director of the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library and current leader of the Arts District, echoes Dan’s sentiments. She told us, “It’s a rare person who has both exceptional ideas and the wherewithal and tenacity to realize them. Cheryl is one such person. She has amazing ideas, the confidence to share them with others, and the can-do attitude to see them through. In my experience, she leaves every project and organization better than she found it—more organized, efficient, communicative, and productive. She’s more interested in seeing things accomplished than in earning accolades, yet she’s willing and beyond capable to take the lead when needed.  

When Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold (left) announced Cheryl Poirier (second from left) as the Town’s 2021 Citizen of the Year, she received a standing ovation from the audience attending the Jan. 24 Annual Town Meeting. Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman David Kelsey (right) joined the cheers. Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

On a more personal level, Cheryl is kind and supportive. She notices when people are struggling and is ready to offer a supporting hand or word of encouragement when things get hard. She’s always interested in learning more—about herself, about the community, and about the greater world—and she’s willing to share her knowledge and experience with others to the benefit of many.”

Beyond all she does to support the arts, Cheryl has been instrumental in several Town projects. She is the current Chair of the Old Lyme Sustainability Team and through her leadership, secured both the bronze and silver level certifications from Sustainable CT. Charolette Wyman, who works closely with Cheryl on our sustainability efforts, said that the first time Cheryl attended a Sustainable Old Lyme meeting she was very quiet, which is hard to imagine as she tends to have strong opinions and ideas. But very quickly the committee realized how sharp she is and were amazed at her ability to see the potential synergies among many of the organizations in town. Charolette told us that the smartest thing Sustainable Old Lyme did was making Cheryl their leader and we could not agree more. Now it’s time for her to focus on getting us that gold certification!  

One of the projects that helped the Town achieve these certifications is the town-wide Pollinator Pathway project that encourages residents to plant native species.  Cheryl worked alongside Suzanne Thompson to make the project a smashing success. When asked about what it’s like to work with Cheryl, Suzanne said, “When I’m collaborating with Cheryl on a project, I know it will be visionary, well thought-out and properly executed – and it will be an enjoyable experience working with her to make things happen.” 

Former Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal gives a hug to Old Lyme’s 2021 Citizen of the Year Cheryl Poirier. Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Because she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Cheryl also agreed to Chair the Town’s Economic Development Commission. In her relatively short time as Chair thus far, she worked closely with Edie Twinning to develop a brand-new website dedicated to promoting Old Lyme tourism. She collected anecdotes from small business owners, wrote copy, set up various pages, gathered photography, and worked diligently to put out an incredible product that is beautiful in design and rich in information. Michelle Noehren, of my office, works frequently with Cheryl and said she is one of the most committed, passionate, hardworking, and innovative commission chairs. Howard Margules, the former Chair of the EDC, agrees, stating that Cheryl is the epitome of a professional, is hardworking and results-driven, and always maintains an open mind. 

Highly organized, deeply motivated, compassionate, and an innovative visionary are all terms that accurately describe Cheryl and her leadership style. Everything I mentioned today she does in a volunteer capacity, so we have no idea how she also makes time to be the wonderful wife, parent, and friend that we know she is. The Town of Old Lyme is grateful for all that she does to support the arts, tourism, the environment, and the economic development of this town she cares so much about. Congratulations, Cheryl, for being selected as the Town of Old Lyme’s 2021 Citizen of the Year.”

Old Lyme’s 2021 Citizen of the Year chats with Selectwoman Martha Shoemaker after the presentation. Economic Development Commission member and former chair of the commission Howard Margules stands to the rear. Former Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal gives a hug to Old Lyme’s 2021 Citizen of the Year Cheryl Poirier. Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Griswold concluded, saying, “This is a much deserved honor,” and we here at LymeLine heartily agree!

A somewhat overwhelmed Poirier, to whom the nomination was a complete surprise, told LymeLine exclusively by email, “It’s an incredible honor to be named Old Lyme’s Citizen of the Year. Volunteering in a community means always learning new perspectives, finding creative ways to collaborate, and of course, building new friendships along the way.”

She added, “I feel very lucky to volunteer alongside the great people, who challenge me and are just as passionate as I am about supporting the amazing things going on in Old Lyme.”

