December 5, 2019

Opening Reception for ‘Deck the Walls’ at Lyme Art Association in Old Lyme, Friday

‘Janray Thaw’ by John Caggiano is one of the signature works in the Lyme Art Association’s ‘Deck the Walls’ Holiday Show.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Art Association hosts an opening reception for its holiday art exhibition and sale, Deck the Walls, on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will be on view through Jan. 3, 2020. More than 200 original works of art by member artists will be on display and priced to sell as holiday gifts. The public is welcome at the opening reception and admission is free. All painting purchases from 5 p.m. on Dec. 6 through 5 p.m. Dec. 7 will be tax-free.

‘Winter Stream’ by Thomas Adkins of vermont is on view and for sale in the Holiday Show.

“For Deck the Walls, the Lyme Art Association features a wide variety of appealing subjects at affordable prices that are great for holiday shopping. We hope to help solve those gift giving dilemmas – a beautiful piece of artwork is always appreciated!” says Jocelyn Zallinger, Gallery Manager.

“During the holiday season, the Lyme Art Association is a great place to come for a gentle activity for children on school vacation or for visiting guests. Whether you have a few minutes or more than an hour, the gallery is a wonderful way to decompress, stimulate conversation, or simply enjoy yourself,” says Laurie Pavlos, Executive Director.

The Lyme Art Association is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm, and by appointment. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Road. Please call (860) 434-7802 for more information, or visit


Old Lyme Library’s BookCellar Hosts Half-Price Holiday Book Sale Friday Evening, Saturday

OLD LYME — Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes (OLPGN) Library’s BookCellar hosts its annual Holiday Book Sale in its temporary location at 44 Lyme St. on the evening of Friday, Dec. 6, from 4 to 7 p.m. and during the day on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Kick off this year’s holiday season by choosing books as gifts and supporting your local library at the same time!

All books, CDs and DVDs will be half-price or less. Historic maps are excluded from the sale.

Historic maps of local towns including Old Lyme make perfect holiday gifts.

There will be books from all genres – from Children’s and Young Adults to Art and Photography, the Classics, History and Biography, small gift books and large coffee table books.  There is a large collection of First Edition hardcover books, many with protective Mylar covers.

Most prices will range from $2 to $5, with a special bargain table with books priced under one dollar.  All proceeds benefit the Library.

For more information about the library or questions about the sale, call 860-434-1684 or visit


Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education Will Seat New Members, Elect Officers, at Meeting Tonight

An elction will be held at Wednesday’s BOE meeting to determine the successor to outgoing Region 18 Board of Education Chairman Michelle “Mimi” Roche, pictured above.

LYME-OLD LYME — Three new members representing Old Lyme will take their seats at the Region 18 Board of Education meeting this evening.

Jennifer Miller, Suzanne Thompson and Steven Wilson, all Republicans, will replace Michelle Roche, the current Chair and a Democrat, alomg with Stacey Winchell and Erick Cushman, both Republicans. None of the three retiring members opted to run for re-election in the Nov. 5 election.

Mary Powell-St. Louis, a Republican and one of the two Lyme board members, was re-elected unopposed in the November election.

One of the first items of business at the Dec. 4 meeting, which starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Center School Board of Education Meeting Room, will be the election of officers for the coming year. Voting for the positions of Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary will be the three new members along with incumbents Powell-St. Louis and Stacey Leonardo (D), who both represent Lyme, and Rick Goulding, Diane Linderman, Jean Wilczynski and Martha Shoemaker, who are all Democrats and represent Old Lyme.

Linderman is currently Vice-Chair, Wilczynski serves as Treasurer, and Shoemaker is Secretary.


Engineering Firm to Present Work to Date on Turf Field Project at Tonight’s BOE Meeting, Public Welcome

This playing field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School is the proposed site of the turf field, which will be discussed at the Region 18 Board of Education meeting Wednesday evening. The engineering firm Milone and MacBroom will present information regarding the project at the meeting.

LYME-OLD LYME — (Based on a Press Release from Lyme-Old Lyme Schools) In the November 2017 issue of  ‘Focus on Education’, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools published an article about the background to the proposed installation of a turf field.  The article has now been updated to reflect recent actions by the Region 18 Board of Education.

If you have attended any of the Lyme-Old Lyme recent athletic contests, you may have noticed that Lyme-Old Lyme High School has two of the finest grass playing surfaces in the area. These surfaces are maintained without the use of any pesticides and with the added burden of supporting daily practices by multiple athletic teams and physical education programs. Over the past few years, Region 18’s efforts to support these fields for safe play has been a struggle.

Despite being so close to the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound, the greatest challenge in maintaining Region 18 playing fields is a limited water supply. Even with a newly-drilled well, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools continue to find that their water needs — which support regular water usage (cooking, toilets, sinks, etc.) for their main campus, Old Lyme’s Town Hall and Fire Department, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, and the Old Lyme Historical Society, combined with the need to irrigate their playing fields — have exceeded their water system capacity.

