January 28, 2022

Registration for Cappella Cantorum Spring Concert Continues Online

LYME/OLD LYME/AREAWIDE — Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus continues its 2021-2022 season with rehearsals for the Spring Concert starting Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook, CT. 

After Jan.17, it will still be possible to register online or call 860-941-8243 for assistance.

Singers from across the area, including the Towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, are welcome. Auditions are not required.

The selected works to be performed are Parts 2 and 3 from Messiah by G.F. Handel. The concert date is tentatively set for May 15; check the Capella Cantorum website for updates. 

Registration will begin at 7 p.m. on Jan. 17, with the first rehearsal following immediately after at 7:30 p.m. The Chorus typically rehearses on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church.  

Proof of full Covid-19 vaccination is required for registration and participation, and masks must be worn while in the building.

Registration is $50 (music is extra), and all participants are encouraged to register in advance on the website at www.cappellacantorum.org

High Hopes Appoints New Chief Development Officer

Liz Burton is the new Chief Development Officer at High Hopes.

OLD LYME — High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. has appointed Liz Burton as their new Chief Development Officer in January 2022.  Burton has over 20 years of experience in diverse professional environments, nonprofit leadership and strategic relationship engagement.

Burton’s experience in corporate relationships will be instrumental in supporting existing and fostering new community collaborations.

She looks forward to leading High Hopes in its critical fundraising endeavors as she follows in the footsteps of Sara Qua, who successfully guided the High Hopes Development Team for the past 16 years.

This next year will be one of outreach,  relationship-building and strengthening High Hopes through collaborative partnerships.

High Hopes is located at 36, Town Woods Rd. in Old Lyme, Conn.

Editor’s Note: High Hopes is a premier therapeutic riding center and international instructor-training site, accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) since 1979. It has served people with physical, emotional and developmental disabilities for more than 40 years, offering year-round programs in equine assisted activities, including therapeutic riding, carriage driving and equine learning program.

High Hopes offers experiential learning through outreach programs, an integrated summer camp program and a variety of volunteer opportunities. The organization serves over 1800 people with disabilities each year, underwriting over 70 percent of all lesson costs and providing financial aid to 100 percent of its participants.

To learn more about High Hopes programs and participants or to volunteer, visit www.highhopestr.org.

Update on COVID-Tests, Masks From the State

Old Lyme is still waiting for its next supply of IHealth self-tests  from the state.

OLD LYME — Old Lyme Emergency Services Director David Roberge informed us by phone yesterday (Friday, Jan. 14) that no further supplies of COVID self-tests nor masks have been received from the state this week.

Roberge also noted that, to date, he has not received any information regarding when the next delivery might be made.

He wanted to express his appreciation to all the townspeople for their patience and share the hope that he receives more news from the state soon.

As soon as we receive any further information from Roberge on a delivery of self-tests and/or masks, we will publish it promptly.

Freezing Weather Grips Local Region, Be Careful in the Cold-Tips to Stay Safe, OL Church Opens as Warming Center

There may not be as much snow as this in Old Lyme today, but it is definitely going to be bitterly cold! Photo by Edie Twining.

LYME/OLD LYME — It is going to be bitterly cold today and high winds may continue. The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is opening its Fellowship Hall to anyone, who would appreciate its warmth.

If we hear of additional warming centers opening, we will post details as soon as we receive them.

Old Lyme Emergency Management reminds readers that to help reduce the potential for injury or death, there are certain safety rules that should be  observed at all times:

  • NEVER use a portable generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent. This can result in CO poisoning or death.
  • NEVER use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in CO poisoning or death. These include outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators. Only use appliances indoors that are designed and approved for indoor use.
  • NEVER store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
And as a reminder, call Eversource CT if you are without power at 1-800-286-2000 or you can also report an outage by text and receive on-demand text status updates on your restoration.
Information from Eversource can be found at this link: https://www.eversource.com/…/outage-alerts-text-reporting)

Old Lyme Historical Society Receives CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant from CT Humanities 

OLD LYME — Connecticut Humanities, the statewide, nonprofit affiliate of the  National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), has awarded the Old Lyme Historical Society, Inc. (OLHSI) a $ 7,200 CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant (CTCFOSG).  

The CTCFOSG will be used to support the Society’s mission to collect, preserve, interpret and promote  the rich history of Old Lyme and environs by making the Archives collection more accessible, improving  IT and online presence and increasing marketing to make the organization more accessible to the community. 

John Pote, the Society’s Chair, commented, “History isn’t static. New discoveries and new technologies broaden our understanding and enhance discussions among cultures and communities.” 

OLHSI was one of 624 organizations in Connecticut that was awarded CT Cultural Fund support.  

Major Retrospective Exhibition of Work by Prominent US Artist Lennart Anderson Opens at Lyme Academy

This ‘Self-Portrait’ of Lennart Anderson, c. 1965, oil on canvas, 10 x 13 in. from a private collection is on display at the retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work at Lyme Academy, which opens Jan. 14.

OLD LYME – On Friday, Jan.14, 2022, Lennart Anderson: A Retrospective opens in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts and is on view through March 18.