Congratulations, Cheryl!

Letter to the Editor: State Sen. Formica Announces Decision Not to Seek Reelection in Nov. 2022

To the Editor:

State Sen. Paul Formica (R – 20th)

A New Season

As I have grown older, I’ve come to believe that there are seasons in a person’s life. There are experiences, opportunities, relationships and a number of other circumstances, some wonderful; some tragic, that can define these seasons, but they come and go all the same.

In recent months I have been sensing a pull toward a new season. It has been a thought-provoking process because I have been deeply blessed, grateful and proud of the season I am currently in. I have decided to embrace this new season and therefore I will not be seeking reelection to the State Senate in November of 2022.

My 31 years of elected public service have collectively been one of the greatest honors in my life and now I feel it’s time for me to retire and move into the next season. I believe that I live in the greatest town, in the greatest senate district, in the greatest state, in the greatest country in the world and it has been an immeasurable gift to have the opportunity to share my time, voice and talents as a public official.

As First Selectman of East Lyme, I was able to bring solid business practices and enhanced customer service to a growing shoreline town. I led a team to responsibly fund expanded services and create economic development including rejuvenating our main street district. We preserved hundreds of acres of open space including securing the town’s water supply for generations to come. The years I spent at town hall were some of the most fulfilling of my life. I was able to work with talented regional leaders and learn what other municipalities across the state were doing to successfully manage their own challenges.

As State Senator of the 20th district, I was able to serve not only East Lyme, but seven additional, beautiful and diverse communities. Here we truly have it all: farmland, coastal downtown areas, New England suburbs, fine arts destinations, historical landmarks, the great city of New London, the Niantic Bay Boardwalk only to name a few!  During my four terms in Harford, I was a leader in the fight to secure the next decade of Connecticut’s carbon-free baseload supply of energy at Millstone Station. I worked to support Connecticut’s renewable energy future helping the initial development of the emerging offshore wind industry while being a voice for generations of fishermen. As a co-chair of the appropriations committee, I had the opportunity to help develop a true bipartisan budget in 2017 that is, to this day, providing large surpluses for our rainy day fund while paying down on our pension debt due to the controls we established in that budget. I helped to increase funding for programs and opportunities that help those in Connecticut managing intellectual and developmental disabilities while serving as Co-Chair of the IDD caucus, and I have been able to witness the overwhelming benefits of working in partnership with our Native American Tribal Nations. I founded the bipartisan Arts, Culture and Tourism caucus, which is now helping Connecticut’s hospitality industry to recover and thrive again in our state. Further, I have been able to support and give back to those who are on the difficult road to recovery from substance abuse and addiction.

It has been an honor to work with my colleagues in the Connecticut General Assembly and to be a leader on the great Senate Republican team.

The most rewarding aspect of my elected service has been the honor and pleasure of meeting and serving so many wonderful and passionate people from around the 20th District and across our great state.

Throughout this time, I have also continued running a successful restaurant in southeastern Connecticut and just this month I welcomed my first grandchild into the world.

I am particularly grateful to my business family, the incredible team on my town and state staffs and especially my family for bearing with me as I split my time and attention with my public service for over three decades. I would not trade a day of it.

I look forward to spending more time with my family, my businesses, perhaps some new hobbies, and to begin a new season with my special love.

There is a bright future ahead for this state and this district. I believed it 31 years ago and I believe it even more today. Thank you for the honor of serving the communities I hold so dear.

Sincerely,

Paul Formica,
East Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is the State Senator for the 20th District, which includes Old Lyme.

Old Lyme’s PGN Library Hosts Virtual Conversation on CT’s ‘Great’ and ‘Buried’ Rivers, Tonight; All Welcome

Taking a trip down the Hog River — Connecticut’s only buried river.

OLD LYME — Did you know Connecticut has a ‘Buried River’? It is the Hog River, which was buried under the City of Hartford in the 1940’s.

On Wednesday, Jan. 26, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., enjoy a conversation with Dick Shriver, publisher of the local Estuary magazine, and Elizabeth Normen, publisher of Connecticut Explored, and also the author of “My Ride Down the Hog River,” which is published in Estuary’s winter issue.  