During two recent summers, Region 18 had to purchase tanker trucks of water to avoid losing the grass on their athletic fields. It was this water supply issue that pushed the Region 18 Board of Education to develop a special committee to review and research the current state of the district’s athletic fields and develop a long-term plan to address its water issues.

This committee, which included 22 members, was made up of people from the community, board of education representatives, and school employees. The committee’s charge was to evaluate the district’s three multipurpose athletic fields and develop a recommendation for facility improvements, which best serves the long-term needs of the school district and the community.

The committee’s work was supported by the expertise of an engineering firm, which evaluated all aspects of Region 18’s facility including water sources, field use, and field location. The committee recommended utilizing a two-pronged approach to address water usage and the demands of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ athletic and physical education programs.

The field between the middle and high schools is one of the district’s two irrigated fields.

At their October 2017 meeting, the Region 18 Board of Education voted to approve the use of funds to support the design and bidding of a dedicated system that would supply water to the district’s two irrigated athletic fields, leaving the remainder of their water supply for potable use.

In June 2019, after many months of work with town committees, as well as with the neighbors of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, who share ownership of the pond behind the high school, a pump system was installed that allows the district to use a limited amount of pond water to supplement its irrigation water supply. During the summer of 2019, this new system was successfully utilized to support the irrigation of two of the district’s three fields.

The varsity field behind Center School is the second of the district’s two irrigated fields.

Also at their October 2017 meeting, the board of education approved the committee’s second recommendation to pursue the concept of submitting an artificial turf field project to the Town of Old Lyme commissions for approval with associated design firm support. The second recommendation will allow the district to pursue the concept of installing a synthetic field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School allowing multiple teams to practice and play at the same time regardless of the weather.

This proposal will also reduce the overuse of the two grass fields whose irrigation needs have exceeded our water supply. The construction of such a playing surface would be funded from the board’s sinking fund for capital projects and therefore would not impact the annual budget. The funding for this second recommendation was approved at the October 2019 board of education meeting.

At that meeting, the Board of Education approved the hiring of Milone and MacBroom to complete the initial artificial field design as well as to obtain local commission approvals. This next step will be completed during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Following this phase of the project, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools will be prepared to complete the construction documents, refine the project estimate, and establish a project timeline for field installation.

As Lyme-Old Lyme Schools move forward with this project, the board looks forward to input from the community. At the Wednesday, Dec. 4, board of education meeting, Milone and MacBroom will present information regarding this project. The public is encouraged to attend.

Once the initial design phase is complete, there will be multiple opportunities to learn about the process as well as ask questions of the design firm. For more information, visit


Lyme Academy Hosts Community Holiday Tree Lighting with Cookies, Crafts, Music & More, Dec. 13

Join Lyme Academy for its first Tree-Lighting Ceremony, Dec. 13.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts will host its first holiday tree-lighting celebration Friday, Dec. 13, from 4 to 6 p.m. outside the Elisabeth Gordon Chandler Center.

This family-friendly event will feature a musical performance by the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Band playing festive holiday classics in the Stobart Barn. Inside the Chandler Center, children can make an ornament for their homes and bring their Christmas lists to Santa’s elves in the lecture room.

The Hauthschild Exhibit of paintings of steam locomotives is on loan from the Valley Railroad Company in Essex and will be on display outside the Chauncey Stillman Gallery in the Chandler Building.

Families can enjoy hot chocolate and cookies generously provided by Essex Savings Bank in the reception area.

The Academy expresses its gratitude to the event’s sponsors and partners, which include Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce, Beautigasm Makeup Artistry, and Doug Hampton Dowson Photography.

Non-perishable food donations for the Shoreline Food Kitchen will be gratefully accepted during the event.

All are welcome to attend this fun-filled evening and ring in the holiday season in Old Lyme at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.


Lyme Garden Club Hosts Meeting, Holiday Wreaths/Sprays Workshop Tonight

LYME — Lyme Garden Club hosts their monthly meeting and a Holiday Wreaths/Sprays Workshop. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Lyme Fire Company, 213 Hamburg Rd./Rte. 156, Lyme, CT, 06371.

Refreshments will be served at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting begins at 10 a.m. The workshop follows at 10:30 a.m.  The club will be making wreaths and sprays for Lyme community buildings and cemeteries.  Instruction will be given.

Bring greens, pinecones and other natural materials to use as well as clippers and gloves.  The club will provide wire, ribbons and bows.


Enjoy ‘The Magic of Christmas’ at Flo Gris Museum in Old Lyme Through New Year

There are now four palette trees to hold the more than 200 hand-painted palettes on display in this year’s ‘Magic of Christmas.’