Described by the New York Times as one of the “most prominent and admired painters to translate figurative art into a modern idiom,” Lennart Anderson (1928-2015) was an American artist renowned for his mastery of tone, color, and composition, and for a teaching career that deeply influenced future generations of painters.

A signature painting of the Lennart Anderson; A Retrospective exhibition is ‘Portrait of Barbara S. (the first one)’, from 1972, (oil on canvas, 21 7/8 x 18 in. Private Collection.)

Curated by Lyme Academy’s Artistic Directors Amaya Gurpide and Jordan Sokol in collaboration with the artist’s estate and the New York Studio School, Lyme Academy will be the second venue for this first major survey of the artist since his death in 2015.

The exhibition brings together over 25 paintings and drawings from both public and private collections, including paintings from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Bank of New York Mellon Collection, as well as from Anderson’s own gallery, Leigh Morse Fine Arts.

In addition to several works featured at the exhibition’s opening at the New York Studio School, newly selected works that emphasize the artist’s sensitivity to portraiture and the intimate relationships he formed with his subjects will be featured in the Lyme Academy exhibition.

“As a painter I’ve studied Lennart’s work for years, so the opportunity to co-curate this exhibition has been particularly meaningful,” says Sokol. “Lennart’s paintings brilliantly fuse the figurative tradition with a modern sensibility, making his work especially relevant for Lyme Academy, as well as generations of painters after him.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue that pairs more than 50 full-color reproductions of Anderson’s work with essays by art historians Martica Sawin and Jennifer Samet and painters Susan J. Walp and Paul Resika. Catalogues will be available for purchase at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts during the course of the exhibition.

Lennart Anderson’s ‘Portrait of Mrs. Suzy Peterson’ (1959. Oil on canvas, 30 3/16 × 26 15/16 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchased with funds from the Neysa McMein Purchase Award 63.49) will be on display in the retrospective exhibition of his work at Lyme Academy.

Born in Detroit, Lennart Anderson (Aug. 22, 1928 – Oct. 15, 2015) studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Cranbrook Academy, and at the Art Students League under Edwin Dickinson. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and National Academy.

He received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Tiffany Foundation grant and the Prix de Rome.

Anderson’s work is in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Delaware Art Museum, among others.

He taught at Columbia University, Yale University, and served as a distinguished professor emeritus of Brooklyn College.

The Estate of Lennart Anderson is represented by his longtime gallerist, Leigh Morse Fine Arts, New York.

Following its presentation at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, the exhibition will travel its next venue, the Southern Utah Museum of Art.

The Chauncey-Stillman Gallery at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located at 84 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, Conn. The gallery hours are 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. daily. Entrance to the exhibition is free, but donations are welcome. Free parking is offered onsite.

The mission of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is to teach the foundational skills of drawing, painting, and sculpture in the figurative tradition. By its commitment to training students in these skills and an engagement with contemporary discourse, the Academy will empower a new generation of artists. Through its programs, the Academy is committed to enriching the cultural life of the community.

Learn more by visiting www.lymeacademy.edu.

Jan. 13 COVID-19 Update: CT Remains 99.4% in Case Rate Red Zone, But Some Encouraging News; Lyme Breaks 200 Cumulative Total with Six New Cases, OL Also Reports Six New Cases Raising Total to 809

This map updated Jan. 13, 2022 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone. The only town not in the Red Zone is Canaan. Only cases among persons living in community settings are included in this map; the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities.) Map: Ver 12.1.2020 Source: CT Department of Public Health Get the data Created with Datawrapper. Details in italics are the same for each of the maps included in this article.

“We encourage all businesses within our communities to adopt masking policies for employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status.” (Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director of Health Stephen Mansfield)

LYME-OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Thursday, Jan. 13, at 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH) shows six new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme taking that town’s total of cumulative cases to 809.

Six new cases were also reported in Lyme raising that town’s cumulative case total to 205.

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by the state Friday, Jan. 14, around 4 p.m.

The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was down from 21.24% in the Jan. 12 report to 20.27% and encouragingly, COVID-related hospitalizations decreased by 22 to 1,917.

Of those hospitalized, 1,288 (representing 67.2%) are not fully vaccinated.

Today, Jan. 14, an article by Alex Putterman published in the Hartford Courant starts with the words, “Connecticut may have finally passed the worst of the omicron variant outbreak late this week, as hospitalizations and the overall caseload continue to decline.”

Putterman continues, “Dr. Ulysses Wu, chief epidemiologist at Hartford HealthCare, pointed Friday to recent dips in Connecticut’s positivity rate, its rate of new cases, its number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, its number of patients in intensive care and on ventilators, and its daily hospital admissions.”

Adding a note of caution, however, Putterman notes that, “Wu cautioned that Connecticut’s encouraging trends are not guaranteed to continue and that the state’s progress remains fragile.

Similarly, on Thursday, Jan. 13, David Leonhardt wrote in ‘The Morning Newsletter” published by The New York Times, “There are early signs that Omicron has begun to peak. The number of new Covid-19 cases in New York City rose more than twentyfold in December. In the past few days, it has flattened”

He also noted, “In Boston, the amount of the Covid virus detected in wastewater, which has been a leading indicator of case trends in the past, has plunged by about 40 percent since its peak just after Jan. 1.”