They will discuss stories about the environmental history of the state’s iconic “Great River,” and, in contrast, the little, buried Hog River.

Register here for a link to this virtual program. All are welcome and the program is free.

Stop by the library and pick-up free, complimentary winter issues of Connecticut  Explored and/or Estuary magazine.

 

Old Lyme Town Meeting Approves 2020-21 Town Report, Sale of 11 Alpha Ave., $50K Appropriation for Sound View Sidewalks; 2021 Citizen of the Year Announced

A murmuration of swallows is featured on the cover of the Old Lyme Annual Report for 2019-2020

OLD LYME  — The Old Lyme Annual Town Meeting was held Monday evening in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium.  Atty. Tom McGarry was elected as the Moderator.

Old Lyme Board of Finance Chairman David Kelsey presented the 2020-21 Annual Town Report and thanked Michelle Dickey for “another wonderful editing job.”  The cover features photos of Tree Swallows during their annual murmuration.

Next, those assembled in the auditorium approved the sale of 11 Alpha Ave. (within Rogers Lake West Shores) to Roger Davis at a sale price of $10,500. Alpha Ave is a “paper” street, meaning it is not a passable road. The lot is a 0.48 acre parcel that abuts the Davis home property. The closing will likely occur in February.

Moving to a new agenda item, Frank Pappalardo then explained the Sound View Sidewalk Committee’s request for an appropriation of $50,000 to complete the sidewalk and transportation hub project. Pappalardo pointed out that, while there is a State grant of $400,000 for the project (income), the original project budget (spending) was also $400,000.

There have been about $46,000 of expenses that are not eligible for grant funding, which were paid using the project budget. If the $50,000 appropriation were approved (which it was subsequently), the Town could complete the transportation hub and be reimbursed almost in full by the unused State grant funds.

Finally, to her great surprise, the Citizen of the Year for 2021 was announced as Cheryl Poirier.

The item concerning using $115.000 of American Rescue Plan funding for COVID testing, distribution and communications was withdrawn from the agenda following the request by the American Rescue Plan Act Committee to do so following the announcement by the federal government of their funding of N-95 masks and COVID-19 self-tests.

A reception for Poirier was held in the Middle School cafeteria following the Town Meeting.

Old Lyme Annual Town Meeting to be Held Tonight, 2021 Citizen of the Year to be Announced

OLD LYME — The Annual Town Business Meeting will take place Monday, Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Auditorium at 53 Lyme St., in Old Lyme. The agenda includes the following business items and votes will be taken as determined during the evening:

1. To accept the Annual Town Report for the fiscal year July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, as submitted by the Board of Finance.

2. To Approve the Sale of 11 Alpha Ave. (a Town owned Parcel in Rogers Lake West Shores).

3. To Approve the Appropriation Not to Exceed $50,000.00 to Fund Improvements Related to the Sound View Sidewalk and Transportation Hub Project

4. To announce the recipient of the Board of Selectmen’s Citizen of the Year for 2021.

5. To approve utilizing up to $115,000 of the American Rescue Plan Funds received by the Town of Old Lyme to fund Covid testing, distribution, and communication costs.

Based on recent information received about the Federal COVID test kit distribution plan, the American Rescue Plane Committee rescinded its request for item 5 above to be considered, so there will be a motion to withdraw this item from the Annual Town Meeting agenda.

Essex Winter Series Presents Concert Sunday, Features Soprano Patricia Schuman, Pianist Bradley Moore

Soprano Patricia Schuman will headline the Jan. 30 Essex Winter Series concert

ESSEX — On Sunday, Jan. 30, Essex Winter Series (EWS) presents its next concert at Valley Regional High School in Deep River. The concert begins at 3 p.m. and doors will open at 2 p.m.

The concert will feature soprano Patricia Schuman and Bradley Moore on piano.

It will include a wide-ranging vocal recital of songs and arias from Handel, Mozart, Schumann, Gustavino, Ginastera and Mompou.

As a precautionary measure to protect all who attend EWS concerts, attendees must follow the COVID Safety Policy established. Click here to view.

For more information and tickets, visit this link.