OLD LYME — The holiday season is always something special to celebrate at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn. – after all, Miss Florence was born on Christmas Day, 1850. The Museum will be decked out in its holiday finery for the Magic of Christmas celebration from Nov. 29, 2019 through Jan. 5, 2020.

This year marks the 200th painted palette to be added to Miss Florence’s Artist Trees. Since 2004 noted artists from across the country have donated works to this one-of-a-kind holiday icon – so many that now four trees are needed to hold the works of art. The idea of contemporary artists creating paintings on artists’ palettes is a nod to the Museum’s history as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, and alludes to the door and wall panels the artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago. The palette artists’ styles and subject matter are as varied as the individuals.

This palette by Kenney Mencher of Palo Alto, Calf., is one of the 2019 additions to the Palette Trees.

Oils, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, glass, and collage are used to transform the palettes into traditional holiday scenes, delightful landscapes, and more than a few surprises! The palettes are displayed on four trees in the Krieble gallery, along with the current exhibition, “Nothing More American:” Immigration, Sanctuary, and Community—An Exhibition by Matthew Leifheit.

To commemorate the milestone of the 200th palette, the Museum published Miss Florence’s Artist Trees: Celebrating a Tradition of Painted Palettes, which showcases each of the works of art on its own page.

In the historic rooms of the Florence Griswold House, the special installation by artist Jennifer Angus, Silver Wings and Golden Scales, has been held over by popular demand. Visitors to the House will be able to delight in this dream-like scenario of Miss Florence’s home transformed into the site of an insect-themed masquerade party through Jan. 12, 2020.

Angus evokes the bohemian spirit of the Lyme Art Colony through her artistic compositions of preserved exotic insects, including textile-inspired wallcoverings, an elegant cape for Miss Florence, and whimsical vignettes. Through her art, Angus brings to visitors not only the beauty of insects, but their critical importance to our ecology as well. Upstairs, two artists, Betsy Barry and Carol Maynard have created Fantasy Trees, designed to delight and inspire.

All ages can enjoy the beautiful Palette Christmas Trees at the ‘Magic of Christmas’ exhibition

Many special events and programs are held in conjunction with the Magic of Christmas. Christmastime Teas are among the most popular events. Delectable scones with clotted cream, assorted tea sandwiches, and cookies prepared by Gourmet Gallery, a caterer known for their delicious flavors and impeccable presentations, are accompanied by “Miss Florence’s Tea,” a special blend from Sundial Gardens in Higginum.

Miss Florence’s Tea is a special blend of superior Ceylon and China black tea enhanced with a touch of delicate spices. The tea celebrates the camaraderie and creativity of the Lyme Art Colony with each cup. Teas are held Dec. 3 through 28 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 3 to 5pm and Saturdays from 12 to 2pm and 3 to 5pm.

Other events and programs include special events for families, including a visit from Frozen sisters Elsa and Anna and hands-on crafts for children and adults.

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

Located on a 12-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year-round Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1 to 5pm. The Museum is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under. On Saturdays between November 30 through January 5, admission is only $5 when visitors bring in a non-perishable donation for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries.

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

Magic of Christmas Activities

Sunday, Dec. 1 at 2pm
Book Event
Director of Education and Outreach David D.J. Rau speaks about the publication Miss Florence’s Artist Trees: Celebrating a Tradition of Painted Palettes, which was published this October to commemorate the milestone of the 200th palette added to Miss Florence’s Artists Trees this year. Please reserve your space in advance, $25 includes book. Register online at

Sundays, Dec. 1 through Jan. 5, 1-4pm
Joy in the Making
Each Sunday visitors can experience the joy of making a hand-made card or ornament during the weekly drop-in creative programs. Fun for all ages. This event is free with Museum admission and children 12 and under are free.

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

Dec. 3 through 28
Christmastime Teas
Tuesday through Saturday enjoy an elegant tea of savories and sweets overlooking the wintery splendor of the Lieutenant River. Catered by Gourmet Galley. Guests enjoy a 10% discount in The Shop. $40. Reservations required, please call 860-434-5542 x 111 for information and reservations.

Elsa and Anna are always popular performers at the Museum.

Saturday, Dec. 7
Elsa and Anna perform at the Museum
Visitors can enjoy holiday crafting between visits from the beloved sisters. Shows at noon, 1pm, and 2pm. This program is included with Museum admission, and visitors 12 and under are always free.

Thursday, Dec. 12, 5:30 to 7pm
Art•Bar Happy Hour
Combine creativity and cocktails! Enjoy an evening of Christmastime crafting. All materials provided. Get friends together or come make new ones! For adults 21+. $25. Register online at

Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2pm
Gallery Talk
Director of Education and Outreach David D.J. Rau speaks about Miss Florence’s Artist Trees in the Gallery. This event is free with Museum admission.