Leonhardt was quick to caution, however, “To be clear, the current emergency is not on the verge of ending. Cases appear to be peaking only in places where Omicron arrived early, mostly in the Northeast (our use of bold). In much of the country, cases are still soaring.”

Statewide Data

The Thursday, Jan. 13 Daily COVID-19 Report includes the newly updated weekly COVID-19 Average Daily Case Rate Report issued by the state on Thursdays, which showed that the total number of towns in the Red (highest) Zone for case rates remains 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.

All the towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) are in the Red Zone.

To demonstrate the speed of this current surge, the total number of towns in the Red Zone on Nov. 24, 2021 was 110. As further comparative points of reference, the week prior to Thanksgiving (Nov. 18, 2021), there were 67 towns in the Red Zone, on Oct. 7, 2021 the number was down to 37, and on July 8, and June 17, 2021, there was not a single one.

Old Lyme is in the Red (highest) Zone for the eighth consecutive week: prior to these seven weeks, the last time Old Lyme was in the Red Zone was Sept. 30, 2021.

Lyme is in the Red Zone for the sixth week in succession.

Details of the Daily Case Rate Zones are as follows:

  • The Gray category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is less than five or less than five reported cases.
  • The Yellow category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is between five and nine reported cases.
  • The Orange category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is between 10 and 14.
  • The Red category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town exceeds 15.

In all cases, this rate does not include cases or tests among residents of nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Jan. 20, 2022 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

Here are some significant extracts from the Jan. 13 CT DPH report, which clearly indicate the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted:

As of Jan. 12, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Jan. 5, 2021)

  • 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%)
  • Of the 1,784(1,151) patients currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, 1,213–68% (619–71.2%) are not fully vaccinated.

For the week beginning Jan. 2, 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)
  • The total number of COVID-19-associated deaths is 9,442.

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 366 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 437 new cases there since that date. Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 91 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Data, Communications

All the towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) remain 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/

COVID-19 Cases in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

No new COVID cases were reported Thursday, Jan. 13.

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing , but Lyme-Old Lyme (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.”

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.

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), LOL Middle School – 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, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian 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.

COVID-19 Cases Over Time: Dec. 2020-Dec. 2021

The following maps show has the picture of COVID-19 Average Daily Case Rates has gone from an almost totally red (highest rate) map back in Dec. 2020 to an almost all-gray (lowest rate) map on June 17 and July 8, 2021, and back to almost completely red on Dec. 23, 2021.

Dec. 23, 2021

This map, updated Dec. 23, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone.

Dec. 16, 2021

This map, updated Dec. 16, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone.

Dec. 9, 2021

This map, updated Dec. 9, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are in the Red (highest) Zone, joining 160 additional towns in that zone. The remaining seven towns are either in the Gray (six towns) or Orange (one town) Zones.

Dec. 2, 2021

This map, updated Dec. 2, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Old Lyme is in the Red (highest) Zone while Lyme is one of only six towns remaining in the Gray (lowest) Zone.

Oct. 14, 2021

This map, updated Oct. 14, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Old Lyme and Lyme are both in the Gray (lowest) Zone.

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are in the Gray (lowest) Zone, where Lyme has been since mid-September. The last time both towns were in the Gray Zone was July 22, 2021.

Sept. 23, 2021

This map, updated Sept. 23, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme have moved into the Red (highest) Zone.

Both Lyme and Old Lyme remained in the Red (highest) Zone for the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19. This was the third week in succession that both towns were in the Red Zone.

Statewide, there were 81 towns now in the Red Zone, which is three down from the  previous week’s total of 84.  On Sept. 2, the total was 91 so the trend was undoubtedly downward although it was still up significantly from the 39 reported on Aug. 12.

Sept. 2, 2021

This map, updated Sept. 2, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is still in the (lowest) Gray Zone, while Old Lyme has moved back down into the Yellow Zone.

The map above is from Sept. 2 when 91 towns were in the Red Zone, which is down one from 92 a week ago on Aug. 26, but still up significantly from 73  on Aug. 19, and 39 on Aug. 12.

Old Lyme had fallen to the Yellow (second lowest) Zone along with 10 other towns. This total of 11 towns is unchanged from last week, when Old Lyme was in the Orange Zone.

Lyme was in the Gray (lowest) Zone. This was the 24th straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone. Again, this total of 20 towns in the Gray Zone was unchanged from last week.

Forty-seven towns were in the Orange (second highest) Zone.

Aug. 26, 2021

This map, updated Aug. 26, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is still in the (lowest) Gray Zone, while Old Lyme has moved back down into the Yellow Zone.

The map above is from Aug. 26, when Old Lyme was in the Orange (second highest case rate) Zone with a daily case rate per 100,000 of 10.8.

Eleven Connecticut towns were in the Yellow (second lowest) Zone down from 20the previous week. Locally, these included Deep River, Old Saybrook and Haddam.

The remaining 20 towns in the state, including Lyme, were in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone. This was the 23rd straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone.