This Morning, Saint Ann’s of Old Lyme to Host Discussion of MLK’s Letter from Birmingham Jail

OLD LYME — On Sunday, Jan. 23, at 11:30 a.m., in honor of Martin Luther King Day, the Becoming Beloved Community Committee of Saint Ann’s is holding a discussion on Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Written in the margins of a newspaper while in an Alabama jail in 1963, this landmark writing considers the fight against racism and reflects on the healing power of love.

Attendees are encouraged to read this vital piece of King’s writings while pondering and reflecting on its meaning at the time it was written and what message it holds for all of us now.
This event is open to all in the community; no reservations necessary.
Following the best practices for health and safety for all, it is asked that all persons, regardless of vaccination status, wear a facial covering while in the Church building. The situation will be assessed on an ongoing basis. Masks are located in the Narthex, as well as in the entry way, by the parish offices.

Lyme Pollinator Pathway Presents ‘Propagating Pollinator Plants from Seed,’ This Afternoon via Zoom

Editor’s Note: In the interests of everyone’s health and safety, this program has been switched to Zoom only.

LYME — Including native plants in your garden is a great way to help pollinators.

On Saturday, Jan. 22, join a virtual program starting at 3 p.m. and learn how to expand your native plantings inexpensively by growing them yourself from seed.

The Lyme Pollinator Pathway presents this workshop with Jim Sirch in which you will discover the different germination requirements for various kinds of seeds and how to plant a plastic milk jug filled with a seed selection to stratify over the winter. Proper aftercare of the seeds will be discussed.

Sirch is the Education Coordinator at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History and is a past president and currently on the board of the Hamden Land Conservation Trust and also a member of the CT Native Plant Working Group.

A certified Connecticut Master Gardener, Sirch gives talks throughout the state on gardening for pollinators and growing native plants from seed and is dedicated to helping improve backyard biodiversity. He was featured in the Members Making a Difference section of the Summer 2016 issue of the American Horticultural Society’s American Gardener magazine.

Sirch also authors a weekly nature blog called Beyond Your Back Door.

This event is co-sponsored by the Lyme Land Trust, Lyme Garden Club, and the Lyme Public Library.

Register at education@lymelandtrust.org to receive the zoom link.

The Lyme Public Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Rd., in Lyme, Conn.

Latest Delivery from State of COVID-19 Test Kits is Designated for ‘Vulnerable Populations’

OLD LYME — Old Lyme Emergency Services Director David Roberge informed us this afternoon (Friday, Jan. 21) that earlier today, the Town of Old Lyme received an additional quantity of COVID-19 self-test kits from the Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH.)

He explains that the CT DPH has, “Required this delivery be designated for vulnerable populations … persons living in congregate housing and for persons who have physical, mental, intellectual or other developmental disabilities that are unable to seek out testing kits on their own.”

He notes that these kits will be available to persons in those categories by calling the Lymes’ Senior Center at 860-434-4127.

Roberge adds, “When we receive additional home test-kits for the general public’s needs, we will announce their availability on the Town of Old Lyme website and via email alerts through our Old Lyme Alerts text notification system, and also on LymeLine.com and our social media platforms.”

He stresses, “To be notified of important COVID information, simply text OLCOVID19 to 888777 to receive important text messages on your smart device.”

Death Announced of Glenn Alan Kindilien, 74, Attended Old Lyme High School

STRATFORD, CT — Glenn Alan Kindilien, 74, of Stratford, passed away unexpectedly on January 12, 2022. Born on August 22, 1947 in Providence, RI, he was the son of the late Carlin Kindilien and Priscilla (Warren) Kindilien …

Glenn attended Old Lyme High School …

He enjoyed fishing especially in the area of Old Lyme where he spent many of his years.  He particularly found enjoyment exploring the Connecticut 8-mile River and Uncas Pond …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published on the Cody-White Funeral Home website.

Old Lyme Girls’ Basketball: Two Losses for the Wildcats, But they “Never Quit” (Coach Bugbee)

Ali Kyle takes a shot during the Wildcats game against North Branford.

OLD LYME — Last Friday, Jan. 14, the Old Lyme girls suffered a heartbreaking 36-35 loss to Morgan. Junior Alexis Fenton scored three three-pointers in her 13 points and senior Megan Loflin added 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Coach Don Bugbee said, “The girls played their hearts out during this game, and we came up just a bit short. Without a doubt, the last five seconds of the game were ‘one for the ages.’”