Sunday, Dec. 29 from 1 to 4pm
Miss Florence’s Birthday Party
Visitors share in this hands-on-creative celebration of Miss Florence’s Christmas Day birthday. Enjoy a piece of birthday cake while making an assortment of fun craft projects. Fun (and free!) balloon sculptures by April’s Balloon Creations. This program is included with Museum admission, and visitors 12 and under are always free.

Faith Leitner will play her harp Sunday, Dec. 29, in the Florence Griswold Museum to celebrate “An Ode to the New Year.”

Sunday, Dec. 29, from 1 to 4pm
Ode to the New Year: Harp Music by Faith Leitner
The harp was Miss Florence’s favorite instrument. Visitors can see the one her father brought back for her from England in the Florence Griswold House. Accomplished harpist Faith Leitner will perform in the gallery. A beautiful way to end the year! This program is included with Museum admission, and visitors 12 and under are always free.


Talking Transportation: 2020 Hindsight by Jim Cameron

Jim Cameron

As we review the details of Governor Lamont’s CT2030 transportation plan, I have a strange sense of déjà vu.  Haven’t we been through all this before?

Journey back with me to 1999 when the famous Gallis Report warned that southwestern Connecticut’s transportation woes were strangling the entire state.  If something wasn’t done, they warned, we would become “an economic cul-de-sac” in the burgeoning northeast.

The solution?  Yet another study, this one undertaken by Wilbur Smith Associates for SWRPA, the SouthWest Regional Planning Agency (now part of WestCOG). The report specifically looked at “congestion mitigation,” i.e., doing something about our traffic problems.

The $903,000 report was submitted in February 2003 and was titled “Vision 2020”.  You see the pattern … Vision 2020 morphs into CT2030?

Rereading the report, I am struck with its many good ideas, a few of which actually came to pass:

Land Use Review:  The idea of T.O.D. (Transit-Oriented Development) has been embraced throughout the state with towns and cities planning for dense (hopefully car-free) developments near transit hubs.

More Rail Station Parking:  Also some progress, though many towns still have a 6+ year wait for annual permits.  And 20 years ago, who’d have even imagined apps like Boxcar or Uber?

More Bike & Pedestrian Options:  We now have more sidewalks and bike paths as well as bike racks on buses and Metro-North.

But other “low hanging fruit” ideas still haven’t happened, like…

  • FlexTime, Staggered Work Hours and Vanpools to lighten the rush hour.  Next time you’re stuck in traffic look around:- it’s almost all SOV’s (single occupancy vehicles.)
  • A “Smart Card” universally accepted for payment on all public transit.  And free transfers from buses to trains.
  • A “Weigh-In-Motion” system to monitor trucks without long queues at seldom-open weigh stations.

But never addressed were the big (expensive) ideas like:

  • Ramp metering, like they have in California, to stop cars from piling onto I-95 at will adding to the crush.
  • Closing some interchanges to make I-95 a truly interstate highway, not a local shortcut.
  • Adding a “zipper lane” to I-95 heading west in the AM and east in the PM… with tolls!
  • Running BRT (bus rapid transit) along the Route One corridor.
  • Double-tracking the Danbury branch of Metro-North.
  • Start a “feeder barge” system to bring shipping containers from New Jersey to New England by water, not truck.
  • Resume rail freight service by adding a rail bridge across the Hudson River.
  • Widen I-84 and Rte. 7 to four lanes.
  • Study the idea of high speed ferry service along the coast.

Haven’t we heard all this before?  How many of these ideas are posed again Lamont’s CT2030?  A lot of them.

We are not lacking in ideas, just political will.  For decades the legislature has been unwilling to commit resources to our transportation infrastructure and economic future, instead wasting millions on more and more studies of the same problems.

All of these big ideas take money … big money.  But the “No Tolls CT” folks have tapped into residents’ cynicism that anything in terms of new revenue will be misspent.  And they’ve so intimidated lawmakers with threats of “Vote for Tolls, Lose at the Polls” that even the bravest members can’t muster the courage to do the right thing.

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media.

About the author: Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own. You can reach him at  For a full collection of  “Talking Transportation” columns, visit


It’s Small Business Saturday, so Shop Local Today!

Launched by American Express in 2010, when small businesses were suffering from an economy in a recession, Small Business Saturday was created to encourage people to Shop Small and take more holiday shopping to all the local businesses that make our communities strong.

Our friends at the-e-list have prepared a list of local businesses offering special deals for Small Business Saturday, which you can find at this link.

Lyme Art Association is offering 10 percent off all art today during Small Business Saturday.

We “stole” the image at left from our friends at Dina Varano in Chester, who are offering a complimentary $20 gift card when you purchase a $100 gift certificate through tomorrow (Dec. 1) in celebration of Small Business Saturday.


Walk Off Those Extra Pounds This Afternoon by Taking a Post-Thanksgiving Hike with Lyme Land Trust in Hartman Park

Lose those extra pounds by hiking in Hartman Park on the Saturday after Thanksgiving!