Aug. 19, 2021

This map, updated Aug. 19, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is still in the (lowest) Gray Zone, while Old Lyme has moved back into the Orange Zone.

The map above is from Aug. 19 when Old Lyme was back in the Orange (second highest case rate) Zone. Almost 50 towns in the state remained in the Orange Zone, which was around the same number as the previous week.

Less than 20 Connecticut towns were in the Yellow (second lowest) Zone down from 40 the previous week. Locally, these included including Deep River, Essex and East Haddam.

The remaining 20 towns in the state, including Lyme, are in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone. This was the 22nd straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone.

Aug. 12

This map, updated Aug. 12, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is in the (lowest) Gray Zone, but Old Lyme is in the Yellow Zone.

The map above is from Aug. 12 and shows that Old Lyme had fallen out of the Orange (second highest case rate) Zone into the Yellow (second lowest) Zone — but only by a fraction.

Almost 50 towns were in the Orange (second highest case rate) Zone — up from 33 the previous week — including Westbrook and Salem locally.

Old Lyme joined the Yellow (second lowest) Zone along with around 40 other Connecticut towns, including Old Saybrook, East Lyme, and Essex.

All remaining towns in the state, including Lyme, along with Deep River and Chester, were in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone. This was the 21st straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone.

Aug. 5

This map, updated Aug. 5, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is still in the (lowest) Gray Zone, but Old Lyme has moved into the Orange Zone.

The map above is from Aug. 5 when six towns were in the Red (highest case rate) Zone (the previous week’s number was four) and 33 in the Orange (second highest case rate) Zone — the previous week’s number was four, including Old Lyme.

East Lyme* had reentered the Yellow (second lowest) Zone along with more than 50 other Connecticut towns.

All remaining towns in the state, including Lyme*, were in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone. This was the 20th straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone.

July 29, 2021

This map, updated July 29, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is in the (lowest) Gray Zone, but Old Lyme has moved into the Yellow Zone.

The map above is from July 29, when four towns were in the Red Zone –Harland, Salem, Bozrah and Sprague — and four towns were in the Orange Zone — Easton, East Hampton, Ledyard and Thompson.

Old Lyme had reentered the Yellow (second lowest) Zone along with more than 50 other Connecticut towns. All remaining towns in the state, including Lyme, were in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone. This was the 19th straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone.

July 15, 2021

This map, updated July 15, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the (lowest) Gray Zone.

The map above is from July 15, when one town, Franklin, was in the Red Zone (indicating the highest rate of COVID-19 new cases) and another two, Salem and Andover, were in the (second highest rate) Orange Zone. New Hartford and Griswold were in the Yellow Zone (indicating the lowest but one rate of COVID-19 new cases.)

July 8, 2021

This map, updated July 8, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the (lowest) Gray Zone.

This map above dated July 8, shows New Hartford as the sole town in the Yellow Zone.

June 17, 2021

This map, updated June 17, shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are in the (lowest) Gray Zone.

The map above dated June 17, shows when just one town, Bolton, was in the Yellow Zone.

Dec. 18, 2020

Map of Connecticut dated Dec. 17, 2020 showing both Lyme and Old Lyme now in the CT DPH-identified ‘Red Zone.’

NOAA Announces Creation of New Protected Area on CT’s Southeast Coast, Includes Several State-Owned Coastal Properties in Lyme, Old Lyme

This map shows the location of the new National Estuarine Research Reserve in southeastern Connecticut. Photo courtesy of The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut.

The Nature Conservancy celebrates the establishment of Connecticut’s first National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) along southeastern coast of State

LYME/OLD LYME/NEW HAVEN, CONN. – Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the establishment of a new National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) on Connecticut’s southeastern coast. The new reserve is the 30th in the national reserve system and the first in Connecticut.

“Establishing the Connecticut NERR is a critical step toward enhancing the preservation of Connecticut’s coastal and marine habitats, wildlife and heritage,” said Chantal Collier, director of marine systems conservation at The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut.

She added, “The Nature Conservancy is proud to have worked closely with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the University of Connecticut, NOAA and other partners to bring this new level of protection to the Sound that will help us address the challenges facing our estuary and sustain its benefits for local communities.”

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a partnership between NOAA and coastal states. NOAA provides guidance and funding while state departments or universities work with local partners to manage the sites day-to-day. The program is designed to protect and study estuaries and their surrounding wetlands—unique ecosystems that exist in the places where rivers meet the sea.

Located along the southeastern coast of the State, the newly announced reserve spans the lower Connecticut River, the lower Thames River, most of the Connecticut waters of eastern Long Island Sound and western Fishers Island Sound, and several state-owned coastal properties in Groton, Old Lyme, and Lyme.

The boundaries of the Connecticut NERR also include traditional lands of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Mohegan Tribe, Western Nehântick Tribal Nation, Hammonasset Tribe, Wappinger Tribe, and Wangunks Tribe.

The Connecticut NERR encompasses a total of 52,160 acres and a range of ecosystems including coastal forests and grasslands, intertidal marshes, beaches and bluffs, rocky reefs, and seagrass meadows, including 36 percent of the vitally important but imperiled Long Island Sound eelgrass ecosystem.