Alexis Fenton (#23) falls to the ground on an opposition player during the Wildcats’ hard-fought game against North Branford.

On Tuesday, Jan. 18, Old Lyme was soundly defeated 52-34 at home by North Branford. Old Lyme freshman Kate Walsh put up 13 points while senior Megan Loflin notched six points and 10 rebounds.

Bugbee commented, “The girls played hard and never quit, but were overmatched on this night by a bigger, aggressive North Branford team.”

Old Lyme’s season record now stands at 4-4.

Lyme Library Hosts Program on Coyotes in Connecticut, Tonight

Coyote — friend or foe? Learn all about coyotes  at a presentation on Thursday at Lyme Public Library.

LYME — On Thursday, Jan. 20, at 7 p.m., the Lyme Land Trust and Friends of the Lyme Public Library are offering a presentation called “Eastern Coyotes in Connecticut” with master wildlife conservationist Paul Colburn at the library.

Colburn will discuss the history of coyotes in Connecticut and provide an overview of their habitat, diet and behavior.

The program is free and all are welcome.

Registration is requested. To register, visit this link.

For more information, contact programreg@lymepl.org.

League of Women Voters’ Delegate to 2021 U.N. Climate Conference Gives Report, Discusses Future Actions, Tonight via Zoom

NIANTIC — On Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 at 7 p.m., the League of Women Voters of  Southeastern Connecticut (LWVSECT) will host a presentation on the subject of climate. The event will now be held exclusively via Zoom. All are welcome.

The Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85793934144pwd=TktDbGlyeFhhZFpzTH F2b05PbkNFZz09 

The LWVSECT includes the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme.

The presenter will be LWVSECT member Emily Polakowski, who was a League delegate to the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) held in November 2021 in  Glasgow, Scotland, and a member of the LWVSECT.

Polakowski will talk about her attendance at the U.N. Climate Summit (COP 26)  in Glasgow where she represented the League of Women Voters – U.S. as an  observer delegate to the event.  

Her talk will cover the set-up of the conference and she will:

  • offer a brief history of  climate negotiations
  • provide background climate information and terms
  • share what she learned from events that she attended at the conference
  • discuss what actions  one can take today to help limit climate change on a local and national level.

There will be a Q&A session at the end of the event. 

The League of Women Voters has been celebrating its 100th anniversary in  2021 and looks forward to continuing its non-partisan, political, educational mission  on subjects of import to all.

The League welcomes men and women as members of its organization.

Jan. 17 COVID-19 Update: 29 New Cases in Old Lyme Take Cumulative Total to 861, Six in Lyme Increase Total There to 215

Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

LYME-OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, at 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health(CT DPH) shows 29 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme taking the town’s total of cumulative cases from 832 to 861.

Six new cases were reported in Lyme, taking that town’s cumulative total from 209 to 215. 

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by the state Tuesday, Jan. 18, around 4 p.m.

Despite those increases locally, the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was down again from 19.35% in the Jan. 14 report to 17.09% and COVID-related hospitalizations also decreased by 38 to 1,857..

Of those hospitalized, 1,857 (representing 67.25%) are not fully vaccinated.

As we reported in our Thursday, Jan. 13 weekly COVID-19 Update, the weekly COVID-19 Average Daily Case Rate Report issued by the state on that day showed that the total number of towns in the Red (highest) Zone for COVID -19 Case Rates remained constant at 168, leaving only one town in the state — Canaan — not in the Red Zone. This number of 168 is equivalent to 99.4 percent of towns in the state.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, Jan. 20 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

Extracts from the Jan. 13, 2022 CT DPH report

As of Jan. 12, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Jan. 25, 2022)

  • Number of cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 115,021 (83,147)
  • Number of fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 2,540,829 (2,526,891)
  • Percent of fully vaccinated persons, who have contracted COVID-19: 4.53% (3.29%)

For the week beginning Jan. 02, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 26, 2021)

  • Risk of unvaccinated persons testing positive for COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 3.4x greater (3.3x greater)
  • Risk of unvaccinated persons dying from COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 18.6x greater (17.2x greater)

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 418 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 489 new cases there since that date. Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 101 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

All the towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD), of which both Lyme and Old Lyme are members, are in the Red Zone.