LYME — Walk off your Thanksgiving overindulgence on Saturday, Nov. 30, on a beautiful moderate trail that winds along craggy ridges strewn with glacial boulders.

Wendolyn Hill, Lyme Land Trust Board member and Lyme Open Space Coordinator, will lead a walk on the Red Trail in Hartman Park starting at 1:30 p.m. and lasting around two hours. The entire walk is about 3.5 miles. A snack will be provided but bring a bottle of water. The walk is sponsored by the Lyme land Trust and the Town of Lyme.

Registration is appreciated at

Meet at the Hartman Park Entrance Parking Lot, Gungy Rd. Lyme. The parking lot is on Gungy Rd. about 1.5 miles north of the four-way stop signs at the intersection of Beaverbrook Rd., Grassy Hill Rd., and Gungy Rd.

Rain cancels the hike.

For more information, visit or email


Lyme Schedules Special Town Meeting, Dec. 10

LYME – The Town of Lyme announced Friday that it would hold a Special Town Meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m., at Lyme Town Hall, to consider and vote on two new Town ordinances. All residents of Lyme, who are qualified to vote in the Town Meeting, are invited to attend.

At the meeting, the Town will seek:

⦁ To approve an ordinance adopting the “Code of the Town of Lyme, Connecticut” – the purpose of which is to codify and consolidate into chapters the ordinances and regulations of the Town of Lyme, Conn, by adoption of the “Code of the Town of Lyme, Conn.”  (The ordinances in effect immediately prior to adoption of the “Code” shall remain in full force and effect, except as repealed, in whole or in part, by the Code.)

⦁ To approve an ordinance establishing alternate members of the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The text of both of the ordinances can be read on the Town website at


Don’t Miss the 29th Annual Holiday Cookie Walk in Old Lyme, Saturday!

You know the feeling: the holidays are in full swing — there’s shopping to do, the house needs decorating, there are concerts and plays at school, and tree lightings and house tours to attend. And you’ve got family coming to visit … On top of it all, with Thanksgiving so late, there’s even less time to get it all into your busy schedule. Where will you find the time to bake and decorate holiday cookies?

The answer … don’t!

Instead, get your cookies at the annual Child & Family Agency Holiday Cookie Walk on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Old Lyme Town Hall.

What is a “Cookie Walk”? Our volunteers bake a variety of beautiful holiday cookies, and we display them so visitors can walk past the displays and choose their own cookies. These aren’t pre-packaged cookie trays … at the Cookie Walk, you decide which cookies — and how many — you want to purchase. Cookies are then weighed and boxed for purchase. Get there early for the best selection. You can serve them at your neighborhood LYSB party, or freeze them for Christmas Eve., or just eat them when ou choose!

Proceeds benefit the programs and projects of Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut.

The Cookie Walk is on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon (or as long as the cookies last …) in the Old Lyme Town Hall at 52 Lyme St., along with the Lyme Youth Service Bureau’s (LYSB) Photos with Santa. While you’re choosing cookies, the kids can get a picture taken with Santa (donations to LYSB.)

Child & Family Agency is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture children and families to develop their strengths through service, partnership, and advocacy. With offices in New London, Essex, and Groton, and programs dealing with children’s health care, child abuse, family violence, teen pregnancy, parent education, and child guidance, Child & Family Agency is the largest nonprofit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut.

Volunteers and supporters are always welcome. For more information, visit Questions on the Cookie Walk or about joining the Thames West Auxiliary of Child & Family Agency may be directed to

Follow Child & Family at this link on Facebook.


Lyme-Old Lyme HS Senior Builds Benches For OL Land Trust’s Lohmann Preserve as Eagle Scout Project

Old Lyme Land Trust Secretary Anne Galliher stands with Boy Scout Alec Russell during the dedication ceremony for the benches built by Russell as part of his Eagle Scout project.

OLD LYME — Anyone who has visited the John Lohmann CT River Preserve recently has undoubtedly noticed the two new cedar benches. These were built as the Eagle Scout project of Alec Russell of Boy Scout Association Troop 240. Alec is a senior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

Russell proposed and planned this service project, organized a work team, secured donations of material from United Building Supply and Laysville Hardware. He worked with his team of adults and fellow scouts to build the benches, using cedar for its weather, insect and decay resistance.

One bench is on the riverfront where it offers views of Essex and Lords Cove year round. The other is at the top of the path leading down to the river.

The inscription on one of the benches built by Alec Russell for the Lohmann Preserve in Old Lme.

The bench commissioning celebration was held on a blustery riverside day but that did not deter a hardy group of Old Lyme Land Trust members, scouts and the Russell family from enjoying the views and warm beverages. The neighbors at Long River Farm loaned their ATV to bring in the provisions.