“These coastal and marine habitats are a haven for a wide variety of plants and animals,” said Collier. “From piping plovers, horseshoe crabs and seals that rest or breed along its shores, to sea turtles, dolphins and whales that forage for food in its waters—the range of species that will benefit from this new protected area is tremendous.”

The designation of the new reserve is not the end of the process, however.

“Now, we are turning our attention to supporting effective implementation of the Connecticut NERR Management Plan that was developed by state and local partners. Successful implementation will help ensure that this reserve realizes its environmental, research, and educational potential,” Collier said.

Editor’s Note: This article is based on a press release from The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut.

‘First Impressions’ Associate Artist, ‘Congratulations’ Exhibitions Open at Lyme Art Association

‘Morning Fog Lifting’ by Alexander Farquharson is one of the signature paintings in the upcoming First Impressions exhibition at Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME —  Lyme Art Association (LAA)’s First Impressions exhibition is a juried exhibition of the Association’s Associate Artist members, accomplished artists who have been successfully exhibiting in selective shows. This exhibit will include a variety of media and themes: landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture.

In addition, the three new Elected Artists, who were inducted into the LAA in October 2021, will present their work in Congratulations in the Goodman gallery. This year Sara Drought Nebel, Rick Daskam, and Matthew Schwager joined the esteemed ranks of LAA’s Elected Artists.

Both exhibits run from Jan. 14 through Feb. 24, 2022.

“The Annual Associate Artists Exhibition highlights the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members,” comments Jocelyn Zallinger, LAA’s Gallery Manager. She adds, “This exhibition includes a variety of subjects, media, and styles: paintings or sculptures that capture the range of human emotion, the beauty and grandeur of the Connecticut landscape, or the personal objects and surroundings of everyday life.”

Meanwhile, Zallinger notes, “The Congratulations show in the Goodman Gallery promises to be impressive; each new class of Elected Artists brings some new, unique perspectives and wonderful talent, and this year is no exception.”

Both exhibitions are on view in the 100-year-old sky-lit galleries of the LAA at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, Conn.

Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and by appointment. Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Visit this link for more information about the LAA.

Old Lyme Girls’ Basketball: Wildcats Defeat Lyman Memorial Handily; Fenton, Walsh Score 14 Points Apiece

Old Lyme Sophomore Ava Roth (center) is double-teamed by Lyman Allyn players during the game.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme girls had a decisive win over Lyman Memorial on Wednesday evening, earning a 43-28 victory.

Old Lyme freshman Kate Walsh (#5) and senior Meg Loflin try to grab a loose ball.

Freshman Kate Walsh and Junior Alexis Fenton both scored 14 points while Senior Megan Loflin added 11 points and 16 rebounds.

After the game, coach Don Bugbee commented, “The girls played hard throughout the game and obviously it’s always nice to get a win.”

He cautioned, however, “There were numerous aspects of the game that need immediate attention and correction. That process will take place, starting at tomorrow’s practice.”

Old Lyme’s record now stands at 4-2.

The girls’ next game is against Morgan this evening (Jan. 14) with JV tipping off at 5:30 p.m. and Varsity at 7 p.m.

In this hoop action, Old Lyme senior Megan Loflin takes a lay-up.

 

Junior Alexis Fenton (#23) dribbles down the court.

 

Old Lyme senior Ali Kyle is hard at work on defense in this shot.

Jan. 12 COVID-19 Update: Old Lyme Breaks 800 Cumulative Cases, Lyme Increases to 199, but Maybe There’s a Glimmer of Hope

Photo by CDC on Unsplash,

LYME-OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, at 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH) shows seven new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme taking the town’s total of cumulative cases from 796 to 803. 

Two new cases were reported in Lyme, taking that town’s cumulative total from 197 to 199. 

The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was down from 23.85% in the Jan. 11 report to 21.24% while COVID-related hospitalizations increased by 18 to 1,939.

Of those hospitalized, 1,324 (representing 68.3%) are not fully vaccinated.

Despite the generally bleak outlook, there is some encouraging news about the numbers. Today, Jan. 13, David Leonhardt wrote in ‘The Morning Newsletter” published by The New York Times, “There are early signs that Omicron has begun to peak. The number of new Covid-19 cases in New York City rose more than twentyfold in December. In the past few days, it has flattened”

He also noted, “In Boston, the amount of the Covid virus detected in wastewater, which has been a leading indicator of case trends in the past, has plunged by about 40 percent since its peak just after Jan. 1.”

Leonhardt was quick to caution, however, “To be clear, the current emergency is not on the verge of ending. Cases appear to be peaking only in places where Omicron arrived early, mostly in the Northeast (our use of bold). In much of the country, cases are still soaring.

The next Daily Report from CT DPH will be issued Thursday, Jan. 13, at around 4 p.m.

As we reported in our Thursday, Jan. 6 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. 13 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

Extracts from the Jan. 5, 2022 CT DPH report

These clearly indicate the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted:

As of Jan. 5, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 29, 2021)

  • Number of cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 83,147 (58,212)
  • Number of fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 2,526,891 (2,513,612)
  • Percent of fully vaccinated persons, who have contracted COVID-19: 3.29% ( 2.32%)
  • Of the 1,784(1,151) patients currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, 1,213–68% (619–71.2%) are not fully vaccinated.