In an email sent Thursday, Jan. 13, regarding the latest COVID-19 data, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director of Health Stephen Mansfield stated, “ We continue to see a significant increase in the number of new COVID cases within our jurisdiction.”

He continues, “Ledge Light Health District advises all businesses and residents take direct steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your business, home, and place of work. We encourage all businesses within our communities to adopt masking policies for employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status.”

Mansfield concluded, “LLHD continues to focus our vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals who were vaccinated previously.

Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/

COVID testing opportunities can be found at COVID-19 Testing | Ledge Light Health District (llhd.org)

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Update

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing , but LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser said in a Jan. 4 email to the school community that he, “… will continue to notify the school community of any positive cases of COVID-19 that impact the schools.”

On Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name.  Mile Creek- 2 (Mulligan, Hotchkiss) LOLHS- 1.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools closed Dec. 23, 2021 and reopened Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 after the winter break meaning no new cases were reported by the schools during that period. We are no longer including positive cases impacting LOL schools between Aug 26, 2021 (the first day of the 2021-22 academic school year) and Dec. 23, 2021 (the last day of school before winter break began), in this report. During that period contact tracing was still required.

View the full listing of cases during that period (8/26/21 – 12/23/21) at this link.

A full listing of all LOL Schools-related cases during 2022 is given below.

This is the latest information that we have with the most recent cases first — there may have been further updates, however, which we have not yet received.

See above for Jan. 14 update.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek – 2 (Hotchkiss, Oliver), Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) – 1.”

On Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name: Center School – 1 (Newman), Lyme School – 2 (Tartisel, Sestrom.)”

On Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Over the weekend we became aware of the following [two] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Velikaneye), Lyme- 1 (McNamara.)”

On Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [one] individual, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Wilson.)”

On Thursday, Jan. 6, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [seven] individuals, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS [Lyme-Old Lyme High School] – 5, Lyme [School] – 1 (Tartisel), and Center [School]-1 (Lucier.)”

On Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [14] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS- 6, Mile Creek- 1 (Herel), Lyme- 3 (Tartisel, Sobus, McDermott) and Center-4 (Mullaney’s PM class, Miles.)”

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, Neviaser informed the school community that the administration had been made aware of “four individuals at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) and one individual in the Center School 3-year old PK classroom, who tested positive after being present at school.”

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Three COVID-related fatalities have been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third, which was reported in 2021, have not been made available.

Old Lyme Open Space Commission Announces Efforts to Acquire Two Parcels of ‘Ames Property’ Have Ended, Obstacles “Impossible to Overcome”

The acquisition of the two new ‘Ames Property’ parcels, which cannot now be completed, would have directly expanded the existing 195-acre Ames Family Open Space, which can be accessed from Evergreen Trail (via Boggy Hole Road). Photo credit: OL Open Space Commission. 

OLD LYME —  This afternoon, the Old Lyme Open Space Commission released the following statement on the proposed Ames Property purchase:

“The Old Lyme Open Space Commission deeply regrets that, despite its diligent work over the past 18 months, and the work and support of other Town boards and commissions including the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance and the Planning Commission, its efforts to acquire two parcels of the “Ames Property” for addition to the Town’s open space lands have not been successful and have concluded. 

In the end, it proved impossible to overcome obstacles posed by the recorded documents that created the five-parcel subdivision of which the two open-space parcels were a part. 

This outcome is especially unfortunate because acquisition of the open space parcels would have been of great benefit to the Town. The acquisition would have directly expanded the existing Ames Open Space, further protected the Black Hall River watershed, provided additional refuge for endangered species, preserved forest land and its carbon sequestration potential, and moved Old Lyme closer to a town-wide hiking trail.

The possibility of new access to Ames Open Space via a well-constructed and maintained driveway with safe, off-road parking, and potential new trail access by persons with disabilities, including to the existing open space ancient Native-American caves/shelters, would have been another key benefit.

The Open Space Commission thanks the property owner, Steven Ames, for his patient consideration while the Commission pursued the acquisition.”