The benches are located in an area that is being reforested with pitch pine, a species used extensively in early days for ship building and railroad ties. Pitch pine has become scarce in Connecticut and has a particular preference for its habitat. On advice of the Connecticut River Gateway Commission and forest managers, about 20 hardwood trees were removed by Yankee Tree to encourage growth of the pines.

The John Lohmann Preserve and all other Old Lyme Land Trust preserves are always open and available for public use for hiking and enjoying the outdoors in Old Lyme.


Lyme Public Hall, Lyme Garden Club Host Wreath Making Workshop, Saturday

LYME — The Lyme Public Hall & Local History Archives and the Lyme Garden Club present a Holiday Wreath Making Workshop on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 1 p.m, at the Lyme Public Hall, 249 Hamburg Rd. (Rte 156), Lyme.

Materials and greens will be provided. Bring your own trimmings to customize your creation.

Pre-registration is required. Text or call Bill Denow at 860 574-4143

There is no admission charge. Everyone is welcome.

For more information, visit


See ‘The Magic of Christmas,’ Meet Santa at the Flo Gris Museum Today

Mett Santa at the Florence Griswold Museum on Friday.

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum’s ever popular Magic of Christmas celebrations begin Friday with the arrival of St. Nick dressed in his Victorian finery. This is the perfect chance to tell the man of North Pole your Christmas wishes (and take pictures), before touring the holiday decorations throughout the Museum.

Santa visits will be held from 10 a.m. through 12 p.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Meanwhile, hands-on holiday crafts will be offered in the Education Center from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. Both are free with Museum admission

Happy Thanksgiving! We are Thankful for You …

We wish all our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving. We want to take this opportunity to say how thankful we are to all our readers for supporting independent, local community jouralism and we especially would like to give thanks to all our advertisers, who continue to make this publication financially possible.

We are proud to say that we have been publishing for more than 16 years and in the coming weeks, we will talk more about the challenges — some new, some old — that we face in this task and how we believe we can solve them together.

But for now, enjoy this special day and be thankful with us for family, friends, and oh, so much more!


A la Carte: A Cornucopia of Thanksgiving Recipes from Lee, Including How to Bake That Turkey!

Editor’s Note: We are running several of Lee White’s wonderful Thanksgiving recipes together today to give readers an opportunity to choose the ones they wish to use.  Enjoy!

For more years than I can remember, I have been writing about turkey at Thanksgiving. I get every food magazine every month and every single month, in October, a turkey is on the covers.

My mother never cooked a turkey. We had Thanksgiving at an aunt and uncle’s home in Kinderhook, New York. There was no gravy and no stuffing and the sweet potatoes were stuffed into oranges, which made the sweet potatoes taste like oranges.

The first Thanksgiving with my husband and daughter was in Houston, and I ordered turkey and sides from a restaurant. The gravy was white. In following years, I made turkey and sides by myself, sometimes for 20 or more friends and family. The first few times, I called the Butterball Hot Line for help.

Some years later I stopped using the throwaway aluminum pans and bought a $200 roasting pan, which I still use for every kind of roast I have ever made. It was one terrific buy.

Over the years I brined turkey in a huge cooler. I bought organic turkeys. Last year I went to a friend who made a heritage turkey. I made all kinds of stuffing and once placed slices of bacon on top of the fowl. A few times I put buttered cheesecloth on the turkey. But these days I buy the least expensive turkey I can get and buy it frozen.

I make my stuffing the night before and put it in the refrigerator in an enormous plastic bag. The next morning I stuff as much dressing as possible into the thawed (but cold) turkey’s cavity. I put the rest in a casserole and when the roasted turkey come out of the oven, I add some juice to the casserole and bake it.

Forget all those other “new” ways to make turkey for Thanksgiving. Here is my favorite recipe. 


1 14- to 16-pound turkey
1 stick butter
½ (one-half) cup good white wine


¼ (one-quarter) cup all-purpose flour
cold water
Gravy Master (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Remove giblets from turkey (I don’t use them; instead, I boiled them for the kitties, less bones). Rinse and dry turkey inside and out. Rub salt inside cavity of bird. Fill cavity with cold stuffing made the night before or early morning. Place bird in a rack (or upside glass pie pan) atop a large, heavy-duty roasting pan. Place in a 350-degree oven.

Add butter and wine in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Open oven, pour wine-butter over turkey and close oven. Every half hour baste liquid over turkey. Bake until turkey is done (when the thermometer plunged into the thickest part of the thigh registered 175 to 180 degrees, 10 to 12 minutes per pound if not stuffed or 12 to 15 minutes stuffed).

Turn off the oven, remove turkey from the oven, Place the turkey on a platter and spooned the Stuffing into a bowl; cover each with aluminum foil and return both to still-warm oven. (Extra stuffing can be heated in a casserole dish; it is not as tasty but if you spoon some juice on the dish before heating, it’s pretty good.)