For the week beginning Dec. 26, 2021: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 19, 2021)

  • Risk of unvaccinated persons testing positive for COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 3.3x greater (3.3x greater)
  • Risk of unvaccinated persons dying from COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 17.2x greater (32.9x greater)
  • The total number of COVID-19-associated deaths is 9,281.

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 360 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 431 new cases there since that date. Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 85 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. 7, regarding the latest COVID-19 data, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director of Health Stephen Mansfield stated, “We continue to see a high number of new COVID cases within our jurisdiction, the number of new cases have more than doubled since the last reporting period.”

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/

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.”

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.

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 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

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.

On Monday, Jan. 10, 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: 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, Lyme Libraries Co-Sponsor History of Jazz Event via Zoom, Tonight; Includes Impact of Jazz on Civil Rights Movement, Live Performance

Learn how Jazz was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement with Galen Abdur-Razzaq (centerin photo above) in a virtual event Wednesday evening co-sponsored by the Lyme and Old Lyme Libraries.

LYME/OLD LYME — On Wednesday, Jan. 12, the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library and the Lyme Public Library are co-sponsoring a virtual event that includes a live performance, a lecture and music trivia. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

Learn how Jazz was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement, with proceeds from concerts helping to finance major events such as the Freedom Rides and the March on Washington in 1963.

Galen Abdur-Razzaq, a Master Flutist, a jazz historian, and an educator, will chronicle music from the turn of the century to present day and highlight various artists, their music, their struggles, and their influence on the evolution of jazz.

Visit this link to register and obtain the Zoom link for the program.

Lyme Emergency Management to Distribute Free COVID Self-Tests, Masks to Lyme Residents, TODAY

LYME — On Tuesday, Jan. 11, from 4 to 6 p.m., the Lyme Emergency Management Department will distribute free at-home COVID self-tests and N-95 face masks to Lyme residents, while limited supplies last.

The distribution will be made by the rear of the Hamburg Fire Station.

  • Proof of Lyme residency is required and drivers must remain in their vehicles while the supplies are distributed.  No walk-ups.
  • Vehicles will not be allowed to line up earlier than 3:45 p.m.
  • Distribution will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • A box of 20 masks will be given to each car.  Mask supplies are expected to last throughout the two-hour distribution.
  • The at-home test kits will be given out one per car while supplies last. The Town has received 160 of the kits (with each kit containing two tests).  It is anticipated the supply will run out early in the distribution period.
  • No walk-ups are permitted and vehicles will not be permitted to stage earlier than 3:45 p.m.

To see the flyer for this event, click here.

Death of Michelle “Micky” Dooley Bellefleur Announced, Member of Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 1986.

MYSTIC — Michelle “Micky” Dooley Bellefleur, 53, of Mystic, passed away at home Jan. 7, 2022. Born October 22, 1968, the daughter of Bruce and Phyllis Dooley. Michelle attended Lyme-Old Lyme High School and graduated in the Class of 1986 …

A memorial service for Michelle will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, and in honor of her deep love for animals, the family asks that donations be made in Michelle’s name to the ASPCA …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published Jan. 10, in The Day.

COVID-19 Cases in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, Aug. 26 Through Dec. 23, 2021

LYME/OLD LYME — Under new state protocols for schools starting Jan. 1, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing. Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser said in a Jan. 4 email to the school community, however, that he, “… will continue to notify the school community of any positive cases of COVID-19 that impact the schools.”

We therefore are publishing for reference this list of positive cases of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme Schools during the period between the date LOL Schools opened for the 2021-22 academic year, Aug. 26, 2021, and Dec. 23, 2021, when they closed for winter break.

In all these cases, contact tracing was completed and those individuals who needed to quarantine were notified. They were able to return to school following their quarantine period. All other students and staff continued to attend school as scheduled.

This list will no longer be included as part of our COVID-19 Daily Update.

On Thursday, Dec. 23, Neviaser informed the school community that two positive cases of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS, a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) and a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Mile Creek School had been reported.

On Tuesday, Dec. 21, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) had been reported.

On Monday, Dec. 20, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) had been reported.

On Thursday, Dec. 16, Neviaser informed the school community that two separate positive cases of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS and Lyme School respectively had been reported.

On Monday, Dec. 13, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Mile Creek School had been reported.

On Thursday, Dec. 9, Neviaser informed the school community that a total of three positive cases of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS), Center School, and Lyme School respectively had been reported.

On Monday, Dec. 6, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLMS had been reported.

On Friday, Dec. 3, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Center School had been reported.

On Monday, Nov. 30, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Monday, Nov. 29, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Mile Creek School had been reported.

On Tuesday, Nov. 23, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Monday, Nov. 22, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Mile Creek School had been reported.

On Thursday, Nov. 18, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Sunday, Nov. 14, Neviaser informed the school community that over the weekend a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported the previous evening.

On Thursday, Oct. 23, Neviaser informed the school community of two intrafamilial positive cases of COVID-19 impacting LOLMS. He stated, “We were able to complete our contact tracing and the one individual who must quarantine has been notified.”

On Thursday, Sept. 23, Neviaser informed the school community of two intrafamilial positive cases of COVID-19 impacting LOLMS. He noted, “We were able to complete our contact tracing and the one individual who must quarantine has been notified.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 22, Neviaser informed the school community of a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS.

On Thursday, Sept. 16, Neviaser informed the school community that a previously reported positive case of COVID-19 is now impacting Mile Creek School and Center School.

On Monday, Sept. 13, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19,  which had been reported the previous day, was impacting LOLMS.

On Wednesday, Sept. 1, Neviaser informed the school community that a positive case of COVID-19 was impacting Mile Creek School.

On Tuesday, Aug. 31, Neviaser informed the school community that late on Monday, Aug. 30, a positive case of COVID-19 impacting LOLHS had been reported.

On Saturday, Aug. 28, Neviaser informed the school community that late on Friday, Aug. 27, a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme School had been reported.

Death of Eleanor Robinson Announced; Naturalist, Environmental Advocate, Founder of Old Lyme’s Audubon Center; Wife of Rev. Canon Mark Robinson, Former Rector of St. Ann’s

Eleanor Gamble Perkins Robinson

OLD LYME — “Celebratory Ecology calls each of us to spend time outdoors, to observe colors, movement, presences and absence of species, and yes, to simply enjoy the bounty. We celebrate ecology and are inspired to do all within our power to protect, and learn about this essential life-giving ecosystem.”
– Eleanor Robinson at the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center opening, 2016.

Eleanor Gamble Perkins Robinson lit up the world. We mourn the death of our dear wife, mother, sister, friend, naturalist, community leader, environmental advocate, chorister, recording artist, teacher, coach, and true bright light. As her family sang “Goodnight Irene,” Eleanor died January 2, 2022 peacefully at home in Old Lyme, Conn. at the mouth of the Connecticut River. Eleanor courageously battled non-smokers lung cancer for five years.

Eleanor, or Missy to her family and friends, was born October 11, 1958 to John and Eleanor Perkins and was raised in Long Island, N.Y., where her curiosity and respect for the natural world took shape. She was often found in the intertidal zones and the coastal nature preserves, studying the creatures of the water, land, and sky. Her delight and wonder for birds began on the shores of Long Island, but ultimately brought her to extreme parts of the world: the Amazon Rainforest, where she banded birds with the World Wildlife Fund; British Columbia, where she researched pelagic birds with the Natural History Museum; and the outer islands of New England and Canada, where she documented migratory bird behaviors as a resident naturalist.

From a young age, she was hungry for adventure and exploration. Alongside her older brother Brad, she spent summers in the Adirondack Mountains, climbing peaks and paddling rivers. At the age of 11, she was one of the youngest girls to summit all 46 of the high peaks over 4,000 feet, fostering a lifelong love for the mountains. Of all the woodland hikes, campfires, and nights spent under the stars throughout her life, she was most proud of the 14,411-foot ascent up Mount Rainier in 2009 with the American Lung Association, to honor her brother Brad, who died of brain cancer in 2008.

Eleanor’s professional life was driven by an unwavering passion for the wonders of the natural world. She met her lifelong mentor, noted conservationist Thomas Lovejoy, while receiving a B.S. in botany and zoology at the University of Washington. This launched a career in conservation and advocacy, sending her at young age to work Peru and Brazil, Woods Hole, Boston University – where she received her Master’s in Scientific Journalism – and then Washington, D.C. in the 1990s. A prolific writer and resolute environmentalist, she was at the helm of campaigns for the Smithsonian Institute and World Wildlife Fund, introducing the public to the then-fledgling matter of “climate change.” Her dedication spread from the halls of the Capitol into teaching middle- and high school classrooms, where she shared her natural curiosity with young and inspiring minds.

After moving to Old Lyme in 2012, she found herself in the ecological hotspot of the Connecticut River Estuary, which she deemed to be the Amazon Delta of the East Coast. It became her final classroom. In honor of the renowned ornithologist, artist, educator, and former resident of Old Lyme, Roger Tory Peterson, she founded an Audubon Center in Old Lyme, a pilot environmental education program that began out of the trunk of her green Mini Cooper. With no physical center yet established, she hauled teaching materials including maps, microscopes, and binoculars that dangled from the headrest. Today, the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is a thriving STEM institution serving 15 area towns and the city of New London. Its educational programs reach more than 4,000 children and families annually.

At the center of her life was her family. Her husband, Mark K. J. Robinson first spotted her at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA, where she worked as the Director of Media Relations at Massachusetts Audubon Society. Mark’s “Newfy sweater,” a garment iconic and endemic to Newfoundland, caught her attention. They bonded over time spent in northeastern Canada; Mark doing missionary work and Eleanor teaching at the Quebec Labrador Foundation. Over 35 years of marriage, they raised three daughters on the Calvary Church campus in Stonington, Conn., where Mark was the Rector. Together, they founded the Calvary Church Nursery and Calvary Music schools and traveled the world, making homes in South Africa, Uganda, Washington, D.C., Ohio, and Connecticut.