Remove grease from roasting pan. and place the pan on the stove. Turn heat to medium. In a large jar, add all-purpose flour and about 2 cups of water. Screw jar cover and shake. When the brown bits are hot, add flour-water mixture and, over medium-high heat, whisk constantly. If you need more water, add some. Once the gravy is ready, add and stir in Gravy Master to taste (optional). Add salt and pepper to taste.


From Cooking Light, November 2018
Serves 12

Cooking spray
2 cups seedless black grapes (about 10 ounces)
1 and three-quarter cups chopped Honeycrisp apple (or Gala or ????)
2 tablespoons chopped scallop
1 cup fresh or frozen whole cranberries
1 and one half tablespoons unsalted butter
3 and one-half teaspoons pure maple syrup
One-eighth teaspoon kosher salt
One-quarter teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or sprigs (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with spray. Place grapes, apple and shallot on prepared baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake until shallots begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add cranberries to baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees until cranberries burst, apple is tender and grape skins are beginning to burst, about 20 more minutes. Remove from oven and transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in butter, maple syrup and salt. Cool completely, about one hour. Sprinkle with thyme, if desired.


I make the stuffing at least the day ahead because it should be cold when you put it in the turkey, which is also cold. This is probably more stuffing you will use. You can put the rest in a casserole and bake for Thanksgiving, or freeze it for another turkey or chicken dinner.

I large Pepperidge Farms herb-seasoned stuffing mix
6 to 8 tablespoons butter
1 cup onions, minced
1 cup celery, minced
1 small can of diced mushrooms
1 cup walnuts, chopped (I chop it with my hands because I don’t want it chopped fine)
salt and pepper, to taste
Bell’s seasoning, to taste

Make Pepperidge Farms stuffing according to package instructions.

In a skillet, add butter and melt over medium heat. Add onions, celery, mushrooms and walnuts. Saute for about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper and Bell’s seasoning to taste. Add to stuffing mix and stir. Refrigerate until cold (I often put the stuffing in a large plastic bag and put it in the porch, since I rarely have much space in my refrigerator.)


Adapted from Linnea Rufo of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Yield: serves 10 to 12 people
1 cup sugar
one-half cup (1 stick) butter
one-half cup currants or raisins or dried cherries (optional)
one-half cup candied ginger, chopped
2 eggs
2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
one-quarter teaspoon cloves
one-half teaspoon ginger
one-teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Pour batter into prepared tube pan. Set on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cake in the pan, set on a rack, for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and spread on icing at once, while cake is still warm.

Espresso Icing

1 and one-half cups of confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon of espresso (use a teaspoon or so of cold coffee)
1 tablespoon milk

Whisk icing ingredients together.


From Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, The New Basics Cookbook (Workman, New York, 1989)

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

5 teaspoons Dijon mustard
one-half cup red wine vinegar
1 cup light olive oil (or other good vegetable oil)
12 small red potatoes
one-half teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
12 large cloves garlic
8 ounces bacon cut into one-half-inch pieces
one-half cup finely chopped red onion
one-quarter cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 cups coarsely shredded cook turkey
1 bunch arugula, rinsed, trimmed and patted dry
2 bunches watercress, rinsed, trimmed and patted dry

Whisk mustard and vinegar together in a small bowl. Slowly pour in three-quarters of the oil, whisking constantly. Set the vinaigrette aside.

Prick the potatoes all over with the tines of a fork. Combine remaining one-quarter oil, salt and 1 teaspoon of the pepper in a bowl. Add potatoes and toss until well coated with the mixture. Place the potatoes in a shallow roasting pan and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Remove potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool. Then cut them into one-half-inch slices and place in a large bowl.

Place the garlic cloves in a small saucepan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, allow to cool. Then peel.

Saute bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, reserving the fat.

Add garlic cloves to bacon fat in the skillet and cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Discard the fat.

Add red onion, parsley, remaining teaspoon of black pepper and the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Toss gently.

Add turkey, bacon and garlic cloves. Gently fold all ingredients together.

Arrange the arugula and watercress on a large serving platter and place the salad on top. Serve immediately.

About the author: Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant. She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for and the Shore Publishing and the Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day.


LYSB Hosts a Community Conversation on Underage Drinking This Evening

OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition invites all readers to a Community Talk on Underage Drinking this evening, Monday, Nov. 25, from 6 to 8 Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, 59 Lyme St., Old Lyme.

The event, which is appropriate for all community members including youth, includes dinner, discussion, and activities with special guests from Mothers Against Drnk Driving (MADD).

Topics to be covered will include:
• Alcohol and the brain
• Alcohol conversations
• Brain games

Join LYSB and MADD representatives for dinner.

For further information, call 860-434-7208.


Where Art Meets Nature: I-Park Hosts Nov. Open Studios & Holiday Party This Afternoon

November Artists Artwork Photo Collage. Top row: Jaynie Crimmins, Miroslaw Baca, Joshua Hey; Middle row: Teresa Connors, Dennis James Sweeney, Shane Charles Smith; Bottom row: Tanya Rey. Photo submitted by I-Park.