Eleanor overflowed with creative energy and a love for movin’, groovin’, and making music. From her childhood to her final vacation in Park City, Utah this past Christmas, she carried her ukulele in tow. While at Miss Porter’s School (’76) she arranged music and sang in the acapella group and throughout her life, continued to pen songs, limericks, and ditties that brought the young and the old together. Her music filled church halls, community centers, living rooms, and backyards, where her second soprano voice could be heard in choirs, bands and ensembles. While raising three young girls, she launched “Sweet Beats,” a business which inspired intergenerational music and movement making for babies, children and families. In true Eleanor spirit, when she tore her ACL coaching lacrosse, she spent her recovery writing and recording two albums of original songs for singing families (available under “Eleanor Robinson” on Spotify, Amazon and iTunes).

Eleanor would often say she lived a hundred lives. That might have been an underestimate. We remember her for her vibrant spirit, humor, love, and light. We are called to action by her vision for harmony between people and their environment. And we commit to the completion of the legacy she left.

In the words of her friend and fellow environmentalist, “As I sit overlooking Great Island on the Connecticut River Estuary, I think of Eleanor’s love of this little piece of nature – her encyclopedic knowledge of everything from butterflies to ospreys; her profound reverence for the land and the regenerative cycles of spring, summer, fall, and winter… We have lost a great champion of life and nature – but she has endowed [us] not just with wonderful memories and wisdom, but perhaps more importantly she leaves [us] with a set of impossibly high standards to follow – on how to live life to the fullest, how to face adversity with unimaginable courage, and how to spread joy with all you meet.”

Eleanor was predeceased by brother, Bradford Perkins of Seattle, Wash. and her father John Perkins of Essex, Conn. She is survived by her husband, The Rev. Canon Mark K.J. Robinson; her daughters Sewell, Frances, and Florence; her son-in-law Sam Bourneuf; Sewell and Sam’s daughter Eleanor “Ebbie”; her mother Eleanor Perkins; and her brother John Perkins.

A private burial service will take place with her family next week and a celebration for the public will take place Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 2:00 pm at St. James Episcopal Church in New London, CT. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Eleanor to Connecticut Audubon – Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (https://www.ctaudubon.org/rtpecdonate/).

Hamburg Fair is Happening in 2022!

LYME — The Hamburg Fair Committee has announced that the Hamburg Fair will take place this year on Aug. 19, 20 and 21.

This is great news after the disappointment of last year’s fair having to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much more information will follow but we wanted to share this good news right away, so mark your calendars now for this beloved event!

TODAY is Last Day to Complete Old Lyme ARPA Committee’s Survey on Pandemic Impacts, Results Will Help Determine Federal Allocation of $2.16M to Town

Town Hall illustration by Old Lyme resident Edie Twining.

Survey Results Will be Used to Help Determine Allocation of $2.162M in Federal Funds by the Town

OLD LYME — Old Lyme residents, business owners, and organization leaders are encouraged to take the Old Lyme Pandemic Recovery Survey to share how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their family or organization. The survey closes Jan. 7, 2022.

Conducted by the Town’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Committee, the survey is expected to give the ARPA Committee valuable insight into what households, businesses, and nonprofits experienced during the pandemic and how they are coping 22 months later. 
 
The survey results will inform the Committee’s recommendations to the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen in 2022. The Town was allocated $2.162 million by the Federal Government to be allocated in pandemic recovery. Strict adherence to Federal spending guidelines will be followed.

The survey is not an application for funds, but rather data gathering on the pandemic’s effects on Old Lyme. Town projects or programs will be determined after the survey, and applications for assistance will be sought following the set guidelines.

The survey can be found at OldLymeSurvey.com and print copies will be available at the Town Hall reception desk beginning Tuesday, Dec. 14. The committee asks that one survey is filled out per household or organization. Responses are anonymous unless the survey taker chooses to share their contact information at the end.

The Federal guidelines relating to how Old Lyme and other municipalities may use the Federal funds are as follows:

  • Support public health expenditures, e.g., funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector
  • Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband internet.

To learn more about the ARPA Committee, visit https://www.oldlyme-ct.gov/american-rescue-plan-committee

Death Announced of Susan Marinone Salzillo, 69, of Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Susan Marinone Salzillo, 69, of Old Lyme passed away Dec. 8, 2021, at the Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London …

She previously was married to Michael Salzillo and bore his four children, Michael, Matthew, Mark, and Mandy (Weber). Susan was later married to Elliot Penna, who survives her …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published Dec. 19, in The Day.

 

Death Announced of Doris Pearce, 89, Long-time Resident of Old Lyme, She “Loved Spending Time with her Machnik Relatives”

OLD LYME — Doris Pearce, 89, passed away in her beloved home surrounded by love Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. Doris Jane Grimes was born May 21, 1932, in Waterford, to Helen Machnik Grimes and Leslie “Red” Grimes …

They retired to Old Lyme, in the early seventies. Doris loved spending time with her Machnik relatives: aunts and uncles and cousins …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published Dec. 20, in The Day.