EAST HADDAM — The public is invited to come to I-Park this afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. for its final Open Studios of the 2019 season and for some holiday cheer.  Visitors will experience a multi-disciplinary group of artists from around the globe and can also enjoy a walk of the art-filled trails.

I-Park has been supporting artists from around the country and the globe since its first residency in 2001 and continues to offer fully-funded residencies to writers, composers, visual artists, film-makers, architects, etc.  Visitors will be able to meet these seven talented artists on this afternoon at I-Park, 428 Hopyard Rd. in East Haddam.

Once a month, at the conclusion of each residency, I-Park holds Open Studios when visitors are invited to meet the artists in their studios, attend a presentation featuring some of their work, enjoy complimentary refreshments, and stroll the trails winding through I-Park’s scenic, art-filled campus.  Generally closed to visitors, I-Park gives resident artists undisturbed time to work on their creative endeavors.

The event schedule for Sundayis as follows:

1:00 to 2:30     Visitors artists in their Studios

2:30 to 3:00     Artists Presentations

3:00 to 5:00     Holiday Party + Art Trail Walk

The artists are:

Miroslaw Baca is a Polish sculptor focused on abstract form and classical material.  He has realized both public and private commissioned sculptures around the world.

Teresa Connors is a Canadian-based creative coder, acoustic/electroacoustic composer, opera singer and audiovisual installation artist. Her creative works have received numerous awards and have been presented at conferences, festivals and galleries around the world.

Jaynie Crimmins a Brooklyn-based visual artist who creates alternative narratives from quotidian materials.  Her work has been exhibited at ART on PAPER; SPRING/BREAK Art Show; Governor’s Island Art Fair and many other museums around the country.

Joshua Hey is a composer based in Philadelphia. His work has been performed by musicians such as the Daedalus Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, Dal Niente, PRISM, Omaha Symphony and others.

Tanya Rey is an Oakland-based writer. Her writing has appeared in Guernica, Granta, Catapult, Roads & Kingdoms and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others.     

Shane Charles Smith is a visual artist from Brooklyn and Maine. He creates mural-sized painting installations. His work is informed by his father, a lifelong land surveyor and Penobscot Nation member, and his grandfather who was a mapmaker.

Dennis James Sweeney is a writer and poet currently living in Amherst, MA.  His fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in Crazyhorse, Five Points, Ninth Letter, The New York Times, and The Southern Review, among many others.

Although admission to Open Studios is free, advance reservations are requested. To reserve your space, visit

For additional information, write or call 860-873-2468.

 I‐Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully funded residencies in visual arts, creative writing, music composition/sound art, moving image, and architecture/landscape design. Since its founding in 2001, I-Park has sponsored almost 1,000 residencies, and has developed cross‐disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them into the public domain.

Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, I-Park encourages dialogue between the natural and built environments, and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia, and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration. For more information, visit



Old Lyme Soccer Girls Fall to 1-0 Holy Cross in Class S State Final

The Old Lyme girls gather happily for a team photo with Coach Paul Gleason (at right) after defeating NW Catholic 2-0 at Xavier High School in the Class S State Championship semifinal. Photo by Ally Gleason.

11/23 Update: Despite playing an excellent game, the Wildcats were defeated 1-0 this morning by Holy Cross.  Devon Bushka scored for Holy Cross 10 minutes into the second half. Congratulations to the Old Lyme girls on an incredible season — you end it with your heads held high. Visit this link to read a game report by Sean Begin and published on the

LYME-OLD LYME — The eighth-seeded Old Lyme girls varsity soccer team faces #3 Holy Cross at 10 a.m. today at Veteran’s Park in New Britain in their bid to become Class S state champions for the fifth time in a row. Fan buses are being run from Old Lyme and it is anticipated that a huge crowd of hometown supporters will be there to cheer on the girls.

Old Lyme defeated NW Catholic 2-0 in the semifinals on Wednesday when Lydia Tinnerello, one of five team captains for Old Lyme, scored twice at Xavier High School to lift #8 Old Lyme to a convincing victory. 

Tinnerello’s first goal found the net just shy of eight minutes into the game and then she followed up in the last minute of the first half with a shot assisted by Abby Manthous. The move that culminated in the second goal had started with a free kick by another team captain Emily DeRoehn. The other captains are Katie Funaro, Melissa Mauro  and Kaylee Armenia.

Paul Gleason’s Wildcats held onto their lead through the second half to the delight of all the spectators who had traveled from Old Lyme to support the team.

After the game, Tinnerello, who will play lacross at Merrimack next year, told LymeLine in a text, “I feel great about the game. It was a complete team effort. And I’m really proud of my teammates for always working their hardest.”